The old dude was there waiting for us. And he wasn't alone. Almost made me want to make the sign of the cross and kiss a crucifix for protection before we landed. Something about his sidekick made me think of that little dog in the Warner Brothers cartoons who was always bouncin' around his idol, the big bulldog Butch. Only this guy's bouncing days were long gone.
Of course the first question, "Did ya catch any?" was already floating in the air before we beached the boat.
A simple, "Yup," and an Allan hoist of the stringer was answer enough. Kinda shocked the two into silence for a few seconds. Treated us with a new respect like we actually knew what we were doin' out there. 'Spose I could of told them the truth, about it bein' shear dumb luck and all, but why spoil the fun? No doubt should push come to shove, over time they'd have out fished us with their worms. I knew that. Still do. My time on trout lakes since that day is proof positive that I'm one foot this side of clueless.
As it was, the man still had some good advice about transporting our fish. We could gut 'em and behead the varmints but they still had to be identifiable as trout. I vaguely recalled reading that but would not have done it. Good man.
While he was talking his buddy pulled out a can of Deep Woods Off and laid a line of bug juice on his forehead from about two inches out, so thick it oozed to his eyebrows before he worked it in with the meat of his hand with the hope of severe brain damage. Licked off the excess as it drained passed his mouth.
As for our dinner of trout, we ate 'em down to the bones then sucked 'em dry.