Two Poems - by Gary Metras

Fly Fishing The Deerfield River In Early March


Snow melt has made the banks 

of the river soft.


I half slide down to the water,

snow become mud, 


become the cold home of the trout 

I seek. The gravel 


and rocks of riverbed feel more certain 

underfoot, though 


every now and then, I wobble

in the strong current, 


balancing a poignant desire 

for spring fishing, 


for relief from solid walls surrounding

the heart and soul,


like the flies I’ve tied, on extra 

sharp hooks. Perhaps 


the Early Dark Stoneflies will hatch.

I have them in my fly box,


waiting a month or more for this day,

the way all of us


anticipate the earth’s tilting toward 

spring and release. 





Richard Bunse Illustration


It doesn’t see me walking the path

on the other side of the river.


I watch it stepping, sure-footed,

up and down the rocks of the river bank,


its dark fur glistening under a dull sky,

its long body undulating over hard stone.


I whistle. It stops. I stop. Its small head

with smaller eyes turns to stare at me.


I’m sure my wrap-around sunglasses

make no sense in its memory bank—


a wide, dark stripe across a pale face

half-hidden by a faded red hood.


I must seem, if anything, an exotic

and wingless bird. I chirp.


It turns away and quickly continues

its own journey along the river.


I will tell others I meet today about

whistling to a mink and wonder


if I will become a story in its world.



Gary Metras' work has appeared in Gray’s Sporting Journal, Poetry, Wild Earth, and Yankee Magazine. He has two books of fly fishing poetry: Two Bloods and River Voice II, and is the past president of the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts chapter of Trout Unlimited.


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