Billy Angler

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7/28/2023 10:55pm

So that's how the Trout grew so big and destroyed the school.

And after they were done with the school they kept on going, smashing down the forest and making their way into the Tri-cities and causing havoc there. Then they trampled the National Guard and started making their way to the capitol.

I can't help but feel somewhat responsible. But they played me like fish on a line the whole time.

After doing what I could to help rebuild the school, I've been spending time back at the river, exploring the little streams that flow into it. I watch the small fry, darting under the rocks, eating little bugs. With all the grown trout gone, they seem so alone. I feel like somebody needs to watch out for them.

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7/18/2023 9:57pm

Well it sure was clear why the Trout wanted that Golden Fly so bad.

With the help of Larry Moon, I'd found the roost of William Frenchworm, the worm from France. And it didn't take me long to find out what he was hiding.

So I took that Golden Fly, buzzing in my pocket, to see the trout.

“And what do we have here?,” burbled the King of the Trout. "What has the Trout Manager brought to us?"

I was using my underwater voice. Lots of bubbles.

"I have found William Frenchworm, the worm from France," I burbled. "I have found what he has been keeping from you!"

I pulled that Golden Fly out of my pocket. He couldn't breathe underwater like I could, here in the Trout King's Court, but he burble-buzzed his way out of my cupped hands, and in a windy kind of way made it right up to the big snout of the King of the Trout.

And do you know what? The King of the Trout gulped him down. Just like that.

And then do you know what happened?

The King of the Trout sprouted a leg!

And then another leg!

And meanwhile the King of the Trout was growing, faster than a balloon blowing up. And sprouting one more leg and then another.

And then soon, all the other trout in the Trout King's Court started sprouting legs too. And GROWING.

Pretty soon that little spot in the brook got too crowded, and there were trout as big as pickup trucks springing up everywhere. It was all I could do to keep from being trampled by all the trout legs.

"Onward!" shouted the King of the Trout, coughing out water as he stood triumphantly on the land.

And that is when they began their rampage.

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7/11/2023 7:53pm

I headed straight over to the larch tree in the hollow as soon as I heard Larry Moon's news. I felt like a fish out of water leaving that river bank, but Larry Moon had figured out:

1. Where William Frenchworm, the worm from France, was.
2. That he was up to some kind of funny business up in his tree.

And as Trout Manager, I had a duty to to put this trouble to rest.

I crept up that tree as quiet as I could, and getting plenty of those needles in my face and down my back.

Pretty soon, I came up upon that big silky web of his. Where was that little French worm?

I looked all around in that web, and I heard a buzz.


There was a Golden Fly caught up in that web! He was mighty golden, and stuck in that web.

"Aw, little feller," I said. "Let me help you outta there."

"Noooooooooooo!" went a tiny little worm voice from behind me.

But it was too late. The Golden Fly had already crawled out on my hand. His buzzing was like a purr.

"You put that Golden Fly back! It's MINE! Fair and square!"

That little french worm could take a nasty tone.

"I think this Golden Fly is important!" I said.


"Do not give that Golden Fly to the trout! Whatever you do, do not let it near the trout!"

I guessed I'd found what I was after, and I climbed down that tree with that Golden Fly in my pocket. I was taking him to the King of the Trout.

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6/28/2023 10:56pm

Boy that Larry Moon sure does know how to investigate.

I was watching the dam beavers build their dam. I went to get some dam water. Before the dam beavers could tell me if I could have their dam water, I got this update from Larry Moon. Would you like to see it here it is:

To: Billy Angler
Near the riverside

From the desk of:
Larry Moon
Skunk Detective

Case # 1065010
The French Worm

It was clear the French Worm liked the highlife. He set up on the highest tree around, spinning some kind of silk from the top of that tree and to the tops of all the other trees around. William Frenchworm spun quite a web.

"Forest manager! Code audit!"

I called up the tree, wearing my generic hardhat and vest that made me look like a forest servant.

"Forest manager! Code audit!"

I called again.

Eventually, Mr. Frenchworm lowered himself down a long string of silk. He was tiny and green and hung upside down.

"May I help you?" he asked.

I really didn't have an angle here.

"Uh, yes, Mr...?"

