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MartinlfJanuary 18th, 2008, 12:14 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3162
I am considering teaching a course on the science and literature of fly fishing in the fall of 2008, using some basic entomology texts and some literary texts. I've pretty much settled on Nick Lyons' anthology for prose, but as far as I can tell, there are no books dedicated to poems about fishing. Readers of this forum will have noticed that I'm collecting these, but I'd appreciate any help from anyone who is aware of good poems treating the topic of fishing. I've already listed everything mentioned on this site, but if anyone knows of other poems, if they could PM or post the authors name, title of the poem, and where they found the poem (book title, date, publisher) I'd much appreciate it. The poems do not have to be about fly fishing.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
FlybyknightJanuary 18th, 2008, 2:37 pm
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
Louis, Now you did it.

"Around the steel no tortur'd worm shall twine,
No blood of living insect stain my line;
Let me, less cruel, cast feather'd hook,
With pliant rod athwart the pebbled brook,
Silent along the mazy margin stray,
And with fur-wrought fly delude the prey".
John Gay, in Rural Sports, 1720

Dick

Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
Shawnny3January 18th, 2008, 3:12 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Nice idea, Louis.

Dick, I like the poem. I must point out the humorous irony, though, in the author's claim that the 'feather'd hook' and 'fur-wrought fly' are less cruel. I'll bet the donors would beg to differ...

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
FlybyknightJanuary 18th, 2008, 3:32 pm
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
SEE

"And ete the olde fisshe, and leve the yonge,
Though't they moore towgh be uppon the tonge".

Piers of Fullham, fifteenth century

Now lest we forget the high brows among your pupils:

La peche doit rester un sport et un plaisir, faute de quoi elle
devient pire que le travail".

Charles Ritz, in an interview with Bill Higgins

And lest I be accused of the "H" word:

"Fishing, if I a fisher may protest,
Of pleasures is the sweetest, of sports the best,
Of exercises the most excellent,
Of recreations the most innocent,
But now the sport is marred, and wott ye why?
Fishes decrease, and fishers multiply".

Thomas Bastard, in Chrestoleros, 1598

Drats, dinner bell.

Dick



Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
MartinlfJanuary 18th, 2008, 3:55 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3162
Thanks, Dick, I'm hoping you will resume after dinner. As a teacher of medieval and renaissance literature I find your selections particularly interesting.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3January 19th, 2008, 5:49 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
"La peche doit rester un sport et un plaisir, faute de quoi elle
devient pire que le travail".


OK, I'm no French speaker to be sure, but being half Hispanic I should at least be able to take a reasonable shot:

"The fish makes for pleasurable sport, even though he's a *#$@! to catch."

Close?

-Shawn

P.S. By the way, French is really funny in direct translation. I was checking out a forum based in Quebec where a few guys were discussing my flies, and I had to use a translating site to understand their discussion. There were gems on there like, "While excavating on the fabric," which I can only assume means "While searching the web," and "I would be carried to believe," which, with the simple substitution of the word 'carried' for 'led', becomes quite funny. I love both French and the French. To say nothing of Canadians.
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
FlybyknightJanuary 19th, 2008, 7:08 am
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
America the What?

Ed Zern published this poem by Samuel A. Ward 1847-1903,
in Field & Stream. You can fill in the music.

"O beautiful for specious guys Who piously declare,
"That's progress' price," as fact'ry stacks Spew poison in the air.
America, America, Smog smears its grays on thee;
We stain thy prime with soot and grime And strontium 90!

O beautiful for strip-mine pit Where once the Laurel bloomed;
For brooklets running sulphur-stained And rotten egg perfumed.
America, America, On bureaucrats cry shame;
For canyons dammed and us flim-flamm'd In Reclamation's name!

O beautiful for scenery Black'd out by billboard's span;(spam would fit in here nicely)
For nauseous stink of sew'rs we drink Where once oure rivers ran.

America, America, What thieves thy people be,
Who rob from earth their children's birth-Right, Nature's legacy.

O beautiful for neon sign By big dam power lit;
For carrion of countless cars On hillside charnel pit.
America, America, Whom ev'ry gully robs;
Thy landscape slopped with litter dropped By (lets face it) slobs!

