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Hope you enjoy this little Holiday poem I wrote for y’all. Rivers are on the drop!

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the lake,
I twitched a leech slowly, awaiting a take.
The cold rain fell steady with an audible plop
as we anxiously waited for rivers to drop.

Brown torrents of water all gnashing with trees
We implored our pal Santa to clear them…”Oh please!”
For steelhead were coming and bull trout still there
How we longed to swing flies in the cold wintery air.

As the forecast grew cooler and hilltops turned white,
Would the waters subside now? We thought they just might.
All the rivers remembered would few be the same?
Many shifted and changed when the fall monsoons came.

What now would they look like and where were the holes
Filled with late running salmon, winter steelhead and bulls?
Had the old buckets shifted or channels re-run?
Would we catch many fish there? We’d settle for one.

So we sprang to our feet at the first chance to go,
Cast aside threats of high winds or impending snow.
With our spey rods in hand and our Gore-tex cinched tight
We dashed onward with sink tips and flies tied last night.

When we got to the river the water looked prime
For a big 3-salt steelhead as bright as a dime.
I chose a concoction of feathers and fur
A flashy pink monster tied on in a blur.

I two-stepped my way through the top of the drift
As I prayed for a fish and my spirits to lift.
The cold setting in and exuberance dashed
Two thirds into the run and my hopefulness cashed.

But the tail out beckoned, it had to be swung
Like fireplace stockings our hopes and dreams hung
On that last bit of water, that last fishy glide
For a gift from the ocean and fly to collide.

The take happened lightly, no powerful surge
in that ephemeral moment when worlds converge.
A fish shouldered downstream, a steelhead of size
Thrashed onward and upward ‘for my wondering eyes.

At last in the twilight my leader held strong
As I cradled that steelhead a good three feet long.
When I plucked from its jaw the pink gaudy tube fly
It swam true to the current and tail-flipped good bye.

Wild and unfettered to continue upstream.
I awoke mildly hungover, was this a dream?
Was my Christmas a figment, imagined, not real?
Had I wandered the river in search of cold steel?

Then o’er the mantle a thing caught my eye,
Twas’ my dripping Simms waders there hanging to dry
And perched in the chair was my spey rod unsheathed
And that lovely pink tube fly lay hooked in a wreath.

My dream was indeed real, the battle was true,
With the warmth of success my fishy heart grew.
So I leave you dear anglers with one final wish:
Merry Christmas to all, now get out there and fish! ©

-Scott Willison

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