If you ask me, when will we get there, or, how long you gonna be gone, I’m already trying to figure out, without hurting your feelings, how to un-ask you to come with. In a word, I, regret, asking you in the first place. A guy last fall had heard about a place I duck hunt and first thing he asked, how long does it take to get there, I said it takes one hour and forty five miles. He said, you mean an hour and forty five minutes, I said no, I meant an hour and forty five miles. He said that made no sense, I said, since you’ve never been down that last stretch of forty five miles, sometimes we have to chainsaw windblown trees, sometimes we have to line washouts with logs to tip toe the trucks over, so it’s not how long will it take for me, I don’t care, I’m going, it’s not the time, it’s the destination. This weekend, it was how far are you planning on walking. I said I was going until I got tired of falling in, hanging up fresh tied flies on alder brush, maybe until the bugs eat me alive, or possibly, but I doubt it, tired of trout. He didn’t care for my response, so I went by myself. I can’t guarantee people they will see a mink scratching itself and two of its kits silly at some unknown time in the afternoon on a log that’s shaped and hollowed like a canoe, but I saw it. And I saw it because I wasn’t worried about being home by 1:30 in the afternoon. During the day when I got hot, I took off my waders and soaked my feet, washed my face and rested. I even wondered if a mink I couldn’t see, was watching me. Early in the morning, I had my lunch, and at what should have been dinner time I wished I wouldn’t have eaten all my lunch, but I fished on. By days end I caught 54 brook trout, one, and my personal best of the summer, which went a snitch over 17 inches. I kept a limit. Lost a week’s worth of hand tied flies; I was tired when I got done. I drove home in the dark with the windows open; moths were flying all over the road like shooting stars. Then for the first time all day I looked at a clock. It was 12pm on Saturday night and a half hour into Sunday morning. The trout whisperer

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