Tuesday, December 17, 2013

'Twas the Week Before Christmas

It's an annual tradition here (and a cheap way to squeeze in a holiday post without having to actually work for it) to trot out my home waters version of Clement Clarke Moore's Christmas classic. I missed it last year, for some reason, but it returns now, "original artwork" and all.

Like Grandma's fruitcake and Uncle John's reindeer tie, it's awful but it wouldn't be Christmas without 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 fishin', but I didn’t care.

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 hell, 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.

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 4wt of shiny bamboo.

He was dressed all in Gore-Tex and looked straight from the pages
Of catalogs like Orvis’, Hardy’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.

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 foolish 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',
That it’s not about fish, but it’s all about fishin'.”

He sprang to his 'yak, 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.”

Here's wishing the happiest of holidays to you and yours!!!


Feather Chucker said...

Great Post, I hope you have a Merry Christmas Mike.

Steve Zakur said...


e.m.b. said...

Wonderful! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mike!

Anonymous said...

Perfect … as always!
Live Free ...

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks Kevin. And a Merry Christmas to your clan as well.

Da nada, Steve. Just good fun.

And to you and yours as well, Erin. Banjo and the cats, and Jay too.

Love you, as always, my dear anonymous(e).

Juan said...

Hey, Mike, The Name is Juan. I arrived here from The Naturalist's Angle Blog. He told me you fish for Bass with the fly quite a bit and I am sort of here to pick your brain on that! haha

Anyway, brilliant Christmas poem and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Mike Sepelak said...

Welcome Juan! And just to let you know, picking my brain requires a very small utensil. Happy Holidays to you too!

FinFollower said...

Great post and poem! Happy Holidays to you & yours.

cofisher said...

Nice going Mike. I really enjoyed that bit of nostalgia. Merry Christmas to you and to you a good night.

Unknown said...

Did someone say fruitcake? Thanks for nearly always posting stuff of considerable substance. Merry Christmas, Mike.

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks Leigh. Enjoy the season!

You and me, Howard. We're all about nostalgia. That's what holidays are for. Thanks, buddy.

I knew that would get you, Kirk. And I humbly thank you for the compliment. Merry Christmas to you, good sir.

Anonymous said...

It's not about fish, it's all about fishin'

Well said sir, well said. Merry Christmas to all.

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks, Seth. And the Merriest of Christmases to you too!