By Harry Piper
Tying flies is mostly preparation
and ritual: fill favorite glass,
the one with the trout on the side,
with ice and a good single-malt.
Place glass on near right corner
of old roll-top desk you use to tie.
Sit down. Pick up glass
and take first sip. Smack lips.
Scratch chin and think about
what fly to tie—Steelhead Bee?
Don’t feel like spinning all that hair.
How ‘bout a nice Silver Hilton?
Sounds good. Start opening drawers
to look for black chenille, grizzly hackle,
a piece of oval silver tinsel ribbing,
and Mallard flank fibers for the tail.
Hmm, have to substitute for that one.
And where are all my new spey hooks?
Reach for glass, take another sip.
Fumble breast pocket. Oh, yeah,
I quit smoking. Turn on the light.
Open more drawers. Stand up
to stretch, sit down again. Reach
for glass and take another sip. Mmm.
Go to the refrigerator for ice
and more Scotch. Go to bathroom.
Walk back to desk and sit down.
Let’s see now, where was I.
From Ballad of a Bighorn Guide: Poems with Fins. Order a copy from the author .