Fly fishing poetry  

Sit and enjoy something light and fishy:  fly fishing haikus and other poems.


Three things are certain:
Small fish, aching muscles, beer.
Guess which one I want.

             Can't catch anything
With my CDC quill fly.
Need woolly buggers

             Bull rushes stirring,
Quiet pond and fearful bait--
Bass big as Buicks.

             In winter snow deep
Deep the tiny fly must go,
Around the rocks slow.

             Small little fishy
Grow stronger and slippery.
Don't find my hook now.

             Evening moon on me:
I am a man you need to seek,
Not a trout to be.

             For once can't there be
A lone trout looking up at me
Moving fins toward me.

             The sun leaves me now
Lonely smells and riffles now--
Now a rise will rise.

             A lonely caddis
Here, now there, seems everywhere
but no fly for me.

             Now the loneliness
Across the cactus and scrub
Of the meadowlark.

             The tires on the road,
Garbage cans against dumpsters--
The song of the thrush.

             A winter river
Many anadromous trout--
The sound of cold rain.

             No one walks this way
No one fishes near these stones--
except birds and I.

             The rain, the wind, night
Some things that try my fishing
and makes the trout laugh.

             The moon sees me now
The birds and weasels see me--
And now the trout do.

Toney J. Sisk

                The Fish

Where mighty waters
Roll and swish
Is called the creature
Called the fish;
The which is known
For stoic look
And an appetite
For a barbed hook;
While some debate
The fish's reason
Pragmatics trap
Him out of season;
And there are those
That take him whole
With lemon in
A casserole--
But in a pool
Or in a dish,
The fact remains
He is a fish.

John P. Sisk

                The Ballad of the Food Chain

How absurd of that bird
To feed on a turd!

How absurd of that turd
To be food for a bird!

Mother Nature,
What's the word?

"Bird and turd
Are not absurd:
Ecology has just occurred."

John P. Sisk

                Epigram For Bedlam

All men are foolish
As all are brothers;

The wise ones know it
And tell the others:

Who take the wise ones

And hang them up
For heresy.

John P. Sisk


Wheels within wheels
And cogs to wind them
And the mind reels
At the wheels behind them;
And the oil to grind them
To temper the squeals
That frictive fusion
Rings from the wheels;

And the shrill confusion
Of the gears in gears
That so appeals
To the Robot's ears
Who spins the wheels
With iron laughter
To drive the pullies
In the rafter;
And who has taught
Us where to kneel
And to question not
The mighty wheel.

John P. Sisk


Winter alone
Why not alone?

Let bygones
Be gone.

Like cold water
Let my cold legs roam
Where only fish could call

Beneath the gravel,
Eggs and lava do conspire.
No matter where I care--
Let my footsteps find a fire.

Toney J. Sisk

                If I were a fish

These things I know
If a fish were I

And my eye eyed
A river known when I was
just an egg's eye.

Aye Aye, I might have said
Returning to my stream,
And with fewer silly words,
Begin as an eye again.

Toney J. Sisk


If words could rise like fish
I don't know what words I'd try.
I'd check the books and try,
And walk the forests to find
Some words that'd fly.
But fishing might be easier than words
When considering how quickly
They turn sick then frail--
You'd think a fish might have an better time
With family and friends
Living their tales.

It is the story that's given.
It is the story we're missing.

Toney J. Sisk


A poem of our desperate attempt
to push the leaves and other nonsense
away to discover a different self,
only to discover oneself, the leaves.

Toney J. Sisk


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