Richard Brautigan

Rip Torn, « Blunder Brothers : A memoire », In A fisherman’s Anthology. New-York, David Seybold, 1988, p.127-134. (A propos de Richard Brautigan).

« Here »,  said Richard, pulling in another one, « we’re finally gonna eat fish! I’m tired of chicken-fried steak. We’ve caught enough with bait. Put this on, Rip. » He bit off my egg rig and tied on a tippet and a Royal Coachman. « See right there? That big boulder in the cascade? There’s fish behind that boulder. You can’t see them because of the bubbles, but then, they can’t see you either. Cast right where that rill comes over that crack in the stone. »

« Gimme some fly dope, Rich », I said, « some gink to smear on this fly. How am I gonna keep it dry on top in that water? » Richard replied, « If it floats, fish it dry. If it goes under, fish it wet. » I placed the Coachman right on top of the boulder. For a second, it spun around in the rill and then washed over. Like an electric spark, a silver-blue-and-pink flash hit the Coachman and was hooked. « That’s him, Rip, downriver. » The fish jumped, a good two-pounder, and was barreling down the river with me in hot pursuit. My heart was pounding so hard in that thin, cold air that I didn’t notice I had skinned my ankle. I slid the ‘bow onto a tiny beach of sand, jumped on him, and flung him back into the rocks, where I hollered like an Indian, quickly thumped him with a stone priest, and took out my old yellow Case pocket knife, so I could gut my fish and examine its innards. Sticks and gravel.

« These are caddis houses, or casements, and this little fellow »—Richard pointed to a small, cream-colored worm he had pulled out of its house of sticks and stones— »is the caddis worm. I’ve caught a lot of fish using these on a fine hook and … Come on! We’ve got enough fish. We’re gonna fry ’em up with some bacon and onions. We got ketchup and lemons and parsley and potatoes. » And, stumbling, wheezing with his flu and rattling excitement, Richard set off. Richard loved to cook, and we really rustled up that grub, because nothing compares with fish that are taken right from the water to the flame.