I found the following quote on an online fishing forum I visit from time to time and it reminded me of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago.

 

“If you fish hard and the fishing becomes your life, sooner or later you fish with ghosts; eventually you become one.” ~  Bob White

 

Lepomis macrochirus aka bluegill

Lepomis macrochirus aka bluegill

 

 

Rivalry

 

Near day’s end I sat  on the stone bench 

and watched my shadow spill into the narrow 

valley then spread halfway up the hillside.

 

It wasn’t too late to go fishing. Looking down

the footpath leading to the river I 

noticed my shadow was already there. 

 

Soon I stood in the shallow water with my back 

to the sun and saw my silhouette waving from 

the opposite bank, over where the fish would surely be 

 

drawn to whatever tiny talisman she had tied to her line.

I lifted my old Sage rod and false cast once or twice

before allowing the fly to light upon the darkening water. 

 

A strike! My standard response: Beginner’s luck

and  glanced to the other side of the stream 

to see if my shade had caught a fish. 

 

Her leader stretched tight and she mimicked my rhythm

as I stripped in the line to retrieve my small prize. A bluegill 

flashed into the air, glistening orange in the setting sun. 

 

I looked up and watched my shadow gently remove 

the swallowed hook then hold up the fish for me to admire,

not for its bright underbelly, or quick black eye,

 

but for its wide girth, its heft and length, 

for its large size made record-breaking by the angle 

of the sun and a lifetime of fish tales and lies.