I flopped a marabou here and there, going through the motions. Somebody had to sit on the bow and do the hard work. To my surprise, several brook trout took issue with the fly’s intrusion. They were brave, but small. Between casts, Bill and I reminisced about the river crews I’d worked on, the rough young men who took seasonal work where they could find it, the more ambitious piecing together a college education, a course here and a course there, others working just enough to collect unemployment over the winter. Jack-pine savages, they called themselves, a clan in which I was an honorary member. John Hirvela, Bruce Milnes, Joe Kuck, Big Dave Myer, Johnny Hale, Doug Wonder, Dino McNeal. Fast friends who’d shared the river and the back roads with me during the best summers a young man could ever have, the kind of summers that parents just pray their kids get through alive. All but Dave were lost now to distance and time.