The Silver Singing River
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

On the work table
he sets out rows of
Royal Coachmen,
a well known favourite
of the Rainbow trout
drowsing in the dark
murky waters
of our river.

He'll store them away in his
vintage leather fly wallet
until next spring.

"It's all about Presentation," he says
"The second that fly hits the water
you want it to look like dinner."

He begins to hunt for
the barbless hooks he will
fashion into the perfect
dry flies.

He places a hook in the vise,
begins to wrap the shank
with black thread,
lets the hemostat dangle,
adds calf tail to either end
for tail and wings,
ties them off.

In between the fur,
for the body,
he winds whitetail deer,
dyed chartreuse.

It will blend right in with the
Alder's green-leafed branches
overhanging the river.

He trims the hair,
adds the brown hackle
from a Metz rooster saddle,
pointed toward the head,
ties it off and drizzles
a bit of glue to secure the knot.
No shiny mylar streamers on this baby!

He gently removes the fly
from the vise with a pair
of needle-nosed pliers,
examines it at close range.

He has tied the perfect
Steelhead Bomber.

These little flies resemble
fuzzy caterpillars.
They throw a wake
behind them
as they skate along the surface
of quiet waters.

When softly cast
the steelhead cannot resist
sipping them from the languid
summer stream.

That night he dreamt
he was already on the river….


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