It was late on a Thursday night when the Trout Master called, “I have a spot to trout fish that’s just minutes from here.” After some curious silence, I responded with, “You’re out of your mind!” But, I’m all ears, knowing that guides and fly shop employees don’t lie. “Yeah, he says, I know where a farm pond full of trout sits, it’s on a tobacco farm on the outskirts of town – I’ve been there, fished it with some clients of mine, problem is I don’t exactly have permission to be on the property.” In a Tom Sawyer tone, he continues, “I think we ought to do some midnight-stealth, float tubing for trout – this Saturday night.” “That’s trespassing!” “I know, it’ll be an adventure, I don’t care if I go to jail for fishing, do you?” “Let me get back to you, I don’t know about that.” “C’mon, I figured if anyone wanted to catch some trout, it’d be you!” Click.Saturday at 10:00 pm, I knocked on Trout Master’s apartment door. “C’mon in, I’m just tying some bugs.” After a few beers and a half dozen flies, admiring the work of my partner in crime, “It’s midnight, time to do this,” he says. We climb into our waders and assemble our rods to save time at the drop off point, we load float tubes, flippers, and tackle into the Explorer. Two daring, catch and release, trespassing kids with fancy gear – fly fishing punks willing to do just about anything, including breaking the law, for a little adrenaline and a fish or two. John Prine’s Christmas in Prison played on the tape deck.Fifteen minutes later we parked along the fence line behind an old country church. It’s midnight – dark and not a soul in sight, we approached the gate through the bushes. The sign reads, NO TRESPASSING – Violators Will Be Prosecuted. I crossed the fence and he handed me both rods and both float tubes. He followed, and we smiled at one another as we made our way down the rutted, old logging road. “The road leads some ½ mile back the property and to the right, a stealth approach is necessary over the hilltop to make sure no one is in the camper.”No lights on in the camper. Only star lights and darkness, but we still used the ninja squat approaching the dock – another sign nailed to the boards on the dock, NO FISHING. We ignored the signs and moments later were in our tubes pushing off the dock, petzls lighting the way, visibility limited. We caught a few 14”- 16” trout, a couple of nice 3 lb. farm pond bass, and a bluegill or two. With each fish our paranoia set in a little more, adrenaline was amplified each time a fish splashed. When the cattle came over to inspect the happenings in their watering hole things became real interesting. Nothing like big bulls peering down from all sides with blank, dark stares; it was a sign to get out of there before daylight and we knew it. Schizophrenia was setting in on us – time to go?At 5:30 am, still under the guise of night but with daylight approaching, the gate was in sight and we were heading that way with a sense of urgency. Suddenly, a police car screeched up to the front of the gate – the officer stepped out, opened the gate and drove through; seeing this, Trout Master and I ducked into the brush bordering the road, leaned against the fence, and hid nervously behind our float tubes. The blue lights were off but the car was coming right toward us, I remember thinking, we are going to jail, how am I going to explain this to the judge? The officer drove three feet in front of our shields – the float tubes – and made his way over the hill to the pond without stopping. Knowing it was time to boogie, we never looked back and made a mad dash to the Explorer. We’d barely escaped jail – we had matured from punk kids to Trout Laws on the run. That was a different time, and I was at a different place in my life – I’m no longer a Trout Law, but as far as Trout Master, I cannot say. He sold his soul to the Salmoninae long before he talked me into trespassing. Something tells me if you knew were to look you might find him in that pond on occasion. Valuable lessons can be learned through fly fishing, and despite it all, some people never learn.