that I stepped off of Bulla’s porch to peer over the side of the garden at the running creek below. He claimed to have seen a good-sized trout down there the night before, so I stood staring into the pool. The next thing we know, we have left his other guests lounging in the living room and we are down on the water, rock hopping barefooted, with a little #18 Prince Nymph. Sure enough, the first half dozen casts bring in a couple of fish, damn near fingerlings, but trout nonetheless.
We worked our way upstream toward a hole where his daughter, Aja, and friends had been dipping earlier. I was kidding him about his “good sized trout” and he was swearing that the mothers of these mini-trout were around there somewhere. He handed me the rod and I eyed a pool one upstream from us and lobbed the Prince up over a small fall up against a big boulder. Wham. A flash of fish breaks the still of the pool and I have a foot of trout at the far end of my tippet. He made a run toward the falls and then under a rock. I was laughing and trying not to spill my beer. I lost him as quickly as I found him.
I think that one of the great joys of fishing, just next to finding fish exactly where you guessed they would be, is finding the fish where you least expected them. Other things are like that: good low budget movies, great little hole-in the-wall restaurants, sometimes just a kindness; but these, of course, are perhaps more common or at least less amusing than standing wet-footed in a living room telling about the one that got away. Whether you are driftboating the Yellowstone or wading Sespe Creek, a week-long trip or a diversion before dinner, any time you drop your fly in the water or even step into your garden you invite the world to surprise you.