The Salmon River pulled under a golden
nimbus of dawn, leaves dragging yellow
through the flow and red punctuating
the water’s progress like road flares.
My son and I had risen from the south,
Interstate 81 persistent like a drone
hovering beyond reach of the wheel.
We didn’t watch. We beheld the spey caster.
Matt’s steelhead stood in for a hundred
succumbing to such beauty. Casts
turned long, over and across a stretch,
from below a tailout.
The precision of standing far back
and letting the streamer be
as an unknown wild thing.
So distant the cast—as if unattached.
Bruce Edward Litton catches steelhead in New York’s Salmon River with his son, Matt. He lives in Bedminster, NJ, with his wife, Patricia. His poems appear in Ocean, The Columbia Review, Small Brushes, and other journals. His essays on fishing appear in the Drake, Salmon and Steelhead Journal, and Tail fly fishing magazine, among others.