Lynne couldn’t see the face that went with the voice, but heard rustling through the willows lining the river, coming closer. She sighed, reeled in her line and turned to see who was interrupting her perfect morning. He was no one she knew, but he looked pleasant enough; close -cut hair, metal rimmed glasses, new, creased blue jeans and one of those expensive REI jackets that really don’t help much against the wind; definitely not a local. His right pant leg was ripped, and it looked like he had gashed his hand. She sensed him checking out her old waders, faded tank top and freckled nose, and shuffled uneasily.
“Looks like you banged up your hand, there.”
“Yeah, I got clumsy and slid down the embankment a ways back. I’m writing an article about fishing on the Pan, and decided I needed to scope out some good holes for myself. You have any spots you’re particularly fond of? ”
“Of course, but I’m not telling you. Law of the river, y’know?” She grinned.
He grinned back – blue eyes twinkling behind his glasses.
“Can’t blame a man for trying. I’ll leave you to your peace and quiet, and see what I can find on my own, but you be careful out here, Sweetie. I heard some psycho killer’s escaped from the Pitkin County jail just like old Ted Bundy did. Idiot jailers still haven’t learned a thing. You go home early. Be safe! “ He winked, then walked past her, and gave a wave over his shoulder. Lynne watched him trip over the rocks for a minute, then went back to her fishing.
“Scoping out holes, Sweetie? not even carrying a pole,” she muttered, disgusted.
She spent the day moving along the river, casting Blue Duns into the slow swirls where the hatch frenzied just above the surface, and snagging some beauties almost before the flies hit the water. One trout, perfect for dinner, hung from her belt in a small, insulated bag. The rest, she caught and released.
She worked her way down to the Emma Bridge over the Roaring Fork, making her last stand of the day in the lovely deep pool beneath the trestle. She pulled her hair back, tied on a fresh fly and cast out with a satisfied sigh.
“Perfect end to a perfect day,” she said aloud to herself, lazily watching the fly drift slowly across the hole.
The dude from earlier in the day waved and called from the far bank. “Hi, Sweetie! Looks like you had a good day!”
“Hope you head home soon! That psycho-killer is still out here! ”
She chuckled, waded across the stream towards him, keeping her line taut. She winked at him, shoved her filet knife into his gut and grinned. “Yeah, Sweetie, I know. I’ll be here all week.”