A Fishing Poet

A fly fishing friend of mine, who also happens to be a graduate student in my department, recently won a poetry contest sponsored by Loop Tackle.  His award was a new Cross S1 6 weight rod.  This is no small prize for a fly fishing graduate student, living on a tight budget (in fact, it would be no small prize for anyone).   Congratulations to scholar, poet, and fly fisherman Stan Thayne.  You can read his poem below (notice that he worked a bit of advertising in there; smart man, Stan):

Loop Consciousness

At 4 AM something is biting,
tugging at the line
of my brain,
dragging me out of bed,
and netting me
into the car and on down
the road,
releasing me into the Haw
River.

I scan
my flybox,
choose a cork
popper
for bass, then
thread the line through
the guides of my Loop
opti creek, wishing
I were in Montana
or at least a little further
west
on the Davidson
or Watauga
or Oconaluftee
casting for trout.

I’ll take what I can get.

The Haw is muddy this morning,
running high
with that faint smell
of gunsmoke
so unlike western
rivers.
Mist is rising off the water.
I wade
waderless
into the warm cool
water
and begin casting.

I catch several
large bream and toss
them back and tie
on a bigger fly
and move downstream
into smoother water,
casting low
along the surface
to get under
the branches that hang
down along
the bank
and almost touch
the water.

One strikes and
I set the hook
but he goes airborne
immediately tossing
his head furiously
from side to side
and throws
my fly.

That was a big fish.

I’m trembling as
I retrieve my line and
cast again.

Time’s short and
I’m forced
to abandon
the river,
still trembling;

But the river goes with me,
flowing along
the channels of
my consciousness.

Sitting at my desk at work I feel
the spray coming off a cast,
the frigid bite of river morning air,
the feel of wet cork in my hands,
the weight of line rolling out,
the satisfaction of a perfect cast:
loop, roll, settle, and strike:
connecting me to something
that is alive.

My stream of consciousness
is swimming with trout.

8 Responses to “A Fishing Poet”

  1. Gary Metras Says:

    Nice poem. Worthy of the award. – Gary Metras, author of the award winning book of poems, Two Bloods: Fly Fishing Poems (Split Oak Press, 2010).

    Like

    • Kenov Says:

      Those are kind words, Gary; I’ll make sure Stan hears them. I’m sad to say I have yet to read Two Bloods, but I am ordering it in the next few seconds.

      Like

      • Gary Metras Says:

        Thanks. If you an’t get my book through the publisher or at Amazon, you can get an autographed copy directly from me ($14 + 3.00 shipping):

        Gary Metras, 16 Reservation Rd., Easthampton, MA 01027

        Like

      • Kenov Says:

        Thanks! Amazon is out. I’ll send you payment on Monday (I’m fishing)

        Like

  2. stanthayneStan Says:

    Thanks, Gary! And thanks, Ken, for putting this up! (And thanks Loop!) Always enjoy your posts, Ken, and I’m looking forward to checking out Two Bloods.

    Like

  3. stanthayne Says:

    Thanks, Gary! And thanks, Ken, for putting this up!
    (And thanks again, of course, to Loop!)

    Always enjoy your posts, Ken, and looking forward to checking out Two Bloods.

    Like

  4. Paul The Rockthief Says:

    that last line is blissfully perfect

    Like

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