She says: He says

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Published on: Sep. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 27, 2010

She says:

Pinching worms in half is the grossest part of fishing. My Fearless and Knowledgeable Guide pinched nightcrawlers in half or thirds with his thumbnail. Quick, efficient, and disgusting.

So one of the many useful things I learned on my first ever, gear-laden fishing trip is that it's easier to cut worms in half by closing the lid of a plastic worm box on them. A worm guillotine. Skewering them on the hook is slightly less gross and, since I was usually thigh-deep in water, washing up afterwards was easy.

I also now suspect many people trout fish because they like to fuss and play with all that gear. Waders are a truly wonderful invention, and I can't imagine any substitute for those clever, multi-pocketed vests. In the vest I borrowed from my guide, I found extra hooks, sinkers, nail clippers, worms, line, sunglasses, a net and something neon in a small glass jar. I opened it once, took a whiff and never opened it again.

Even though I could see into the water better with the sunglasses on, they were too big. I felt silly wearing them, especially because they had little side flaps that my Erudite Guide assured me kept out even MORE glare. They kept falling off my face, so I put them in the same pocket with the neon ick.

It seems if you have grown up playing any kind of sport -- softball, golf, a little tennis -- that casting a line is no mysterious physiological feat. Fly fishing, I'm told, is different. But with the rod and reel I used, I found that after a half hour of practice and a conscious effort to avoid low tree limbs both in front and behind me, I was pretty happy with my casting abilities. Control -- and perhaps finesse -- is much more of an issue than strength. Of course, there's always room for improvement.

Never let anyone tell you trout fishing is hard work. Granted, there is all that loading and unloading of the car and the exertion of pulling on a pair of limp rubber pants with boots attached to them. But aside from the preparation, how can standing in the crisp, white water of an Ozark river hemmed by trees and solitude be called hard work?

Floundering through thigh-deep water in search of the next set of rapids -- or as my Visionary

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