O beautiful for highways broad, With beer cans tightly hemm'd;
For marshes drained and dollars gained And Water fowl condemn'd.
America, America, God grant us sanity;
With wealth we're blest, yet foul our nest And then chop down thee tree."

Dick
Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
FlybyknightJanuary 19th, 2008, 7:31 am
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
A Fisherman's Prayer

I wish I could give proper credit to the poet, but he is unknown.
I found it in a funeral parlor (which to my distress, seems to be becoming a more and more familiar venue.
"IN LOVING MEMORY OF ___________# 191 A Fisherman's Prayer"

God grant that I may fish
until my dying day.
And when it comes to my last cast,
I then most humbly pray,
When in the Lord's safe landing net,
I'm peacefully asleep,
That in His Mercy I be judged as
big enough to keep.

Dick
Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
FlybyknightJanuary 19th, 2008, 9:13 am
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
Louis Wrote:

"As a teacher of medieval and renaissance literature I find your selections particularly interesting."

Oh Louis, you drove me into the tombs of distant and forgotten memory
to search for and come up with this lore: (which you probably already know by heart.)

A Treatyse of Fysshynge Wyth An Angle: by Dame Juliana Berners 1496

"Then yf ye wyll be crafte yn angelyng ye muste furst lurne to mak yowr harness that ys to sey your rod your lynys of dy(uers) colors & your hokes after that ye must know how ye schall angel & yn wat places of the watur how depe & wat tyme of the daye for wat maner of fysche in wath wedur how many Impedimen(ts) ther ben yn anglyng and especially with wat bayt to euery dyuerse fysche yn yche moneth in the yer how ye schall make yowr baytes brede wher ye schall fynde them & how ye schall fynde them & how ye schall kepe them and for the most crafty thyng how ye schall make your hokes of steyl & of osmonde [Swedish steel] som for the to dub & som for the flote as ye schall her aftur all these ye schall fynd expressed openly to yowr ye."

Pheww

Dick
Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
Shawnny3January 20th, 2008, 5:38 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I love that last one, Dick. Perhaps I shouldn't be so heavy-handed with my students who spell phonetically (I had one misspell the word 'in' this year - probably just sounded it out wrong). I guess I knew English used to be different, but that's just nuts. Pretty cool.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
MartinlfJanuary 20th, 2008, 7:17 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3162
Great stuff, guys, thanks.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jlant68455January 6th, 2009, 11:50 pm
Posts: 1I wanted to send you the entire Fisherman's Prayer poem along with the author. This poem hung on my father's den wall for decades. He just passed away on January 5, 2009, and this poem is on the inside of the program for his memorial service. I hope you enjoy having the entire poem. God bless!

Deb Lanthier
Montague, MI

FISHERMAN’S PRAYER

Dear Father, give me the strength to fish for many years to come.
Help me to use good sportsmanship, and also to have fun.
And when the final cast is made, and the fishing pole laid down,
I’ll say ‘thank you’ with a smile, Dear God, and never with a frown.
Please catch me in your landing net to take my final sleep;
And then, oh God may I be judged as big enough to keep.


- Pearl Nodge

MartinlfJanuary 7th, 2009, 1:20 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3162
Wonderful. Many thanks.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
AzhockeydadOctober 8th, 2015, 12:32 pm
Phoenix

Posts: 11
I always wondered what it would be like to go fishing with the Grandfather I never knew. I wrote this Poem based on that premise. The boy in this poem is given encouragement by the spirit of Theodore Gordon ( Complete Fly Fisherman) who speaks to the boy through the wind, water and trees and helps the boy gain the confidence that will help him in his pursuit of the big brown! Enjoy!


A Rise on Neversink

We head upstream past fallen Hemlocks,
Crawling recumbent through advancing grass.
Wetness prevails from the night before,
And the Groundhog shakes his head in disbelief.

Sun perched on Doubletop Mountain,
Shown the rising Brown sip his prey.
I wait, another rise boils the riffle.
My eyes question when, Grandpa gives the nod.
The shooting line breaks the winds path,
Invisible leader curls resisting gravity.
The Skater finds its mark, spinning without authority,
Setting a course through the waters force.

