Spring 2003 • Vol. XXV No. 2 FictionApril 1, 2003 |

Speckle Trout

Lanny came upon the pot plants while fishing Caney Creek. It was a Saturday, and after helping his father sucker tobacco all morning, he'd had the truck and the rest of the afternoon and evening for himself. He'd changed into his fishing clothes and driven the three miles of dirt road to the French Broad. He drove fast, the rod and reel clattering side to side in the truck bed and clouds of red dust rising in his wake like dirt devils. He had the windows down and if the radio worked he would have had it blasting. The driver's license in his billfold was six months old but only in the last month had his daddy let him drive the truck by himself. He parked by the bridge and walked upriver toward where Caney Creek entered. Afternoon sunlight slanted over Brushy Mountain and tinged the water the color of cured tobacco. A big fish leaped in the shallows but Lanny's spinning rod was broken down and even if it hadn't been he would not have bothered to make a cast. There was nothing in t

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Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to four other prizewinning novels, The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and five collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

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Lanny came upon the pot plants while fishing Caney Creek. It was a Saturday, and after helping his father sucker tobacco all morning, he'd had the truck and the rest […]

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