The Sighting

J2548 fly fisherman1

Fly fisherman on the Campbell River, Campbell River, B.C., July 30, 2018.   Photo/Jan Haag

In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.
—Norman Maclean, “A River Runs Through It”

Let him be
standing just like that,
legs apart in the stream,
one hand on the rod,
the other pulling the fly line
toward him, red filament pooling
in a circle atop the swirls
of water at his knees.

Let him be
there in July,
when the chinook
are heading upstream,
when they are ripe with eggs,
when they might be hungry
for the fly.

Let him be
the young man in waders
wearing a reddish beard,
his calm hands unhurried
as he waves the wand
over his head in a graceful
arc between 10 and 2,
deftly setting leader and fly
atop water on its busy way
to the sea.

Let him be
aware of salmon
swimming toward him
as the river runs by him.

Let him be
aware of me as I stand
dry-footed on shore,
watching. Let him cast me
a fond smile. Let him wish me
a happy birthday, many
returns of the day.

Let him know
that I made it to sixty,
though he did not.

Let me turn and walk
back up the hill
whispering,
thank you,
and once again,
goodbye.

Let him know.
Let him be.
Let him.

7/30/18
Campbell River, B.C.

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About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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4 Responses to The Sighting

  1. amasshoo says:

    Well done, Jan.  I love it!Cora

  2. Smydans says:

    Oh, how beautiful! Thank you

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