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Mountain Home Magazine

That Trout

Mar 30, 2016 08:15PM

I’ve watched that trout for days and days,

I’ve tried him with all sorts of tackle;

With flies got up in various ways,

Red, blue, green, gray, and silver-hackle.

I’ve tempted him with angle-dogs,

And grubs, that must have been quite trying,

Thrown deftly in betwixt old logs,

Where, probably, he might be lying.

Sometimes I’ve had a vicious bite,

And as the silk was tautly running,

Have been convinced I had him quite:

But ‘twasn’t him; HE was too cunning.

I’ve tried him, when the silver moon

Shone on my dew-bespangled trousers,

With dartfish; but he was “too soon”—

Though, sooth to say, I caught some rousers,

And sadly viewed the ones I caught,

They loomed so small and seemed so poor,

‘Twas finding pebbles where one sought

A gem of price—a Kohinoor.

I’ve often weighed him (with my eyes),

As he with most prodigious ounces

Rose to the surface after flies.

(He weighs four pounds and seven ounces.)

I tried him—Heaven absolve my soul—

With some outlandish, heathenish gearing—

A pronged machine stuck on a pole—

A process that the boys call spearing.

I jabbed it at his dorsal fin

Six feet beneath the crystal water—

‘Twas all too short. I tumbled in,

And got half drowned—just as I’d orter.

Adieu, O trout of marvelous size,

Thou piscatorial speckled wonder,

Bright be the waters where you rise,

And green the banks you cuddle under.

— From Forest Runes by George W. Sears (A.K.A. Nessmuk)