"I know," he said. He was repairing his line, cutting the leader with his teeth. "This is one fish you have to be satisfied with one a day. A good-sized tarpon, you'd be satisfied with one. An eight-or nine-pound bonefish, you'd be tickled to death with one. A nice day. But this one, you don't even think so much about size." He said there was "no question 30-and 40-pounders come up this river, but they're rare, and you'd have to be lucky even to see one. On the Restigouche, a 30-pounder isn't unusual. And they come late in the fall past the fishing season and in the spring. Up there getting a 30-pounder would be like the year  I hit .400 [actually .406]. There were guys who hit .345, .355 that year, so hitting .400 wasn't such a big deal at the time. Now, when the best hitters in the big leagues are hitting .310, .400 would be a hell of a big deal."
Almost simultaneously, not five feet apart and less than 10 yards away, two fish jumped. Ted went back into the river and began casting. I waited until he was a safe distance away, then fell in line. Every now and then I caught his gaze, checking me out. Invariably at those times I sent up what he calls "Chinese casts."
Lunchtime drew a circle of fishermen at the bank where Roy had laid our gear. Roy sat on a rock and peeled the waxed paper from Edna's salmon salad sandwiches. The other anglers clustered around, waiting for Ted, who was the last to leave the river. Except for the one near-miss and the grilse I'd seen Ted release, there hadn't been a hit.
"There's fish," Ted said. "They're just not taking, that's all. That one refused the bug, Leo, or what?"
"Yeah," said the man who missed the fish. He seemed surprised Ted had seen it, having been at least a quarter of a mile away at the time.
"Geez, and you one of the alltime greats," Ted needled.
"Water's way up." said an older man in a baggy shirt. His face showed the unmistakable folds of a drastic weight loss. "Must be swollen six inches from last night."
"Oh hell, yes," said Williams. "This could be a total loss today. Real dirty water, coming fast. We probably ought to try Swinging Bridge tomorrow, Roy."
"I'd say," said Roy.
"You don't like rising water. Ted?" Leo asked.