Speedily they found a place that suited them. They put their packs on the ground and got out their wireless instruments. Then they made some rude spreaders from branches that Lew cut in the windrow. When the aerial was ready to hang up, Charley took a length of wire and made his way across the windrow and up a slender tree that stood on the farther edge of the opening. He fastened one end of the wire to the spreader and the other end he attached to the tree. Lew was duplicating his movements on the other side of the opening. In no time the aerial was swinging above the windrow, and the lead-in wire had been brought back through the trees to the camp site. Here the instruments were connected and the wire coupled to them. The dry cells were next wired and the outfit was then ready. Lew sat down beside the spark-gap and pressed the key. Bright flashes leaped from point to point. He adjusted the gap, so as to get the best spark, then laid the pack bags over the instruments.
“We missed out on listening to Roy this time,” he said, “but I’ll bet we can raise the rest of the bunch. She works fine. We’ve got a dandy spark.”
“Good!” cried Charley. “It won’t be long before it is dark. It’s already twilight under these trees. Now for the trout.”
Trout Fishing in the Wilderness
“Shall we go up-stream or down?” asked Lew, as he jointed his little rod and fastened a hook to his line.
“Let’s go down. We can’t fish very long, and we know there is no brush along the stream below us. We can try it up-stream to-morrow.”
“To-morrow we’ll fish on opposite sides of the run,” said Lew as they buckled on their bait boxes and started. “I don’t see any way to cross now and there’s no time to hunt for a way.”
“It’s full of ’em. I’ll bet on that,” smiled Charley. “We’ll catch a mess in no time. Here goes with a worm.”
He threaded one on his hook, crouched down, and cautiously drew near the bank. A dexterous flick of his rod landed the worm fairly in the middle of the run. Hardly had it hit the water before something grabbed it, and Charley drew forth a flopping fish. But it proved to be only a fingerling. In disgust Charley wet his hand and carefully unhooked the little fish.
“Shows they’re here, anyway,” he said, as he tossed the little trout back into the stream.
But if they were there, they were strangely shy in making their presence known. Rod after rod the hoys advanced, careful not to show themselves, making their casts with greatest caution, and keeping as quiet as possible. But no fish so much as smelled their bait. Again and again they let their hooks float down into promising pools, but never a strike resulted.
They took the worms from their hooks and tried flies. But though their gaudy lures landed lightly on the water and danced in the rapids like real insects struggling for their lives, never a fish rose to grasp one.