One day I was at Fléche’s “swimming pool” in the Ardèche. No we weren’t dipping. Or swimming laps. Even though he calls it “the pool” it’s just a tiny pond where he was testing the flies and streamers he had been tying all night long…
So there we were, hotter than hell, baking in the sun by “the pool”, drinking pastis and eating olives.Then somewhere around the eighth pastis, as he was getting red in the face and starting to slur his speech, Flèche started to talk about “his” river. In order avoid the groupies and the art world scene of 1980’s NYC, he decided to flee the city and take refuge in an old church he bought by the Beaverkill River in the Catskills. There, he lived off “his” river, feeding himself only with rainbow trout from the Beaverkill because they gave him strentgh, power and they illuminated his mind, enabling him to paint big paintings that he would then sell in the best art galleries of NYC or Paris.
It was only after this period that Flèche started to practice NO KILL, but it was not a choice. He had just moved back to France and was living in Southern Ardèche where if you want to see fish, you have to go to a fishmonger….A bottle of Pastis and about four pounds of burning hot olives later, we were in “THE” pool (the genuine article) and Flèche was imitating the Beaverkill wild rainbow trout jumping and fighting for their freedom… We woke up half naked by the pool, the sun was rising and frogs were singing around us… Flèche, his eyes half opened, was saying while looking at the skies: “Bea-ver-kill… Bea-ver-kill…I Love You…”