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
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.