- Year-round sailors go to Joe Harris of...Laurie Johnston | November 30, 1964
- 26 INNINGS TO A TIEApril 11, 1955
- THE REAL RECORDSal Johnson | May 12, 2003
It was improbable, but also gloriously true, that at seven the next morning Lowry would be tapping on my cabin window with the news that the generators had been shut down early, that the water at Wildcat Shoals would be just about right. Couldn't make it himself, but Cox would head up with me.
It was still raining, just this side of freezing, when we hauled the boat up to Wildcat, and wraiths of white mist were curling off the river. The air was colder than the water. But the stream itself was thin and clear, the gravel showing gold, the boulders gray and white on the bed. For half an hour we fished the water carefully, but no fish moved.
Then, as Cox held the boat against the moderate current, something stopped the yellow Matuka streamer on its way home—appropriately a New Zealand fly for a river that would be entirely at home in New Zealand. I saw the broad side of the fish flash silver as it shook its head. And then the line was running off the reel.
Ten minutes later, or thereabouts, it was in the net. Rainbow. Hen fish. When I went to unhook it, I found the fly had already fallen out. One second of slack line would have been enough to lose it. Eight pounds flat it went on Lowry's scales when we were back at the dock.
Maybe I should have released it, but I had worked hard and long for that fish. I called my wife at the airport and told her I was bringing her home a trout.
"Good, nice for breakfast," she said.
"Doggone," I heard myself saying, "this here's a White River trout. It's this long and, hell, this wide!"
Clearly, a big trout is not the only thing you can pick up in Arkansas.