Thursday, December 15, 2011

'Twas the Week Before... Yes, Johnny?

Gather 'round boys and girls, it's time for the reading of that beloved Mike's Gone Fishin' Christmas classic, 'Twas the Week Before Christmas. Grab a candy cane, get comfortable, and I hope you enjoy it.

'Twas the week before Christmas and down on the Haw
Not a fish was arisin', the weather was raw.
The water was frigid and brisk was the air,
Too chilly for fishing, but I didn’t care.

What's that Johnny? Why yes. I did read it here last year. And the year before. No, it's not a cheesy way to sneak in a post without doing any real work. It's a tradition. Besides, some of the children are new here and haven't heard the story. So shut the @#$% up please have a seat and we'll continue.

The browns were all nestled down deep in their pools
While rainbows and brookies were nobody’s fools.
And I in my waders and old fishing cap,
As usual, just couldn’t cast worth a crap.

When further upstream there arose such a crash,
I started, and slipped, and sat down with a splash.
My glasses went this way, my rod, it went that.
You know you’re in deep when you’ve floated your hat.

The gleam of the sun on the river around
Was lovely, but heck, I was going to drown!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a funky old kayak. (The end must be near.)

With a little old paddler, too fat for the boat,
Who was trying his best just to keep it afloat.
Through the rapids he teetered, bounced off every big rock.
The dude’s in big trouble, I thought with a shock.

But as he arrived at my favorite hole
He snapped it in place with a neat barrel roll
And glided in softly, as smooth as can be.
No fish would be spooked, except maybe me.

No, there is not a video game of this, Johnny. Sure, it would be cool to navigate the boat down the rapids with your controller. No, he did not have a BFG mounted on his 'yak. Please just listen. Twerp.

And then in a twinkling he popped out of his craft
Like a cork from a bottle, I shouldn’t have laughed.
He reached back inside and he slowly withdrew
A lovely old 5wt of shiny bamboo.

He was dressed all in Gore-Tex and looked straight from the pages
Of catalogs like Orvis’, Chota’s and Sage’s.
A vest full of goodies encircled his frame
With gadgets and zingers, too many to name.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his fun,
Throwing laser-like casts, seeming straight from a gun.
His roll casts were graceful, his loops were so tight.
Presentations were flawless, each drift was just right.

He threw pheasants and hare's ears and woolies and strymphs,
Hoppers with droppers of copper john nymphs.
He had all of fly fishing's mysteries debunked,
But darned if old Santa Claus didn’t get skunked.

Yes, Johnny, I do believe in him. No, I don’t think that he’s a bloated, porcine icon contrived by the overlord capitalistic industrial complex as a mechanism for the subjugation of the ignorant proletariat masses through the glorification of unchecked mindless consumerism. He’s just freakin’ Santa Claus. But if you wish to believe that he's just a ruse, then he probably won’t bring you that Grand Theft Auto 5 game you asked for. I though that might change your mind. Now where was I? Oh, yes, skunked...

I felt sort of bad for the jolly old elf.
But why fish the Haw, I was asking myself.
He could have fished Battenkill, Madison, Snake.
It seemed that the Haw was a big ol'e mistake.

WHAT NOW? Sigh. Yes, go. Down that hall, second door on the left. Be sure to wash your hands when you're done. No, you don't need to give me a hug first... okay, thanks. You're my bestest buddy too. NOT. Don't take too long. Maybe we can get through this now. Let's see. Blah, blah, blah, big ol'e mistake...

I needn’t have worried, I had nothing to dread,
For he gave me a wink and here’s what he said.
“We all should remember, and here’s what I’m wishin',
It’s not about fish, but it’s all about fishin'.”

He sprang to his boat, to the rocks gave a push,
And shot down the stream with a splash and a woosh.
But I heard him exclaim as he drifted from sight
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all keep lines tight”

And that's the story of Santa's visit to the Haw, children. Let's now go get our milk and cookies...

Oh, hello officer. Can I help you? Really? Why yes, I do own a gray Honda Ridgeline, but it can't be mine. I have my keys right here in my pock...


Note: Extra credit to those of you who caught that I've turned the Haw, my backyard warmwater bass river, into a trout stream for this holiday knock-off. Please forgive the creative license.

Everything else, of course, is absolutely true.


Nancy said...

First time I've ever read the word "crap" in a Christmas poem -- but I don't get out much!

Very cute and creative -- I think you missed your true calling. Excellent photo manipulation. Or, is that real? :)

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

Good stuff there...gave me a good laugh this morning , thanks. I think if you turned that into a song you'd have the next holiday hit , I can hear old Willie belting that one out.

Jay said...


Mike Hayes said...

Oh, if only there were trout in that river! Your blog reminds me that there's plenty of fun to be had with the local residents of the Haw. I'm a Florida transplant to Chatham, so most of my loops have been cast over salt water. Small world, too. I'm friends with the previous owners of your new abode. I've known J. for about 10 years. Your posts on our local river make me eager for spring already. Great blog!

e.m.b. said...

I am one of those "new children here"...and sat with rapt attention! A wonderful holiday to you and yours, Mike! (And by the way, your new blog header is fantastic!!!)

Chris said...

Still laughing... very well done. I intend to "borrow" this Christmas Eve.

Happy holidays, my friend. Season's blessings on you and yours.


Chris said...

That was fantastic Mike!!! You should write a book of fishin' poetry.

Ok, maybe not, but it was very entertaining anyway.

I look forward to reading it again next Chrimbo!

cofisher said...

Very well done Mike, you got my attention from beginning to end..Merry Christmas to all especially you, my friend.

Ken G said...

I remember this from last year. The additions are worth the re-reading of this classic.

I can't decide which I noticed first in the illustration. All that wonderful river structure or that fat guy standing in one of the best spots.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! Have a Merry Christmas!

Sanders said...

So good...I can't wait to share it.

I hope your having a great holiday season!


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