Clarence thought of Lily often. He was so good at what he did that he could think of practically anything and not have to worry about it showing up in his work. That's what people paid for. Not so much now, but once. Once.

Mostly now he thought of Lily, which was saying a lot, because there'd only been two in his life, and he guessed he knew the reason. Not the reason he was thinking of her right now, he almost laughed to himself, but the reason she was, really, the one. In his life. Really.

She had a beautiful thistle-green body, like dawn through white birch leaves, and her wings were light as air. She would land, gentle as a memory, and float like thoughts themselves upon the brook.

Clarence looked up from his art that was taking such elegant shape in the jig in front of him. The mirror with PITCHER'S MOTORS AND ACCESSORIES, SINCE 1924 had a calendar around it. Was it Sunday? Was today's date real? One more time?

He rotated the vise a quarter turn. The fly caught the fading light just right. This was the hour for it, if you wanted to be sure. He could almost smell the trout.

Yes. Flies he knew. Dry. Wet. As in life, or fresh from his imagination like the Linlithgo Lilly, named after her but with two ells to disguise the fact. Flies he knew.

He thought about that for a long minute as he wound the last thread tight, and cut.

It probably wasn't any good. To name a dry fly after her like that.

It would give the whole thing away.

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