Favourite Fishing Poem

A. Fluker

Well-known member
May 26, 2006
On the Edge
Here is one of mine....

"Oh, thrilling the rise at the lure that is dry,
When the slow trout comes up to the slaughter,
Yet rather would I
Have the turn at my fly,
The cunning brown wink under water.”

Do you have one that you could share?



Well-known member
May 18, 2006
Near Southampton
That's actually a single verse from a long poem (or is it doggerel ?) written by GEM Skues. Quite good it is, too.

I always find the one about "There is a fine stuffed chavender / A chavender, or chub..." very amusing....

There is a fine stuffed chavender,
A chavender or chub,
That decks the rural pavender,
The pavender or pub,
Wherein I eat my gravender,
My gravender or grub.

How good the honest gravender!
How snug the rustic pavender!
From sheets as sweet as lavender,
As lavender, or lub,
I jump into my tavender,
My tavender, or tub.

Alas! for town and clavender,
For business and club!
They call me from my pavender
To-night; ay, there’s the ravender
Ay, there comes in the rub!
To leave each blooming shravender,
Each Spring-bedizened shrub,
And meet the horsey savender,
The very forward sub,
At dinner at the clavender,
And then at billiards dravender,
At billiards roundly drub
The self-sufficient cavender,
The not ill-meaning cub,
Who me a bear will davender,
A bear unfairly dub,
Because I sometimes snavender,
Not too severely snub
His setting right the clavender,
His teaching all the club!

Farewell to peaceful pavender,
My river-dreaming pub,
To bed as sweet as lavender,
To homely, wholesome gravender,
And you, inspiring chavender,
Stuff’d chavender, or chub.

Warham St Leger
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Dec 12, 2011
A piece written by "SULLIVAN THE POET"
More of his work can be viewed HERE

‘Astalk the Peal..’

In crystal streams,
all babbled bright,
where gem set currents jink and play;
Beneath a blackly velvet night,
quicksilver wolves do languid prey:
Half shadows ‘neath their liquid skies,
all phosphorescent twinks and sparks;
They patient scan,
with coal black eyes,
that firmament in watchful arcs:
Where sinuous they dance and glide,
each fluid as that rushing flow;
All flash and fin to scorn the tide,
their rhythmic sambas,
to and fro:
Assassins each in nature’s dance,
all stationed fast in shadowed swifts;
Fierce ivoried against the chance,
to seize upon *Tamara’s gifts.

Their hubris plump and dappled brown,
in every haughty,
silvered scale;
Dares each the river prince’s crown,
its sceptre,
mace and holy grail:
Flailed ocean bold and riptide strong,
how dull must these poor currents play;
How drear the river’s gentle song,
how meagre spreads this stream’s buffet:
Pale each the otter,
pike and mink,
laid ‘gainst the monsters of the deep;
Where fate comes slash toothed,
in a blink,
and death itself dares not to sleep:
Thus arrogant they wolven lair,
their palates jade the bounteous brine;
Until the plumpest,
brightest fare,
dares tempt these denizens to dine.

Oh Salmo Trutta; pompous **Peal,
how poor you know the river’s wiles;
How fur and feather,
silk and steel,
each cunning craft the eye beguiles:
Or deep within its hackled wing,
all velvet bodied whipped noose tight;
There lurks unseen an acid sting,
a silver barb’ed lethal bite!
Know you the nought the lissom wrist,
that flicks and loops its silken leash;
That soft as down the surface kissed,
to tempting lay its dread pastiche:
To dance,
upon its master’s whim,
a tantalising roundelay;
And turn and twirl and soar and swim,
to lure you join its dread ballet.

When boastful beast, in prideful flight,
like mercury you flashing strike;
All thrash and foam shown moonlit bright,
as breach you fierce as any Pike:
And in that instant reckless seal,
Hell’s bargain, ‘neath a Cornish moon;
against your life swift, careless Peal,
to cast the reaper’s dice...
Too soon.
To leap and splash your fierce gavot,
as ‘cross that silvered floor you prance;
Each step,
each forced resentful trot,
stings taut the line that bids you dance!
To turn your last,
and slap and spray,
against death’s ballroom’s star shot sky;

‘Til spent and humbled,
banked you lay;
Served false a fickle, steel tailed fly...

