Bruce explained that very few people came to these woods, and the trout, though large, were easily spooked. Whenever I tried to talk to him, he would admonish me with “Shhh, you’ll scare the fish,” and that would end the conversation. We fished in every pool we came to, leapfrogging each other so we wouldn’t scare the fish by overcrowding a small area. The trout were indeed large, and we caught and released several beautiful browns.
As we moved on, the hike started to get steep and a little rocky, and the stream bank grew higher and higher. We came around a corner in the trail and saw what was probably the prettiest area yet – the bank grew to almost a cliff with fallen trees and a lot of big rocks, and at the bottom was a small waterfall that emptied into a rather large pool. In the pool many shelves of granite were visible even though the blue-green water was deep. It had to be the home of the KING of trout, but the only way to get to it was to climb down the embankment, so that’s what I intended to do. I was quite a few years younger back then, more than a few pounds lighter, and a whole bunch dumber, so over the side I went. It was so steep that I needed to secure my light fishing pole, grit my teeth, and grab the root of a fallen tree as I started to negotiate my way down the bank. As luck would have it, the tree had other plans. It popped loose as I used it for balance and took off down the steep hill with me in tow; several rocks joined in the fun as well, and in a few seconds I had my own private avalanche.
The tree, the boulders, and I landed hard in a shallow part of the stream. Dirt, rocks, and small pebbles continued to rain down on me for several more seconds as I tried to pull myself free of the root’s embrace. I could see Bruce hurrying along the path in my direction – good old Bruce, so concerned for me and coming to help. But after the dust settled and he stood at the spot where I began my luckless journey peering down at me, the only thing I heard was . . .
“Shhh, you’ll scare the fish!”
~ Michael Romano, a Great Barrington, MA, resident for almost 40 years, is an avid fisherman who in his own words “kind
of treats fishing as a contact sport and has had more than a few misadventures in the process.” He has fished many local waters and also enjoyed quite a few saltwater trips. Michael is a retired chef – he and his wife Susan worked at the now closed Kolburne School in New Marlborough, MA, for many years where he enjoyed taking many of the students fishing.
Read this article in the March-April 2017 issue of Our BerkshireTimes Magazine.