Ernest Hemingway’s Game Recap: Fishing With Jhon
It was an ugly, ominous day, but our correspondent Ernest Hemingway made the most of it. OTF’s Nick Fox has the latest from Papa…
In the spring we went to Colorado, for the fishing was very fine and the mountains were cool even on the hottest days. We climbed aboard the train outside of Commerce City, where the trees had once been tall but had since been scorched and cut back to make room for more city.
“Do you not want to visit the city?” asked Hurtado.
“No,” I said. “Not today. Anything you see today will be dull or ugly or both.”
“I would like to see the city someday.”
I was anxious to get to the trout streams, for I had seen clouds in the distance and knew that we would not have time to catch many fish if we had time at all. We jumped off the train in the afternoon and climbed a hill fresh with pine sprigs and up through trees that grew high above the ground before any branches came out.
“Come on,” said Hurtado. He was moving ahead of me now. He was carrying more gear than I was. He was young and strong and could shoulder the weight.
“Hold on,” I said.
“Is it your leg?”
“No. I’m all right.”
“I’m tired too,” he said, but he only said it to make me feel better.
“All right. Just over that ridge.”
We moved on over the rocky ground. We came to the ridge and I looked up at the sky. The clouds were coming toward us and I knew we wouldn’t be able to fish if there was lightning. We walked down to the first stream and there were two men already there. We nodded to them and moved past and pressed on to the second stream. It was a very fast stream and there were many rapids but Hurtado moved ahead anyway, for he was bold and had no fear of rapids.
“We will fish here,” said Hurtado. He waded into the water and set his line and baited the hooks. I watched him move up and down the stream and tried to fish myself, but it was no good worrying about the damn rain coming on and the lightning that would come with it.
“Come now, señor. There is nothing to be afraid of.” As he said it he nearly lost his balance and fell in and I knew that the altitude was affecting him.
“You better get out of there,” I said.
“No, no. Not until it is finished.”
“Those rapids are fast, Hurtado.”
“Yes. They are very fast. But they are not so strong.”
He cast his line again and again and came up with nothing each time. After ninety minutes we had only one trout. We were both very tired. I looked up and the clouds were coming on fast.
“We better go,” I said.
“Yes. You are right, of course.”
“Only one lousy trout.”
“One is better than nothing, señor.”
“I suppose. I was hoping for three, though.”
“Yes. Three would have been good.”
We started back along the route we had come and passed the first stream. The other men were gone but we could still smell their campfire.
“They were burning incense,” said Hurtado
“Sure,” I said. “Colorado incense.”
“It is very popular, no?”
I agreed it was very popular.
“I am sad the others could not join us today.” He meant Magee and the others from our time at the front.
“It would be good if they could join us.”
“They will after the summer. They need to rest. There will be plenty of time to rest this summer.”
“I am very tired,” said Hurtado.
“It’s the altitude.”
“Yes. It is very good here, but I hope we will not come back soon.”
We hurried on with our catch, and I could see the light of the train coming up and knew that if we made it we would be under cover when the rain started. Then it would be all right.
Follow OTF Soccer on Twitter @OTFSoccer
OTF’s Nick Fox is currently being thrown into the Gulf of Mexico by Ernest Hemingway. Follow him at @OlympicMule.