*Cornish Goddess of the rivers and streams
after whom the 'Tamar' is named.
**Cornish name for the Sea Trout.


Well-known member
Nov 7, 2008
The Northern Shire of York....within the Kingdom o
my favourite is one i wrote in memory of my Dad ...........:thumbs:

I started when i was four
going out with dad through the door
go to the shed and get the bike
and off we would go on our little hike

off we go to Acaster Malbis on the Yorkshire Ouse
early morning the sky full of blues
watching dad catch all those fish
i think i would like to do that .. what a wish

my next trip to a little pond not a river
the though of it had me all of a quiver
to use cotton worm and sticks to catch newts
the great crested ones they were beaut,s

we now go to the age of six
left behind the cotton worms and sticks
dad bought me a centrepin dont know what make
but with open arms and a hug the reel i did take

a split cane rod and trusty pin
we go to the river my face all of a grin
for bait some bread and cheese paste
i thought im hungry, what a waste

we get to our swim and make a cast
will we have enough bait will it last
of the bait all i could think of was grub
then a rap on the rod a strike my first chub

at first the fish i didn't know
my experience was good but slow
dad tells me son that's your first chub
my reply, can we take it home dad for some grub

we jump now quite a while
along with my experience and guile
my age now its nearly twenty
always looking to catch fish a plenty

i go to matches here and there
fishing for the roach on hemp and tare
carting all that match gear everywhere
end up being a tackle tart wallet always bare

all excited at buying a new pole
the very same day my dad dies god rest his soul
he was looking forward to using "that roach thing"
my old man he was a character always fishing and going poaching

as his death passes time it heals
looking forward now to getting some new wheels
there's nothing like getting a new car
the one that's going to take me wide and far

from my twenties to my thirties
my attention goes to bearded bertie's
my first double it came from the River Ure
on a beef and liver bait i did lure

years have come and years have past
you always remember the first and not the last
the first its always set in your mind
gone are the days when you used to fish blind

now to this coming season
in memory of my dad to go fishing i need no reason
the thought of it like the old days has me all a quiver
for dad this year i hope for a double from every Yorkshire river.

The End.

thanks for reading;)


Well-known member
Sep 30, 2010
In therapy.

(Having posted in haste, I'm having a rethink. :eek:)
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shuck raider

Well-known member
May 17, 2006
Belfast, Norn Iron

Hangs, a fat gun-barrel,

deep under arched bridges

or slips like butter down

the throat of the river.

From the depths smooth-skinned as plums

his muzzle gets bull's eye;

picks off grass-seed and moths

that vanish, torpedoed.

Where water unravels

over gravel-beds he

is fired from the shallows

white belly reporting

flat; darts like a tracer-

bullet back between stones

and is never burnt out.

A volley of cold blood

ramrodding the current.

by Seamus Heaney


Well-known member
Sep 30, 2010
In therapy.
I'd forgotten Ted Hughes

Night Arrival of Sea-Trout, by Ted Hughes

Honeysuckle hanging her fangs.

Foxglove rearing her open belly.

Dogrose touching the membrane.

Through the dew’s mist, the oak’s mass

Comes plunging, tossing dark antlers.

Then a shattering

Of the river’s hole, where something leaps out –

An upside-down, buried heaven

Snarls, moon-mouthed, and shivers.

Summer dripping stars, biting at the nape.

Lobworms coupling in saliva.

Earth singing under her breath.

And out in the hard corn a horned god

Running and leaping

With a bat in his drum.

---------- Post added at 03:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:19 PM ----------


by Seamus Heaney

I didn't know that one. Thanks SR.:thumbs:


Well-known member
May 17, 2006
The Pike

From shadows of rich oaks outpeer
The moss-green bastions of the weir,
Where the quick dipper forages
In elver-peopled crevices,
And a small runlet trickling down the sluice
Gossamer music tires not to unloose.

Else round the broad pool's hush
Nothing stirs,
Unless sometime a straggling heifer crush
Through the thronged spinney where the pheasant whirs;
Or martins in a flash
Come with wild mirth to dip their magical wings,
While in the shallow some doomed bulrush swings
At whose hid root the diver vole's teeth gnash.

And nigh this toppling red, still as the dead
The great pike lies, the murderous patriarch
Watching the waterpit sheer-shelving dark,
Where through the plash his lithe bright vassals thread.

