The Big Brown
The fly slowly spins in air before me,
Arcing downward, to darker, cooler water.
A ripple forms and becomes a moving vee.
The feathered enactor swims once again with grace.
Another cast, more line this time.
Run it over dark and weedy depths.
Dark shapes move higher in the flow.
Line pulls tight as the fly ducks under.
A flash of white and the fly is gone.
The graphite bends towards ancient strength.
Line is pulled tight as ancient power unfolds.
Deeper now with dorsal turning.
The big brown burrows for the bottom.
The hook digs deep. The power increasing.
He drives for light, to loose the hook.
But hands of speed await his presence.
And shorter line meets airborne bravery.
The big brown shudders and dives once more.
Line is slowly wrapping his fate in circles.
His ancient strength is wearing out.
His speed decreases in the chase.
Closer now he sees the master.
With years of skill and tension flexed
He feels the capture of the net below.
And lays, gills pumping while hook removed,
Is carefully placed on sheepskin soft.
He feels uplifted with strong hands holding
His massive girth and strength on high.
But now he feels the wet and motion.
Soft hands hold gently, that mighty shape,
And wait while water slides through gills, awaiting.
He dives for darkness and is gone.
Denis Hearn. 2001