Here is the story Ed was refering to...
Of Gleaming Trout and Undying Friendship
By Nelson Bryant
Published: October 13, 1996
Vic is dead and I am still trying to comprehend that unacceptable subtraction.
Vic Pomiecko and I met more than 40 years ago when I became managing editor for the Claremont (N.H.) Daily Eagle, the newspaper in his hometown, and we began a lifetime of angling together, the first few decades focused on fly fishing the region's remote trout ponds.
There are various trails to enduring friendships. Our route, born of a fierce urge to angle for the glorious squaretail trout in wild places, led through forests, alder swamps and juniper thickets, past hillside homesteads abandoned a century before, to a lifetime of unspoken intimacy.
At one point we had sapling rafts -- floated by four car tire inner tubes and lashed together with nylon cord -- on a dozen remote waters. We built the rafts on site and packed in the tubes and a pump on each trip. Some of the ponds were accessible by Jeep, but we couldn't afford top-quality fly rods, let alone a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Vic, a high school shop teacher, made us pack frames. I still have mine. He even fashioned himself a pair of hiking boots, and I thought he pushed frugality too far in this instance: rubber hip boots cut off at the ankle and held on with circlets cut from inner tubes.
We chose remote ponds because we had them to ourselves most of the time. We became skilled at still-water fly-fishing for trout which can be as pleasurable -- and as challenging -- as flogging a stream.
Talk was sparse, particularly while we were fishing together. Even when we were standing six feet apart balanced precariously on one of our rafts, half a day might pass with nothing more than an exclamation when a trout hit, or one asking the other what fly he was using. We were immersed in fishing and in shared solitude. Excessive talk would have intruded on the silence of the forest.
Later, sitting in the kitchen nursing our beers, words would come, but they were mainly a recapitulation of the day's adventure: of the trout and the flies they had favored, of the wild mushrooms we had gathered, of the grouse, deer and beaver we had seen. Intimate feelings were revealed by indirection or default.
One winter, when barely a teenager, my youngest son, Jeff, wound up in the Claremont police station, beaten, drunk and scared after his first encounter with booze. Vic went with me to fetch him. Jeff, who was slumped on a bench, whispered, ''Take me home, Dad.''
Stricken, but chary of showing emotion, I draped Jeff over my shoulder like a sack of grain, thanked the police, and departed. Vic, my wife learned from his wife, went home and wept. Although touched and surprised, I never mentioned his tears to him. It wasn't our style.
Usually quite taciturn, Vic would get excited when we burst out of the woods on the shore of a remote pond in October, our favorite time of year to fish, and trout were rising. Paying more attention to the rises than to what he was doing, he usually managed to miss a guide or two when stringing up his fly rod and would have to start all over again.
We fished on mornings so cold that we had to plunge our rods into the water to melt the ice from the guides as mist curled from the pond and half-obscured the tattered, yellow ensigns of shoreside birches.
On one such dawn at Cole Pond in Enfield, N.H., Vic raised a giant brook trout -- three to four pounds -- that lifted from the depths of a cove near the outlet and made a pass at his streamer fly, then turned, red-gold flank gleaming, and descended.
''Quick!'' Vic cried, ''cast to him!''
Telling me to try for a trophy trout that should have been his alone to woo was an offer of spontaneous generosity, and for me that fish -- we never caught it -- became a symbol of our friendship. It rises often and unexpectedly from the past, and thoughts of Vic rise with it.
For many years after I left Claremont for Martha's Vineyard, Vic and I visited our remote ponds in fall, but about a decade ago he had a small stroke and apparently decided -- although he never said so -- to limit himself to less strenuous excursions. He continued to fish readily-accessible lakes and ponds near Claremont, and also visited me on the Vineyard to fly fish for striped bass.
During his visits he reveled in retelling stories of our early days together. Within minutes I would join him. It was our way of celebrating our friendship without relinquishing reticence, a tribal chant, if you will.
Vic and another friend, John Houlihan, enjoyed a splendid evening of fly fishing for bass on the Vineyard's Dogfish Bar with me this June. Vic died in his sleep several weeks later. Jeff, now in his mid-40's, was with us that night at Dogfish Bar and a few days later he said that it had meant much to him to be able to give Vic tips on how and where to fly fish for stripers at night, a tiny repayment for all the trout fishing lore that Vic had shared with him.
Everywhere I turn I am reminded of Vic.
There are the streamer flies -- Royal Coachman bodies overlaid with gray squirrel tail -- for brook trout, that I call Vic's Special, in one of my fly boxes. There is the dill flourishing in my garden; the seeds came from Vic. There are the tools in my workshop that were gifts from Vic, a wood lathe, a wonderful old hand-powered breast drill, an assortment of knives and chisels.
And while I am sentient, there will always be the great trout at Cole Pond rising from the deep and gleaming for an instant in the bright October sunlight
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"