Emerald moss, dripping wet jewels,
Deepens the blue green pool,
Theodore Gordens reflection shown now,
He smiles, the breeze whispers "tight lines".

Scrambling from my knees I find
The Brown makes his approach, only to show his back.
My heart pounds and only my gut tightens.
Disappointment whelms over, an encouraging nudge, prods from behind.

Gordens voice once again calls,
Performed by the spruce needles murmur,
Patience s s s s s s
My hands begin to steady, premise clear.

Double hauling as if my life depended.
As beautiful an object of lavish nature produces,
From underneath he assaults, Skater devoured, groping,
Grasped with bent snout, out maneuvering his prey.

Tipet strained, whining fervent praise,
Moving for swift water, he surfaces briefly
Seeking the currents leverage.
He educates his pupil with magical ploy.

A broken tippet hangs down in contempt, against the tender Payne,
The evening hatch finds sanctuary,
And only the Catskills angling legend lingers in the air.
This lesson complete, the boy dreams.

And Theodore awaits the mourning encore.
OldredbarnOctober 8th, 2015, 5:26 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Kurt,

Now that's an interesting way to introduce yourself! Welcome.

Spence

Some of the PA Boys and myself are a little hockey crazed, so you'll have to explain the AZHockeyDad...Tony will be here in Detroit next weekend with his boys for a tournament...All the way from Pittsburgh!

The Oldredbarn moniker is what we use to call Olympia Stadium where the Wings played back in the day...You know Howe, Lindsey, Abel, and Sawchuk...et al. Pre Joe Louis Arena.

I actually saw Pink Floyd in there in the 70's...and Tommy Hearns' first two pro fights...and of course hockey. My favorite visit was when I took my stepbrother, he was a cub scout and this was an outing, and we watched the Windsor Police (from just across the river in Canada) play the Detroit Police in an annual deal that they don't do anymore...They stopped it cause it was a donnybrook! Not the best role model for young cub scouts...:)Not much "hockey" going on.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123October 9th, 2015, 1:36 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2534
Spence, you gonna take Tony fishing? It's still not that cold yet, trout are still biting, got three on Monday and two on Wednesday...I would be going back to that lake today except for the wind, waiting to see what happens this weekend...

Welcome Kurt! Fabulous poem there. Where do you fish in AZ? I spent a summer in Phoenix in 2006 (pretty rough for a Michigan boy!) but didn't get to do much fishing.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
OldredbarnOctober 9th, 2015, 6:06 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Spence, you gonna take Tony fishing?


Yeah...I'm taking my ice fishing auger to the rink!

No...This trip is all about hockey. The boys barely get enough time between games at this tournament to eat.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
AzhockeydadOctober 10th, 2015, 11:34 am
Phoenix

Posts: 11
Thanks Spence and Jonathan!

Appreciate your kind welcome.

The Arizona fishing is fairly sparse. I own a summer home in Idaho Falls and spend some time fishing In Island Park at Henry's Fork. Also I'm about an hour and 45 from west Yellowstone. I spent two weeks fishing soft hackles on the Firehole river last month. Really like fishing the Galletin,Madison and the Teton.

I'm a huge hockey fan since I was a kid growing up in upstate NY. Huge Rangers Fan.Yes I like the wings on a case by case basis Jonathan!

My son Kyle (goalie) played teir 2 travel hockey growing. Kyle is a fire captain here in Phoenix and and avid fly fisherman. Spence...Firefighters just played the county sheriff. Hose draggers killed the.

Thanks again for the invite.

Kindest, Kurt
Jmd123October 10th, 2015, 2:03 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2534
Spence, be sure to let me know if you catch anything at the rink...on ice flies?

Again, welcome Kurt. Sounds like you have a place for some fine fishing.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Feathers5October 13th, 2015, 10:03 am
Posts: 287I write poetry, too!

There once was a man from Nantucket
who kept all of his flies in a bucket.
He said with a grin as his hand brushed his chin
if my ear was a gun I’d duck it.
Page:12

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