“My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him all good things—trout as well as eternal salvation—come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” ― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
On the slick underside of cool river rocks, the sow bugs hide. I turn stones over, watch one scurry for cover under the stone next door, watch its brother try to burrow deep into the mud. I reach into the shallow water, grab a fistful of pebbles. Opening my hand, mud spreads across my palm; pebbles fall from the edges and splink into the water. The sow bug, known more commonly as the “roly poly,” is there, exposed. He has rolled into a ball, his best attempt at hide-and-seek, his attempt to look for all the world like a perfectly round pebble. The ball-like symmetry of his curled exoskeleton gives him away, though.
I grab him between my thumb and forefinger and fling him into the channel. He is my offering to the keepers of this stretch of river, and before I can count to two, I see the metallic flash of trout against the morning sun. The rainbow trout is a magnificent mirror when turned at the right angle, its pink and silver side throwing light back past the surface.
The rainbow trout is the most magnificent of God’s creation, I think. He is a slender fish, long and lean with a feminine fancy for pink. He is a fighter on the fly line, will hold his breath and dive up through the surface, will thrash his head to shake a hook loose, will run till he is wooed to the bank by the gentlest fisherman. He comes into the angler’s waiting hand with delicate reluctance, almost in reverence. ... Continue reading at Tweetspeak Poetry.