The rose-finned roach and bluish bream
And staring ruffe steal up the stream
Hard by their glutted tyrant, now
Still as a sunken bough.

He on the sandbank lies,
Sunning himself long hours
With stony gorgon eyes:
Westward the hot sun lowers.

Sudden the gray pike changes, and quivering poises for slaughter;
Intense terror wakens around him, the shoals scud awry, but there chances
A chub unsuspecting; the prowling fins quicken, in fury he lances;
And the miller that opens the hatch stands amazed at the whirl in the water.



Well-known member
Sep 30, 2010
In therapy.
Going to raise you, Gander


Pike, three inches long, perfect
Pike in all parts, green tigering the gold.
Killers from the egg: the malevolent aged grin.
They dance on the surface among the flies.

Or move, stunned by their own grandeur,
Over a bed of emerald, silhouette
Of submarine delicacy and horror.
A hundred feet long in their world.

In ponds, under the heat-struck lily pads-
Gloom of their stillness:
Logged on last year's black leaves, watching upwards.
Or hung in an amber cavern of weeds

The jaws' hooked clamp and fangs
Not to be changed at this date:
A life subdued to its instrument;
The gills kneading quietly, and the pectorals.

Three we kept behind glass,
Jungled in weed: three inches, four,
And four and a half: red fry to them-
Suddenly there were two. Finally one

With a sag belly and the grin it was born with.
And indeed they spare nobody.
Two, six pounds each, over two feet long
High and dry and dead in the willow-herb-

One jammed past its gills down the other's gullet:
The outside eye stared: as a vice locks-
The same iron in this eye
Though its film shrank in death.

A pond I fished, fifty yards across,
Whose lilies and muscular tench
Had outlasted every visible stone
Of the monastery that planted them-

Stilled legendary depth:
It was as deep as England. It held
Pike too immense to stir, so immense and old
That past nightfall I dared not cast

But silently cast and fished
With the hair frozen on my head
For what might move, for what eye might move.
The still splashes on the dark pond,

Owls hushing the floating woods
Frail on my ear against the dream
Darkness beneath night's darkness had freed,
That rose slowly toward me, watching.

Ted Hughes

the grasshopper

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2007
An Muileann gCearr
The Fisherman
By William Butler Yeats 1865–1939
Although I can see him still—
The freckled man who goes
To a gray place on a hill
In gray Connemara clothes
At dawn to cast his flies—
It's long since I began
To call up to the eyes
This wise and simple man.
All day I'd looked in the face
What I had hoped it would be
To write for my own race
And the reality:
The living men that I hate,
The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat,
The insolent unreproved—
And no knave brought to book
Who has won a drunken cheer—
The witty man and his joke
Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries
The catch cries of the clown,
The beating down of the wise
And great Art beaten down.

Maybe a twelve-month since
Suddenly I began,
In scorn of this audience,
Imagining a man,
And his sun-freckled face
And gray Connemara cloth,
Climbing up to a place
Where stone is dark with froth,
And the down turn of his wrist
When the flies drop in the stream—
A man who does not exist,
A man who is but a dream;
And cried, “Before I am old
I shall have written him one
Poem maybe as cold
And passionate as the dawn.”


Well-known member
Oct 28, 2007
Richard Walker's "Grizzleguts" takes some beating. I posted it on here a couple of years ago and it sums up some of the attitudes you can read on here daily very well indeed.


Well-known member
Dec 13, 2010
Rainham, Kent
When I stand on a riverbank, not as an angler, I am enchanted.

Enchanted by the flow of the water, and the reflections of clouds.

Enchanted by the bank-side vegetation, and the nodding flowers.

By the birdlife as it clacks and quacks, peeps and sings, and flashes by in irridescent feathers.

And by the smells of crushed river-mint, and water-parsley and fragrant flowers.

Yet, not as an angler, I am soon bored, and turn away, not knowing what else there is to see.

A fleeting few moments that refresh the soul.

But when I come to the water as an angler, I come not to see, though see I do, but to engage the water as a creature of the river, and to learn, and to play a part.

As a mock predator, my senses are sharpened and my observation made far keener than any casual onlooker.

I see beneath the surface, just a little with my eyes, more so, much more so, with my mind.

Building a picture of that unseen land from small clues of swirling water and growing weed, and from the knowledge that I have learned of the habits of the creatures there.

