The Beast Beneath

Discussion in 'Fly Tying, Trout Fishing' started by spinner, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. spinner

    spinner Staff Member


    From a picture, a story was born. From an assignment, a talent was revealed.

    I'd like to introduce you to the work of Josh Fritzsche, 15, of Fort Atkinson. Josh, a sophomore at Fort Atkinson High School, won the inaugural creative writing contest in English 10.

    The Beast Beneath
    By: Joshua Fritzsche

    The forty-eight degree water splits at his feet as he casts the fiberglass fly rod he had received as a gift from his grandfather when he was a kid. The fly forms ripples at the water’s surface as it lands, sinking to the stream’s bottom. An overcast of clouds soon forms rain that slowly drips down, past the canopy of the treetops. Whitetails lay in their bedding grounds in the mere distance. He casts his line again upstream into a clump of shadows circling the stream’s surface. The line tightens as the man lifts the tip of the fly rod. He reels the small, brilliantly-colored rainbow trout in quickly to ensure a safe release. He dips his hand in the water, takes his hare’s ear nymph from out of its mouth, and releases it back to its home.

    Rainbow trout, of all different sizes, continue to search the stream’s bottom for food, and the man continues to try and fool them, with many different flies. A loud crack of thunder awakens the whitetails; heads perk up, and they begin to scatter from their beds. The man watches in delight as, one by one, the whitetails leap across the stream. The trout regroup back upstream after all the commotion, and the man again casts his fly into the deep pool of shadows.

    Impatiently, waiting for the indication of a strike, the man looks into the sky to see if the rain will let up soon. Patches of sunlight begin to sprout across the sky as the clouds disappear into the distance. Cast after cast, hours seem to go by like seconds as the man stands in the spring creek. He grows tiresome and concerned about the fish not biting. He can see the trout swimming around the depths of the stream, looking for their preferred food.

    The last of the clouds disappears, and the sunset creates a beautiful night sky. Eventually, the moon lights up the stream; sparkling water reflects the moon’s brightness, and the man continues fishing. The gentle sounds of the stream sooth all silence in the night time air, as the nocturnal wildlife awaken from their daily slumber. Owls woo and coyotes sing, crying to their families. Whitetails slowly emerge from the thickets of the forest, returning to feed on the lush grass of the stream’s valley. The man doesn’t bother them and just continues fishing.

    Shadows form beneath the surface of the calm stream, circling around his feet and nibbling at the shoelaces on his boots. He tugs at the line with every slight nudge he feels. Finally the line tightens; the weight of the fish sends his heartbeat racing as he follows it into the shallows. Quickly, the man gets good footing on the rocky floor of the stream. Water drips down, rolling off his rubber waders. His adrenaline is pumping faster then he ever could imagine, because he is determined to catch the beast from within the depths of the creek. The line sways back and forth in the shallow, mucky water. Then the trout erupts violently out of the once calm stream, flailing its fins in the air.

    Two feet of beautiful rainbow trout sparkles in the sunset as the fish angrily falls back into the water with a splash. The man stares in amazement, never having seen such a spectacular fish in his life. He becomes very nervous as the fish continues to fight him. He pulls harder, trying to get the fish closer to the shore. Suddenly, the old fiberglass rod, bent at a sharp ninety-degree angle, cracks down the center piece and almost breaks in two. The trout, with much power, snaps the line and swims to safety. Astonished, the man slowly assesses the situation knowing nothing about what has just happened. Sitting upon a mossy rock, he thinks. What is his family going to think when he tells them about such an unforgettable memory, without showing them any proof?

    Minutes later, he begins to walk the ragged dirt path along the side of the creek, ashamed that he could break his grandfather’s rod and lose such a trout at the same time. Full of confusion, the man is interrupted by the sound of splashing in the shallows of the creek. Peering around an oak tree, he spots his tippet, tangled in some exposed tree roots. Quickly he runs to grab the tippet. The huge rainbow trout lay on its side, exhausted, with the hook still firmly set in the corner of its mouth. The man slowly starts dragging the fish up to the muddy shore. He smiles at such a beautiful creature as he grips the fish underneath its belly and takes the hook out of its mouth. The fish rolls in his hand, throwing the soft, damp mud all around. The man slowly slides the fish back and forth in the shallow water, as he slowly tries to revive it. Water drips from the smooth body of this great fish as he admires the trout. With excitement, he pulls his camera out of his vest pocket and takes a picture of the fish in the water. The fish, shocked by the unsuspecting flash, darts away from the man, slipping easily from his grip. The man smiles and waves as the fish swims away, thinking to himself that he was lucky to choose this creek today. Someday, one of his children or grandchildren will get the chance to catch a magnificent trout that lingers in the shallows. He has his picture and is satisfied to be able to leave his favorite creek with proof of an amazing experience.
  2. Steve

    Steve Staff Member

    Very good creative writing for sure.