Eddy changes Gus in three different ways: when she directly interacts with him, by her absence and by her reappearance. On their first encounter with one another Gus is compelled by her differences in dress, techniques and gear. After she leaves, Gus feels a “need” to fulfill his empty life. Finally when she shows back up in his life, Gus then has everything he could ever ask for: a beautiful woman who loves to fish, just like him.
Page 151: “A barefoot girl. A full-grown one. One who wore the top tenth or so of what had long ago been a pair of blue jeans. One who wore a short, skin-tight, sleeveless sky-colored t-shirt through …which revealed the shape of the…”
Gus describes his first view Eddy, after having snuck his way up to the tree where she sat “motionless” not noticing him. His attention is soon diverted, if not completely towards her odd pole and gear. Lying to himself as he checked out this “research project” he notices how her gear is like nothing he had seen or used before, but his mind never full wonders from Eddy. (Page 151)
Page 151: “Her fishing equipment was innovative also; she appeared to have no creel or equipage or container of any kind apart form her pole and line and whatever was on the end of it. There was the possibility of a few spare hooks or leaders in the pockets of the fraction of blue jeans …but the theory grew tenuous…As to the possibility of fishing tackle concealed with in the sky-colored t-shirt, this was even less likely. Nevertheless I considered the problem long and carefully, scanning every least curve of the thin material, reluctant to give up the search.”
While Gus is checking her style out he realizes that Eddy was important and he needed to learn from her. He describes his sudden thirst for knowledge about Eddy as follows:
Page 150: “She must be an extraordinary person, well worth watching, well worth meeting, well worth thinking about, an exceptional fisherman, and I was, what I was, I was learning, yes learning: I was learning like crazy. I’d never learned so much so fast before…”
Watching Eddy fish, Gus absorbs a lot of information that before was totally unseen to him. Not only about fishing, but about this woman and about himself, needing to learn from her. He says on page 152 “I felt for the first time that I was in the presence of a fishing genius exceeding my own.” He is enthralled by her fishing abilities and when she stripes naked to dive after the fish she snagged, Gus was completely spellbound. He watches Eddy get her prize of a fish and he follows Eddy. When Eddy notices Gus there she froze, not knowing what to do about some guy come up to her mumbling saying “What muck. I mean lut, orm, um…” and “Me gog peech inspediment. M-m-my I juss a marmaless fissamren.” (Page 156)
Gus feeling like a complete fool dives deep into the river and tries to block it all out, but eventually gets out and runs away from his scene of complete stupidity. He cuts himself running through the brush...