Fly Fishing Season
Subtle signs of the season are everywhere,
Fly rods propped up delicately against white pine trees,
Neoprene waders hang over pick-up truck tailgates.
It is fly fishing season in northern Michigan.
Bearded men hang around the beer cooler, Budweiser in ringed
Six packs cling to fingers; they speak in hushed tones of pending hatches.
The bait refrigerator is full of worms- once the flies come on
Everyone knows that bait is worthless. Frugal locals won’t
Pay the lofty 3.95 a dozen price for items that will not work.
The Styrofoam meat tray filled with Don’s hand tied flies for a dollar
Have been worked over-only the dusty mayflies with rusty hooks remain,
These flies are the leftovers from last season.
Stopping by the landing to peek at the river
It doesn’t take long for an old Dodge pick-up truck to pull up.
An old man cruising landings, dreaming about
The days when he was strong enough to fish. His first words:
“Hatch came on good at the next landing last night.”
Peering into the cab I see the remains of dead Bud cans and a canister
Of oxygen, a new devise from years of smoking cigars on the river.
You know my theory he says: “Four days of 78 and sun,
Evenings no cooler than 52, brings on the hatch.
Last night was day four.” My mind drifts
I am not a subscriber of the four day theory. I am a smell the hatch
Theory subscriber, the hatch comes on when the sweet summer breeze
Mixes with the cool river water creating the hatch.
If you are conscience of nature you can notice the subtle change.
This change is what brings on the hatch.
The truth is probably a mixture of the two theories, warm days, cool breezes,
Mixing with the constant flow of clear, icy water,
Hatches, mystical and subtle like the signs of the season-
Fly fishing season in northern Michigan. (332)
Steven M. Beyer