For five long seasons he watched as the rods of his fellow anglers bent with life to the power of fighting trout. Always pleasant to others, Norman congratulated the other anglers on their catches & was happy for their success - in spite of his own lack of luck. They were in there, teasing him - mocking him it would seem. Through the five years Norman tried everything he could think of. He read all the fly fishing books & magazine articles he could, following their advice & directions to the letter. He even went so far as to hire a guide on his home waters, but was declared a hopeless case.
Finally one day, Norman couldn't take it anymore. He sat down along the stream bank & wept at his terrible streak of fishless days. This was the end of the line for him. He made up his mind to sell his rod & all his gear when he got back home.
He wasn't sure how long he had been sitting there when he heard approaching footsteps of someone coming thorough the woods. Wiping his eyes & trying to hide his shame, Norman saw him emerge from the bushes. He was a tall man, decked out in a flannel shirt with an old fishing vest stained from years of use. His old rubber hip waders had been patched so many times you couldn't tell where the patches began & the original wader ended. He smoked an old broken pipe & wore a torn & rumpled felt hat on his head that his long grey hair stuck out from underneath. His long grey beard was twisted & gnarly. Even though this was his home stream, Norman was sure he had never seen this mystical angler before.
The strange angler approached Norman & stood above him. "I understand what you're going through", he said. "For five long years I've been watching you go without a fish. Many times I thought of offering you some advice, but I could see nothing you were doing wrong. However, your faith & persistence in attempting to catch a trout have earned you this prize." The mystical angler then pulled an old tin from his vest pocket & produced a fly for Norman. "Take this & cast it down & across in front of that log on the other side of the stream over there. It will only take one cast. Your hard times are over if you'll fish this fly." Reaching up & taking it from his hand, Norman saw that it was the strangest fly he had ever seen. It had a deer hair tail of translucent green, a body of what looked like fur from a tabby cat, & polka-dotted hackle of red & white. "Thanks," said Norman. Looking up he saw the angler was gone without a sound - as if he had vanished.
"My goodness, I must be cracking up" thought Norman, but there was that bizarre fly in his hand. Figuring he had nothing left to loose, he tied on the weird fly to the end of his tippet & waded out into position to cast.
The fly landed on the water. It took a good drift as Norman mended his line to get a good swing in front of the log. Suddenly his line stopped dead in the water & he felt the pull. Setting the hook, the fight was on. The fish dove down & Norman played him well. Swimming in figure eights Norman pulled the line to straighten him out. The fish went for some underwater branches, but Norman moved it away. Suddenly the trout surfaced for only a second & as he gave slack line he thought the trout looked different somehow, but didn't have time to ponder it at the moment. For every trick the trout tried, Norman knew a counter-move. Back & forth they went like this for hours.
Finally, tired & worn out from the fight, Norman brought this prize trout to hand. It was then that he noticed it was blue!! It was a blue trout!! How could this be?
While staring in stunned silence at this rare sight, suddenly the fish spoke to Norman. "You put up a good fight" the trout said. Startled by this Norman dropped the fish & his fly snapped off his line, but the fish didn't swim away. It floated in the stream with it's head above the water & said, "I have not been played with such care, grace, & skill by an angler as you. I have been bested by you, sir. It has been an honor to be brought to your hand. For your skill & sportsmanship I will grant you three wishes before I swim away. However, choose your wishes quickly, as a hatch will soon be on & I must leave you."
He couldn't believe this was happening. Certainly he must be loosing his mind, but there was the trout, blue as could be in front of him. Norman's thoughts began to race as a grin formed on his face.......
No one knows what happened after that, but Norman never had another fishless day in all his years. So despair not fellow anglers who may be struggling to catch a fish. If you are faithful, persistent, & celebrate the successes of other anglers, regardless of your bad luck like Norman, you may just be lucky enough to find the blue trout.
To read more about blue trout, please click HERE.
There's nothing magical about a blue trout....or is there??..........