About half a mile from camp, around 11 in the morning, I climbed a 20-foot cliff over a deep pool below a long, shallow riffle. Pete waded as far as he could up a narrow gravel bar at the tail of the pool and then began to make short casts over the deeper water. My spot was perfect to watch from, nearly straight above the best-looking water, the sun behind me illuminating every rock and pebble on the stream bottom.
Pete hooked and released a couple of fair-size trout with his short casts and then, on his first cast over the heart of the pool, two huge trout came up for his fly at once. Most of the large trout in The Creek rise slowly for a fly and suck it in calmly. These two, which appeared from beneath a wide ledge directly below me the instant the fly touched the water, raced for it, shooting upward for it so forcefully that each broke the surface with a vicious slash. Pete jerked back on the rod instinctively. But both fish had missed the fly.
"Did you see them?" I asked stupidly.
"Are you kidding?"
He did, several times, but neither fish moved. "How big were they?" Pete called up to me when he'd given up.
I hesitated. "Big," I said. I thought about it. When you're looking down at fish, as I had been, they appear smaller than they are.
"Well, one was quite a bit bigger than the other, and I'd guess the smaller one was 20 inches."
We killed one large trout for dinner, and Doug, who had done well downstream, brought back one of his own. He had also found half a dozen arrowheads—small, intricately carved bird points—in front of a cave on the north bank.