Poetry Friday: Flyfishing in the Rain


Fly Fishing, Olentangy River

It wasn’t supposed to rain,
but it did.

At first there was only the sound of water in water –
riffle tumbling over shallow stones.

Next, the sound of water in treetops –
rain approaching river
carried by wind and cloud.

Then, suddenly, the sound of water on water –
drops dimpling river,
elemental hush of reunion.

Sky water and Earth water and me – 
body made of water
standing in water
blessed by water.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2022


We had a nice turnout for the July meet-up of Ohio Women on the Fly. Spirits were high as we walked from the parking lot at Antrim Lake to the Olentangy River, which runs near the south and east sides of the lake. The clouds were building, but we weren’t worried — rain was not in the forecast.

Silly us.

We got soaked. Drenched. We were soggy, and by the time we got back to cars when it was starting to get dark, muddy up to our knees.

It was great fun. It was an adventure. When was the last time you had an adventure (the kind involving lots of water and mud)? I highly recommend it.

Every time I go fly fishing, the experience is new. No two times on a river are the same. That’s why fly fishing is a sport I love.

Catherine gave the Inklings this month’s challenge to write a poem about sports. Here’s what the rest of the crew came up with, and Molly has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup to boot.

Molly@Nix the Comfort Zone
Linda@A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Catherine@Reading to the Core
Margaret@Reflections on the Teche

14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Flyfishing in the Rain”

  1. Such a great experience, Mary Lee! I never went fly fishing but I love to watch anglers on a river, or last week in the ocean surf. I think I have a secret longing to excel at some sport, so I have great admiration for those who do. And your poem is wonderful. I could feel the growing intensity of the rain and loved your word choice – tumbling, dimpling, riffle – and then the human connection at the end. Bravo!


  2. I love this last stanza: Sky water and Earth water and me –
    body made of water
    standing in water
    blessed by water.

    We had that experience in Costa Rica at the hot springs. The water was therapeutic. We were drinking fun cocktails and rain was falling. Sky water and Earth water and the laughter of friends. Blessings indeed!


  3. Mary Lee, I always love to hear of your fly fishing adventures. I have never seen people up close fishing but would love to be introduced to the sport. Thanks for the poem and this wonderful image you created: elemental hush of reunion!


  4. Fishing in the rain–isn’t that supposed to be better luck? I love how your unexpected rainfall turns into joy. I do love the sound of water on water in the wild and in your poem. It gives me a peace just reading it.


  5. I love this kind of adventure, Mary Lee! I haven’t had one for about a year now, and I’m getting itchy. Your poem is flat out gorgeous. The word choice: dimpling, riffling… elemental hush. Wow.


  6. I love the way this builds in ripples outward and back inward to the self, the body of water. “elemental hush of reunion” yes!


  7. Beautiful poem, Mary Lee. I’m glad the rain didn’t spoil your outing. As the others mentioned, yes to “elemental hush of reunion.”


  8. This is wonderful, Mary Lee. I love how the rain builds and that ending–wow! Also, like many others commented, I love “elemental hush of reunion”. It’s so true, but I’m not sure I’d thought of it that way before–I will now thanks to you.


  9. Mary Lee, your ‘Topogram’ poem is a delight to read. It is a celebration of water in the wild. Exulting the many ways water interacts with the world. I was so drawn in as I read from -water –riffle tumbling over shallow stones all the way through to the closing stanza. Water way to go!


  10. Your soggy fishing experience and ‘reel’ poem are the perfect example of how to ‘go with the flow’, Mary Lee. 🙂
    (I agree with the aforementioned comments on your stellar word choices.)


  11. This is beautiful, Mary Lee. I agree with Heidi about loving the way this poem “builds in ripples outward and back.” You make a convincing case for having a water-based adventure!


  12. I’ve never gone fly fishing but you definitely plunged me into the moment with this poem. I could feel the momentum of the rain, the power and intensity. Whoosh! You made me want to be there with that gang.


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