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Trout Whisperer - Good, to the very last drop

Ely Echo - Staff Photo - Create Article

We finished the bluegill fish fry just after 4 p.m. He said he was going outside to pile up some wood for a campfire, I decided to skip the dishes and join him.

We hauled split ash, birch, maple and placed it all on top of a year-old bale of hay. We trimmed back a pine tree that some kind of bug is killing, thing was robust last spring, it’s on its last leg now, probably be cutting it down soon enough but then we had enough.

Done, stepped back admiringly and thought we had ourselves a doosey. I said, “Just have to wait until dark, I’m gonna clean up the dishes, seems about right for it now.” So I did.  He went off to the shed, fetched two nice high-backed bag chairs and said, “How about we check the specific gravity of some high western and tin cup respectively.”

I told him next to our fire, that’d should be just about right. Sometime later, all our conversation worn out, fire was reduced to ashes, not much glow left in them when he said, “Time for me to go hold my mattress down for a while, you coming.” I said, “I’ll be in a bit.”

He melted into the dark, heard the cabin door, eased my stocking cap back, looked up, found the north star, Polaris kochab’d with a squinty eye, lazied along the Milky Way, came back over to the big dipper when a shooting star burst a shaft.

I wished they lasted longer, then I wished the fire did, then I wished he would have stayed longer so he might have seen the shooter. Then his idea of sleep seemed time and when I laid down, I closed my eyes on the day’s history. Shiny ice, gills aplenty, one scampering mink, a great pal half a cabin away snoring his head off,  nice time all of it. Yeah, it was a very good day, just don’t think I could rinse anymore out it.

- The Trout Whisperer

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