Quickly I changed the subject to defuse his concerns over the upcoming holiday. Mr. Claus, I explained, tighten up your loop in the over head cast and shorten it up a little. Lay it on the water hard. Get it down to the trout. I checked his fly box out. I told him to skip the "Christmas Island" streamer, it was more of a saltwater fly. I suggested to Mr. Claus, try a Clouser (no relation) Red & White streamer, that candy cane look really works this time of year. Now Nick relax, strip in your floating line slow, quartering the fly across the river in a gentle down stream drift. The trout hit lightly. They are hard to detect until you try to retrieve your streamer, then all heck breaks loose.
The few hours I spent with him, I will say he is indeed a jolly old soul. Every time he laughed his wadders shook like a bowl full of jelly. I only lasted a few hours in the stream due to the extreme cold. Last year's Christmas fleece I got from him just wasn't that warm...of course I wasn't going to tell him that. However, his heavy red wool ensemble looked warm on him all day. As we parted he had one very important request for me..."If you see Mrs. Claus, don't tell her we were fishing on the river"! Oh don't worry, I replied, that's an unwritten law.
On the way home I thought, whoa, Nick you better watch out. I'm telling you why. That will get you a lump of coal for sure...so be good for goodness sake!