Lighter Side
January 26, 1998
To Love a Stream
by F. Thomas

It is early morning
And you can not sleep.
You must go to the stream
You've appointments to keep.

Mute preparation
In the dark by the bed.
Mumbled excuses,
A kiss on her head.

You flee from your lover,
Your home, your wife.
It's hard to explain
How escape mimics life.

You check all your gear;
Rod, reel, coffee & flies.
From five am to seven
You never wear ties.

The stream has been waiting
It cares not for whom.
It runs without judgment
And for you it makes room.

You try not to fish
In the same spot each day.
But they all look familiar
In a personal way.

The pine bough must hang
Out over a pool,
With a boulder upstream
To make room for a school.

Before you can cast
And present the right fly,
Your success is assured
As the sun heats the sky.

You're not here to fish,
You care not for the taste.
It's the anticipation,
The setting, the chase.

The line comes alive
As it coils and lays
Out like a whip
Cutting through fog and haze.

Forward to target,
Arm cocked at eleven.
Continue to strip line
Getting closer to heaven.

Without looking behind you,
You can feel that its time.
The forward cast starts
Accelerating line.

A mathematical certainty.
Parabolas in tension,
Fly line to leader
To fly as extension.

As the line shoots past
You know that its right.
The line straightens leader
And the fly is alight.

It's trapped in the film
Suspended in time.
You can't describe the feeling
But it's sexlike, divine.

Your whole body is waiting
For a moment like this,
A rise or a dimple,
Foreplaying a fish.

Now the fly starts to drag
And the moment is through.
Begin casting again
For alone you'll be true.

You're not here for the fish
You're here for the game.
Each time a new lover,
Yet each one the same.

As you cast from a rock
And you stand there alone.
Aroused, and yet sated,
It's time to go home.

You creep into the house
To the bed where she's waking,
Still sleep warm and drowsy,
As you think of love-making. ~ F. Thomas

There is a special feeling that I get when I am double-hauling a weight forward floating line with a light tippet and an incredibly small fly at the end. The power of the rod, waving through the air, like a magic wand AND a whip, and the sensory illusion of mastery or control over the environment is palpable, exciting.

The preparation before getting to the stream, the gathering of equipment, tiptoeing out of a quiet house, the drive and the coffee, all build up to the event itself.

I have, for many years, thought about these feelings and the incredible satisfaction of just being on the stream. This poem had to be written and it wrote itself one morning after I had finished fishing. I wrote it in my car on the banks of the Salmon River in Moodus, CT. ~ F.T.

About F. Thomas

F. Thomas is an avid but average fisherman and has been blessed with an above average, extraordinary family. His wife, Nelle, and two children, Tom & Biz, patiently listen to his fish stories and poems. Despite being a hyperactive traveling consultant and former CPA, he really wants to be a writer. He and his family live in a 200 year old home on Chester Creek in Chester, CT.
Copyright ©1997, 1998 F. Thomas Crowley, Jr. All rights reserved.

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