Remind me Monday -- a river trout haiku

Trail to stream, ease in.
Rod together, thread the line.
Fly to line, fish time.

One flip, more line now.
Good loops float above, ready.
Teeth grind, lips pucker.

Swish, flip, plop, float, drag.
Repeat -- peel up, line down, flick.
Wind grabs at tippet.

River droplets hang.
Suspended in air breathless.
Crashing with vigor.

Memories surround.
Fish ghosts haunt, laugh under the
Sound of snow melt rush.

Fly screaming whipped forth.
Whip, crack, splash, foolish move, man.
Consternation, damn.

Recover, work it.
Forget prior wrecks, move on.
Hope for fish future.

Big rainbow trout bite.
Silhouettes made from sunlight.
Better be tonight.

Be better, alright.
A glacier water gambler.
New cast, a new mind.

Navigate, rocky.
Good foot, good spot, good loops -- cast.
Floating, floating, none.

That's OK. Again.
Tongue out, shoulders forward -- cast.
Coasting lightly, none.

Pressure cooker head.
No matter, next spot, new fly.
Retie, alright? Right.

Parachute Adams?
Caddis pattern number two?
Nymph? Leech? Egg-sucking?

Cast and cast again.
Flesh patterns, orange, brown, pink.
So, whatd'ya think?

Eagle overhead.
Bear cub roams closer, curious.
A sockeye driveby.

Focus. Serious.
Fishermen catch fish, damn it.
Egg-sucking on now.

Flossing the boulders.
Working the rocks, the cover.
Skimming the bottom.

Nothing. A man lost.
Work at nothing, cast for not.
Self doubt. Someone help.

Clouds fast forward past.
Sun yawns brightly down, glimmer.
Not all hope is lost.

A river bend found.
Water depth right, fly on tight.
Please -- a splashing sound.

A swing and a miss.
Reload, recast, flip it true.
Dejected right through.

Deep sigh, none to speak.
Came up empty, all that work.
Just a fish, I wish.

So this I've been told.
Pay into the trout bank now.
Cash out later. Bollocks.

It's a phrase, they say.
Stream time beats desk time, you know.
Remind me Monday.

Brian Smith is city editor for the Clarion, an avid fly fisherman and novice haiku writer. Share your fish poetry with him at


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