Not for a few moments, or for many minutes, but for hours on end, I will delight in what nature has to reveal.

Even when fingers burn cold, or cold wind driven rain whips against my face, I will stay and see and listen and enjoy.

‘You don’t have to be an angler to enjoy going to the river’, they say.

And by saying that betray a lack of understanding, not only of an anglers’ passion, but of what is missing from their lives.

As they miss the sound of a gnawing vole, the sight of a chub rising to a struggling fly, the companionship of a robber robin, and a sunburst through an evening mist.

Because they paused, and then passed by.

And having missed all of this, I could never explain to them the thrill of a dipping float, nor holding in my hands a piece of gold alive, and watching it return with a casual grace back to that half mysterious place below where their vision ceases, and an angler’s vision goes.

When I Stand On A Riverbank


Well-known member
Nov 7, 2008
The Northern Shire of York....within the Kingdom o
Richard Walker's "Grizzleguts" takes some beating. I posted it on here a couple of years ago and it sums up some of the attitudes you can read on here daily very well indeed.

Bob here ya go :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:


When men looked very much like apes, five million years ago,
They only caught small animals, or old ones that were slow.
They hadn't learned to use a tool, nor yet invented huts,
But each tribe had a member whose name was Grizzleguts.

"It's really most unsporting," he would furiously roar,
Whenever he saw something he had never seen before.
About each new invention he would angrily complain,
Saying it should be made taboo and never used again.

One day, while hunting in a group some men disturbed a deer,
It brushed asidetheir grasping hands and very soon broke clear.
Inspired, one hunter threw a rock and hit it on the head.
Old Grizzleguts then raised his voice and this is what he said:

"It's really most unsporting, we shall have to see it's banned.
The only decent way to kill is with your own bare hand,
If everyone starts throwing things, if rocks & stones are tossed,
The fine old art of throttling will very soon be lost."

A few ice ages later a man picked up a pole
And found that if he sharpened it, the thing would make a hole.
And when he stuck it in a boar, his quarry quickly died,
But Grizzleguts was watching him, and this is what he cried.

"It's really most unsporting; we shall have to make a rule,
That says a sharpened hunting pole is a forbidden tool.
If not, we'll kill off all the game! We'll wipe out all the stocks!
And soon, society will lose the art of throwing rocks!"

Another ice age later a hunter made a bow,
And aiming at a bison, saw his arrow lay it low.
The hunter was delighted when he saw how well he'd aimed,
But Grizzleguts, who stood nearby, immediately declaimed:

"It's really most unsporting, and it shouldn't be allowed,
If this is not prevented it will spread to all the crowd.
There won't be any bison left, and that would be a shame;
And society will quickly lose the art of spearing game."

Today, if you invent a better fishing rod, reel or gun
To do what once we did for food and now we do for fun;
If you devise a more effective cartridge, bait or fly,
Old Grizzleguts is still around,and this is what he'll cry:

"It's really most unsporting, and a rule we must adopt,
That says the use of this new thing is permanently stopped.
I've never even seen it, no sight of it I've had,
But I am quite convinced that new things must all be bad!"

Do not let his cries concern you, for he seldom gets his way.
The inventions that improved man's lot have come, and come to stay.
And but forthese inventions we can very plainly see
That Grizzleguts would feed on nuts and live up in a tree!



Well-known member
Feb 6, 2010
[To be read in the style of the late, great Tommy Cooper]

Tier Tupp was man reprehensible
His materials were indefensible
The local ram always ran
Where'er he saw this man
Because his p*bes were deemed Indispensible.

I thank you!:D


Well-known member
Apr 11, 2011
Wonderful thread, thank you!

Here's one of Norman MacCaig's many, just the first that came to hand:

Spinning Minnow

God in a green legend, I lean over the pool

In a testament of leaves. I dangle my twinkling mood

Before me in a cool cave roofed over with branches

And floored with a skin of water. With a delicate hand

I cast it, lose it in a bull's eye ripple,

Let it sink and sidle down the water's shadows.

O moment's darling, I tremble, my hand shakes, twirling

The silvery slip through pale glooms of water.

What savage beauty may rush from its hidden holt,

Swallow you in fire and drench the air with a bitter

Battering of drops, of fire, of its own self curling,

A silver demon, a dancing and dying thought.

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