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A Salmon & Trout Association

by Christopher Curtis

As a healthy young salmon, there's no question I am an
unbelievably popular fish,
For I don't have a match as wonderful catch
Or, regrettably, served as a dish.

Every day down our banks the green-wellied ranks,
Casting hard at each fish as it passes.
As I look up I see the reflection of me,
Keeping pace in their Polaroid glasses.

I have travelled afar, since my days as a parr,
And much water's flowed under the bridge,
While a lot of my friends met unfortunate ends,
In a tin, or a freezer, or fridge.

Now I've made it a rule, when I stop in a pool
To examine the dangers about.
As the water gets low and I swim to and fro
I'm advised by the resident trout:

“Smoking's bad for one's health
You must use all your stealth
If you don't wish to be a first course.
Do you know what they do,
They squeeze lemon on you,
Or, in my case, it's horseradish sauce.

See that fly, no don't grab it,
Through need, greed, or habit,
Or an odd piscatorial whim.
You will have to submerge every fly-grabbing urge
If you want to stay here in the swim.

See that fish flash? You must hot make a dash
Without taking a long careful look,
For, like some of the flies, it may hide a surprise
In the shape of a very sharp hook.

And as for those ghillies, they give me the willies,
For they choose the most succulent flies.
Watch that one, he's canny, knows each rock and cranny
And the places where I like to rise.”

That old trout saved my skin,
I wave "thanks" with my fin,
and, resuming my upriver dash,
I set off for the redds (sort of wet nuptial beds)
Where, with luck, things will go with a splash!

Verses by Christopher Curtis