(editor's note - the following is presented without commentary and is in fact a fishing story- if you read anything else into it that is your own personal issue - the author's name is withheld in order to protect the guilty)
I guess you could say that I am a skeptic. I never believed the letters that I read in your publication until something just as wild happened to me. It was an early spring morning and I had just risen from a restful night camping by my favorite local fishing hole. The mist was rising from the water as I prepared my morning meal of bacon, beer, and Tylenol accompanied by some wild berries that I had picked the day before. The sun was not yet peeking over the adjacent mountain tops when I heard a splashing coming from around a bend in the stream.
Wondering what it could be, I cautiously crept through the grasses that separated me from the river. Soon I reached a vantage point where I could view the fishing hole and remain unseen. I had no sooner looked out onto the water when I saw her. She was sitting in the middle of the current splashing about wearing only what the good lord gave her. Her proportions were perfect she was just the right size to be a challenge yet not too large for my tastes. She would flit from one end of the pool then back to the other in a manner that could only be described as playful.
As pretty as she was to watch I knew that it was the time for action. I hurried back to camp to get my equipment. As I crept back through the woods I took out my rod. What a thing of beauty it was. Not too long or too short, I hoped it would do the job. After all I had always been told that it was all in how you used it not just the size alone. By the time I had returned to her I found something that truly shocked and disappointed me. Another man had beaten me to her and had perched himself on a rock to her left side. She didn't seem to mind this at all and kept to her business of splashing about the pool as if he wasn't even there.
I watched in silence, not wishing either of them to know I was there. My rod trembled for a chance at her. She ignored his advances and it became obvious that he was getting very frustrated with her. It was at this time I gathered up my courage and took it upon myself to step out from behind the bush that had kept me hidden from their eyes. I expected to see anger on his face or at least a measure of surprise but instead I was greeted with a smile. More a smirk than a smile as he gestured to the waters before me as if to say "Go ahead bloke, give her a go." I guess the fact that I had my rod in my hand had given away my intentions. However, I was relieved at his invitation and began preparing my equipment for action. As soon as I had my gear ready I began my play for her. I remembered what I had been taught and began my rhythmic cast. Back then forwards, then a quick pull and there it was right on the mark. She came to the surface of the pool and examined my fly with interest only to turn away at the last possible second. I was crushed but I felt that she was only playing hard to get so I tried again. This time my movements were more subtle and as she examined my fly I gave a slight twitch. That was all she needed to see and she took the bait hard.
The battle was won but the war was far from over. We moved from one end of the pool to the other. The more I would strip the harder she would pull. I kept my rod high in the air in an attempt to control her, but at times I thought she might snap it in two. The fellow watching in amazement from the bank offered his help with a net but I promptly declined. He hadn't been able to handle her before. Why should he help now? I feared he intended to whack her on the head with a large rock in order to get her to submit. That was not my style.
Finally she tired of our game and rather easily came to hand. I admired her shiny flesh and beautiful color before letting her slide back into the pool that was her home. She lazily splashed away as if nothing had happened. The fellow who had been watching was still quite excited and shouted, "Helluva fish you had there mate!" I nodded in agreement as I put my rod away. This would truly be a day to remember. Maybe I'll even write about it to one of those men's magazines. Yeah, maybe even Field & Stream.