The fishing dog
One day the spaniel attempted to become more than a just a casual companion. The trout were feeding steadily, their rise forms observed without difficulty on each pool that I approached. At first, success came easily for me that day. The fishing was great until I noticed the spaniel creeping up to the edge of the bank at a pool I was about to fish. The dog seemed to be in a state of great excitement. A trout rose a yard off the bank. Oh no! The eager dog launched itself into the brook, landing exactly where the fish had risen. The pup splashed about in the shallows seeking to find its quarry. It was comical to watch how bewildered the dog behaved once the trout had eluded it. I was amazed. It seemed to be undeniable that the dog had connected those rings on the water with the fish I was seeking. Of course, after that commotion there were no more trout rising in that pool. No matter, I could see that there were trout rising in the next pool upstream. Ah, but there was a problem. Handicapped by my waders, I could not reach that pool before the dog. I could only stand and watch while the spaniel repeated its unsuccessful attempt to catch a trout. What at first had struck me as being hilarious was no longer amusing. No amount of shouting or arm waving on my part succeeded in convincing the dog to leave the trout alone. My fishing was over for this afternoon. I sat down on the bank. The dog came and sat beside me whining and stamping its feet. It seemed to be saying, “OK, so I missed a couple, let’s not quit now.” What could I do? I reached over and patted the fishing dog on the head. It occurred to me that this was a great fish story. Then again, would even my closest friends believe this tale involving a spaniel, a fly fisher and a trout stream? I’ll just have to raise my right hand and swear to tell nothing but the truth.