a REAL fish story

Chilly morning for these parts.
Low 40's I guess.
The sky is all pastels for this sunrise.
Still it's out the door and onto the Trout Point beach.
It must be the weekend because Rick is up to his thighs in his waders.
I wonder how he is staying warm.
His buddy the Great Blue Heron is right there as always.
I see that his rod is bent.
Rick is concentrating fiercely, performing a slow ballet.
I slide up closer.
I've been at this for over 30 minutes, he says.
Took my line all the way out.
It's very thin, six pound test.
Whatever it is,... it must get tired soon.
As I move past Rick the Great Blue takes off.
Huge wings, long legs an aerodynamic extravaganza.
Goes real low in front of Rick.
Right back down into the water.
Something doesn't look right.
The huge bird tries to fly again and can't.
It's caught, the line tangled in it's wing.
Rick can feel the bird and the fish.
He meticulously works the line in.
I take the rod from him at the waters edge.
Rick moves deeper, beyond the Great Blue,
finds the line and cuts.
A few gentle tugs on the rod and the Great Blue Heron is free.
Content to watch, it stays nearby.
Rick still has the line with the fish in his hand.
I hand him my end from the rod.
With very cold hands he ties a special knot that won't slip.
I hand him the rod and he is fishing once again.
I take my morning walk out around the point.
The osprey is out there climbing, diving and circling.
Just playing it seems.
Muted sunrise yet spectacular just the same.
On my way back, Rick is by the waters edge.
He must have landed the fish.
Bent over, he has something big.
Seeing large fins, I think it might be...... a shark.
What'd ya get, I ask.
A Red Fish says Rick and lifts it out of the water.
I've never seen a fish that big caught on a line.
You have a camera, he asks.
Yea I shout as I take off running.
What's a fish story without a picture.
Take a look for yourself.
We think 30 pounds, 38 inches.
What'da ya think, Over.

By Conrad Wolff