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)