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Once again we discussed fishing by the fire, which we fed with small logs of scrub oak. We all agreed that the trout came up most recklessly between 10 o'clock and two. Before 10, there were few if any grasshoppers on the water. After two, the trout were too gorged to bother coming up often. "I killed my fish just before two," Doug told us, "and it was so full of grasshoppers that the stomach looked like a rubber balloon stuffed with coat hangers."
We went to bed a little earlier than the night before and got up a little earlier to fish again. Though the fishing wasn't at its best before 10, it was good enough.
But Pete and I were careful to time it so that we arrived at the home of the two large trout at about 10:30, hoping that their appetites had been whetted by a bug or two by then, but that they still had plenty of room in their stomachs for more.
Pete tried for them again, and I climbed the cliff to watch.
"See anything?" he called up to me after he had waded carefully out, but before he began to cast.
"No. But they're sure to be here, under that ledge."
"It seems impossible to catch fish when you try for certain ones. It never works."
"It might here. Forget about the bottom end. Put it right out over where they came up yesterday."
False-casting, the orange line snaking smoothly back and forth in a tight loop, he worked out 30 feet of line, and then dropped the fly gently to the barely riffled surface of the pool. One of the trout, the larger, came up as hard as it had the day before, slashing through the surface, even showing its tail, and throwing rainbow spray a yard. But it missed the fly, and Pete, who had set the hook into nothing and yanked it away, swore.
"Put it right back," I said.