A Visit from “Saint Fisholas” by C. Clement Trout

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, and we all felt a shiver, not a creature was stirring… ‘specially not in the river. The waders were hung in the garage with great care, though I figured next spring, I’d still need a new pair.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of casting loops danced through their heads. Ma asked me aloud if I’d let the dog out, as I snarfed down some candy, and tied dry flies for trout.

When out on the porch I heard such a loud bump, it startled me silly, and made my hands jump. I spat out a peppermint, feeling angry and dumb, with a size 14 dry-fly hook stuck through my thumb.

I thought, as I screwed the cap back on my glue, “This better not be a lit bag of dog-poo!” When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but three flats boats, four guides, and six cases of beer!

You found me! Thank goodness! You’re granting my wish! I said to the fat one… you must be Saint Fish! He smiled at me softly; guides took off their hats, “Pack up the whole family, we’re going down to the flats.”

He slid his sunglasses down the bridge of his nose, and he gave me a wink, which tingled my toes. “On Bonefish! On Tarpon! On Redfish! On Jacks! Get your rods, and your reels, and your flies, and waist packs!”

Then he raised up his arms, and made two magic skiffs fly, so they cruised and they waited, way up in the sky. He let out a laugh, which made his gut shimmy. I said, “Wait, one more thing… I just gotta call Timmy.”

“You can bring him along, if he packs his stuff fast, He can take pictures, hang out, maybe learn how to cast!” Now sometimes, when you’re happy, you say things like a fool, And I did, telling St. Fish, “Man, you’re totally cool.”

He was dressed for the tropics, from the cap on his head, to the loose shirt, his baggy shorts, and flip-flops (all red). He had a candy-cane push-pole that he used on his boat, and his beard was all stringy, like a sun-baked old goat.

His eyes were quite squinty, and his skin looked like leather, and he said, “Let’s get going, gotta stay ‘head of weather.” So we climbed on the boat, I held everyone near, And he fired up that outboard (he isn’t into reindeer).

Then we sped through the moonlight, and got Ellie and Tim, yet for one little moment, my glad mood turned grim. As we crested the clouds, and swooped up through the fog, I wondered aloud, “Who will cover the blog?”

Now you know where I went; I just gave you the reason, and St. Fish said he’d grant you good luck all next season. But don’t worry if I spend a few days out of sight… From Angling Trade… Happy Christmas, and to all a good night!

Note: This is a revised version of the poem originally published on the Field & Stream “Fly Talk” blog in December 2010.  With this… we want to wish all of you and your families and friends a very safe, joyous holiday season. Thank you for all you’ve done in 2019… and here’s to great things ahead in 2020.  KD&TR

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