"My first act now, when it's straight out like that, is a slight move up with the rod, just in case a salmon hits. Just a slight 5- to 10-degree bend. Now, there, see how the fly is swimming? The water's faster now. The slacker the water is, the more bend I put in the rod to encourage the lure to swim faster."
He reeled in and cast again.
"Yeah, we'll see fish today," he said to Fakeshazy. "This is a good holding pool. There'll be fish today."
As if in response, stitches began to appear on the water in front of him, evidence of salmon rolling.
Ted worked downriver, casting. I had turned toward the shore to get my gear when I looked back and saw him walking toward the bank, his line taut.
"Geez," he said, "I got bottom."
The fish he'd hooked made a spectacular somersault cross-river. Ted grinned.
He never wasted a motion. When the fish jumped, he instinctively leaned to it. When it ran, he waited for the moment it tired, then deftly turned it. When he had it flopping in the shallows, Roy put the net under it and hauled it out. A 15-pound hookbill. This one, Ted said, they'd have to take home for the pot.
"What do you think of Ted Williams?" Ted said as Roy lifted the catch from the net and held it up by the tail. Roy finished the kill and laid it under a blanket of river grass for safekeeping. Ted curled his finger and thumb and pressed them against his lips and sent a chorus of the Marine Hymn keening downriver.