“I saw something big over there, Harry. I’ve got a net with me so you take him on, I’ll stay behind you.”
Harry looked at Ben with surprise, but began casting his line before making a lovely presentation on the water, and the fly slowly sank into the hole. He made some quick motions with his rod, twitching the line to make it appear as though the fly was swimming. When the insect made its way out of the hole, he drew his rod up to fling a few casts before landing it again. Harry went through the routine a few more times when the tip of his rod jerked and bent over from the weight of something big down below.
The two men jumped in astonishment, and the excitement began. Harry yelled, “It’s Moby, I just know it’s him!”
He reeled in some line while walking backward to get the fish away from its safe hole. Then, he let the fish play while allowing some line to release, giving the fish a false sense of escape. Harry began reeling line in again, and was slowly making progress on getting the fish closer when old Moby jumped out of the water, looking like a trained fish at an aquarium.
Ben’s heart missed a few beats and the wild hunt for Moby Dick continued. The fish was as big as Harry had reported and it was a scene he would reminisce about until the end of his days.
They continued to follow the beast when Harry stumbled, and the rod started to fall out of his hands. Ben was one step away. Lunging forward, he grabbed it to take over the hunt until Harry could gain control of himself. Ben let a little line out and pushed himself through the fast moving water, heading downstream toward Moby. “Come on, Harry! Get over here and take the rod.” But Harry’s face was pale and a rage of fear had taken hold of his eyes.
“Ben! I’m hooked on somethin’. My waders are fillin’ with water.”
Ben made his way back to him but the water had become deep, making each step slow. When he reached the old man, he was mortified to see that Harry had landed in a depressed pool. The fish was smart. It had led them into swift, deep water. He grabbed for Harry’s hand, snugly pushing the rod in his palm.
“Hold onto this, Harry! I’m going to get you loose.” He ran his hands down Harry’s leg under the water and felt the snag that had ripped through his legging. Reaching into his pocket, he felt the cold metal of his knife, and after fumbling with it, sliced enough of the waders to release the snag and free the old man. Then he grabbed a tree branch to brace himself, and used his other arm to heave Harry out of the hole.
“Walk that way, Harry, it’s shallow over there. And don’t let go of the rod!” The reel had been screaming while Moby took on more line during Harry’s rescue.
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