Ted gave baggy shirt a look. "Yeah, and my eyesight's better, too, and all that other crap I'm supposed to have going lot me. But what you really have to have out here is talent. That's what it takes. A little bit of talent" He grinned, then made a face as the American in the red hat lit a cigarette.
"There was some guy on the other side smoking when I was fishing upriver." Ted said, talking to the group but looking at the smoker. "I could smell it all the way across. I could smell it. I know guys who'd commit adultery before they'd smoke one of those things."
The smoker grinned sheepishly. The others laughed.
Ted said he had run into some of his World War II buddies at the Hall of Fame induction of the late Tom Yawkey, his old Red Sox boss, and Al Kaline and Duke Snider, and every one had quit smoking.
The man in the red hat was now cupping his cigarette in his hand but hadn't been intimidated quite enough to put it out.
A squat, dark-skinned man with a face like a clenched fist had been listening without expression. He kept glancing downriver. Finally a lone fisherman could be seen plowing through the shallows.
"My friend, he got a roll before," the man said in a thick French accent. He sighed. "He'll be here till 5 o'clock now. We were here to almost 10 last night."
"Sounds like my kind of guy," Ted said, and bit into his doughnut. "I went eight days without a roll or a pull one year after they started allowing the mackerel netting in the Miramichi Bay."
"The 'incidental catch,' what a joke that is," said the man in the baggy shirt. "They catch 10 legitimate mackerel and 90 'incidental' salmon, and they keep the salmon and throw away the mackerel."
"I didn't think any kind of commercial salmon netting on the river or in the bay was legal," I said.