While spending Christmas with Nicole’s family in Bend, Oregon, Mick is prompted by Nicole’s cousin Cody to tell the story of how he met Nicole on a river while fly fishing outside of Warsaw, Poland.
The rest of the story can be read in Oo-roo in print on Amazon, Lulu, on Kindle, and in Apple Books .
“…Cody interrupted. “Ah, are we going to get to the part where you fall in the river trying to impress Nicole?”
Mick looked at Nicole, saying, Really? Hmm, not the way I remember it.”
Cody used hand signals to prompt a continuation of the story.
I put the rod together, attached the reel, pulled enough line out to reach back down to the reel. “What do they say? Bright day – bright fly. Dark day – dark fly. Well, I think that’s right.” I said in a toast to my host.
“What was your first reaction to seeing her?” Cody asked, prodding him along.
Mick smiled at Nicole. She was giving him a come hither look.
Smiling at Nicole, he said, “I’ll skip the prelims on the time before spotting you.” He continued, “the river curved away from me to my left. Overhanging willows, which would grab my back cast in a heartbeat, blocked my upstream vision. I decided to reel in and hug the bank as I maneuvered under and around the trees. When I cleared the last clump of branches, I saw her.”
“Finally!” Cody teased.”
“About fifty yards to my left, a woman was standing, waist deep, roll casting into a foam line twenty-five feet further out into the river. I stopped to watch her. She was good. Her casts were dead on, landing exactly where she intended.
She must have sensed me. In the middle of a cast, she turned and offered me a smile that can only come from a well of happiness. I gave her a casual wave. She returned to watching her fly.”
Cody had her arms folded across her chest. She was staring at Mick, deep in concentration.
Mick smiled at her and continued his roam down memory lane. “My choices were limited. I could retreat a fair distance or move slowly behind her until I found another spot on the river. I chose to move upstream behind her. I tried to hug the bank to minimize any disturbance I would cause moving through the water. When I got directly behind her, she turned and said, “Hi, I’m Nicole.”
Cody beamed. Nicole moved her chair closer to Mick.
“So, here’s what I thought. You two ready?”
They nodded while he took another swallow of his porter.
“First thought. She was stunning. No, not stunning, I felt as I struggled to reply coherently. She was blinding! She is actually taking my breath away. She was incredible looking! Her eyes appeared to be aquamarine, but I thought that might be a trick of the sun bouncing off the water.
“Mick, err, ah, Michael Garrett.” I stammered.
Cody interrupted, “Do you have a twin back in Ireland?”
They all laughed before Mick continued.
“With a noticeable chuckle, she moved closer to me. I remember she was wearing shorts, a tee-shirt, and a fishing vest. Her hair was pulled back into a loosely constructed ponytail that stuck out beneath a blue cap with an Apollo Xl patch above the bill. As she got closer, I could see that her eyes were a bright blue and had reflected the light off the water. I remember thinking that her face was angular, though not so much that some softness was lost. Her eyes were slightly further apart than the fashion magazines would approve of. I could care less.”
He waited for a moment before saying, “here I am. End of story.”
Nicole kissed him on the cheek and fist-bumped Cody.
Cody fanned herself, saying, “young guys just don’t get it.”
“You’re suggesting I’m old?” Mick teased back.
“No, not at all. I’m just saying older guys think with their brains while listening to their hearts. Young guys, well, you know.”
After a moment, she added, “Nicole said she was blown away by you at first sight.”
A slightly blushing Nicole suggested they order lunch.
“I’ll be asking for more stories while you’re here,” Cody said.
“Me too, mister,” chimed in Nicole..