I’ve never met an idiot on the river
This is the fifth in a series of interviews with characters from the Olive books. If you’re already familiar with the books, you’ll know these “folks” being interviewed. If you’ve not yet seen the books, these interviews will give you some insight into the colorful cast of characters who help to make Olive’s adventures so engaging and fun.
Today, Olive talks with a very good friend whom she met when she went for a wild adventure in book #3, Olive Goes for a Wild Ride. This friend isn’t a fly, but rather he’s a fish. Welcome, Clark the small fry.
Olive: Hey Clark! I hardly recognized you!
Olive: I want to talk about that, but first let’s go back to when we met. Who knows what might have happened to me if you hadn’t gotten me untangled! I’ll never forget that day.
Clark: Me neither. But I didn’t just help you…you helped me in so many ways. I didn’t know much about anything when I was small. Heck I didn’t even know what you were. I thought you were some sort of fish!
Olive: Well, you weren’t very big and hadn’t learned many things yet. But together we went on a great adventure and we both learned a lot.
Clark: You were an awesome teacher, Olive.
Olive: I don’t know about that, but I had an awesome teacher myself–Mr. Muddler Minnow!
Clark: Everyone has to have a great teacher–it’s the only way we can learn new things!
Olive: So, Clark, you’re a steelhead fry, right?
Clark: Actually, I’m a steelhead smolt, now. I used to be a fry.
Olive: What’s the difference, for those of us who don’t know? And also, what is a steelhead?
Clark: Well, a steelhead is a rainbow trout. We hatch from eggs in rivers, but the difference is that rainbows remain in the rivers for their entire life, living the life of a trout. Steelhead are anadromous.
Olive: Anadromous means that you swim out to sea, right?
Clark: Exactly. Remember Sockeyed Jack, the Pacific Salmon? He taught us about that. After we swim out to see we spend a few years getting really big and and strong. Then we return to the river where we were born to spawn. So, that’s the difference between regular rainbow trout and steelhead, even though we’re really the same species of fish.
Olive: That is so amazing. How do you know if you’re a rainbow trout or a steelhead? I mean since it’s the same species?
Clark: I really don’t know. I just know!
Olive: So, you mentioned that you’re no longer a fry. Now you’re a smolt?
Clark: Yep. When we first met I was really little. Now I’m quite a bit bigger, and I’m almost ready to head out to sea. But I’m nowhere near being as big as I’m gonna get! Man, the ocean is gonna be like a smorgasboard of food!
Olive: Are you excited for that?
Clark: Totally! I mean, living in the Big Stream is cool- it’s an awesome place, and there are lots of bugs to eat and stuff. But out in the ocean there’s a lot more food. I can’t wait. I’m always hungry!
Olive: Oh, I remember. You were always munching on bugs.
Clark: You really should try a grasshopper sometime. They taste like chicken!
Olive: (laughs) You’re so funny, Clark. So will you promise to come back to The Big Stream someday?
Clark: You betcha! We never did get to go fishing, so when I come back maybe we can do that!
Olive: You can count on it!
Olive: Um, Clark, what are you doing?
Clark: Counting on it! (laughs)
Olive: I’ve sure missed your sense of humor. I can’t wait until you come back from your adventure at sea. OK, I know you’re getting ready to go, so let me ask one more quick question before you head out to the ocean. If you were in a movie and you could choose a famous actor to lend their voice talent to the role of Clark the Steelhead Fry, who would you choose?
Clark: I think my first choice would be Henry Winkler. He seems like a really nice guy, and I know he really likes fly fishing. In fact, he recently wrote a book titled, I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the Water and he’s also the author of children’s books. So yeah, definitely Henry Winkler. But if he’s too busy, then maybe Dana Carvey, ’cause I’ve heard he likes to fly fish, too.