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  • fisherman seen from a worms view

I don’t catch many fish

I’m not a natural

The arc of the weighted line and fly

As it sails through the air

Is like a poem

Find the rhythm

And the fly lands by the rock

And floats lifelike along the riffle

And over the basking trout.

But often the cast is out of step

With the air and the arm is

Out of step with the rod

And the fly drops like the fake it is

On top of where

The fish waits, pushing

Against the current,

Disdaining crude artifice.

I step gingerly upstream

Stay in the shallows

I’ve been too deep before, waist high

And the power of the water

Was suddenly terrifying

River knee high, stones visible

Beneath the surface

Water rushing sound round

Waders boots, cool through fabric

Retying line and leader

Eying the late day sun

Aiming for a long bank cast

Don’t spook the fish

A new fly

Elk Wing Caddis.

One cast, get it right

Keep it simple.

We live in different worlds

I’m invading his

Literally out of my depth

If I venture too far.

I cast -- eight o’clock, two o’clock

The flick of the wrist

The slow roll of the line

Behind and upward

And the snap the snap

As the line shoots forward

The caddis lands soft and gentle

As if alive and borne on the wind

And SNAP!, the trout bites and lifts

Breaches and falls

And then runs the line out

We are connected now

Our two worlds

An alien encounter

I reel and pull

He runs and tires

A contest with no time

Just a flow of moments

Until caught.

I hold him in the cold current

Sun-sparkled scales flash

In the shallow water

A healthy Rainbow

Unscathed. Maybe.

I thank him. And then,


We release each other, and he flashes away

Upstream, strong against the flow.

I thank the water and the trees

And the river.

I fish another hour

Cast, drift, reel, think.


I catch nothing.

But that’s okay.

By Neil Bostock

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Pool Rules

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