As Ellis frantically tried to get his line out of the water, a fish nailed his bait, and our humor was replaced by sober urgency. The two fish tangled the boys’ lines, and after some moments of indecisive panic, Merlin’s broke off. Buzz navigated his boat out of traffic, easing past other boats, whose occupants were fighting their own fish. Everywhere I looked, across a wide mile of river, rods were bent, nets were out, high-fives were exchanged. On our boat, though, the outcome was by no means certain. I stood by with the net. Tom snapped pictures. Buzz looked on dubiously as Ellis winched his fish toward the boat.