"What is this about?"

He didn't have an accent.

"We're just gathering some information. Have you been experiencing any interference in the Canopy Zone? Any interruptions of service? Anything unusual?"

The Frenchworm blushed.

"Me? Not at all! I'm at the highest point in the forest, just minding my own business. As far away from everyone else as I can be. And I prefer to be left alone. I believe the Code of the Woods affords me these rights?"

He wasn't wrong. But it opened up the case.

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6/21/2023 9:49pm

I've been watching the trout! Maybe not managing yet, but I'm getting my feet wet.

Here it was the Solstice and I was thinking about that French Worm, the one that's got the trout all riled up, when I got my first update on the case from Larry Moon. Would you like to see it here it is:

To: Billy Angler
Near the riverside

From the desk of:
Larry Moon
Skunk Detective

Case # 1065010
The French Worm

It always comes back to the worms, in the end.

I'd been taking it easy in semi-retirement, puttering around in the garden, long walks at night. But eggs are hard to find, and when a young person in need walks into my office seeking help, I know there's a sweet dozen on the other side.

Which brings us back to the worm. In this case I knew it wasn't your average earthworm or even an invasive jumping worm or really a worm at all. I'd caught wind of the so-called French Worm on the forest chatter. An eccentric character. More of a caterpillar. Spins a kind of silk, high up in the trees somewhere.

So I took it up with the squirrels.

"Ah, no Larry. You know the squirrels ain't no squealers! We see a lotta stuff, but we keep our noses clean, see?"

It was Jimmy the Nut. Local figure with a ratty tail. And easy to crack.

"Well that's a shame, Jimmy. I need to find this worm real bad, and, well, it's making me a bit... nervous... if you know what I mean..."

I was right outside Jimmy's drey.

"Aw, no Larry, you wouldn't..."

"I can feel it building up inside me, Jimmy... I might have to let some out..."

"For the love of Pete, Larry! I've got kids in here!"

"Uh oh, I think I feel it coming!"

"Ok! Ok!" hollered Jimmy the Nut. "Top of the larch in the hollow with the tall twin boulders! But you didn't hear it from me!"

Naturally, no self respecting Skunk would do such a thing. But I was hungry for those eggs.

"See you around, Jimmy!"

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6/15/2023 7:14pm

So I met with Larry Moon, Sunk Detective, in his office underneath the big rocks. He offered me pine needle tea and some funny looking snacks. Then he asked me questions about the case. I agreed to pay him his fee. It's in eggs! After he finds out where William Frenchworm, the worm from France, is. And why he's got such a bad reputation with the trout.

He said he'd keep me updated!

Now it's back to watching the Trout.

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6/9/2023 11:09pm

So where was I going to find this French worm that was causing the trout such trouble?

And what kind of trouble was it, anyway? The trout were evasive.

I needed answers. I needed someone who knew the score. Someone who knew the river and the woods.

I needed Larry Moon, Skunk Detective.

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6/3/2023 7:17pm

“As you know,” burbled the King of the Trout, “the Trout are a well managed people.”

The King of the Trout was a little hard to understand, but I knew how to breathe underwater.

“In a perfect world, we manage ourselves.”

This got a burbly laugh from the other trout in attendance, and a knowing wink from the King.

“But, as you also know,” the King continued to burble, “there’s a lot going on these days. And while there’s a lot of trouble in the world, our trouble is William Frenchworm, the worm from France!”

All the other trout let out a loud hiss and flapped their fins furiously, filling the Trout King’s Court with bubbles.

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5/31/2023 11:27pm

The Court of the Trout King is a beautiful underground pool. The sunlight plays through the rocks and there are mayflies and damselflies and waterweed and algae and beetles and crayfish and panfish and minnows and chub and salamanders and even a beaver ambassador. All of life celebrates the King of the Trout.

And that's where the King of the Trout made me a Trout Manager.

Now I just have to get my degree.

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5/30/2023 8:23pm

I met the King of the Trout when I fell into the river. My daddy was fly fishing and I slipped on a rock and knocked my head. Next thing I knew I was in the Trout King's Court! It was real cold but I stopped shivering when the frogs and the crickets and the birds began to sing.

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