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The Night Before Christmas

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Ronan's report


Wednesday 24th December, 2008

With Many Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore...

'Twas the night before Christmas, Mancamp on Lake X,
Not an insect was stirring, not even a hex.

The wading socks were hung by the camp-fire with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The Loopers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Z-Axis danced in their heads.

And Paul in his polyprops, and Babus in her cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out behind mancamp there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bag to see what was the matter.

Out the back of the camper I flew like a flash,
Tripped on some beer bottles and fell on my ass.

The moon on the surface of the glassy calm pool,
Sparkled and danced like a beautiful jewel.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a sexy red driftboat, being towed by reindeer.

With a little old angler, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than bonefish his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.

"Now, Krieger! now, Rajeff! now, O’Keefe and Gordon!
On, Lefty! on Joanie! on, Gawesworth and Morgan!

Up into the mountains! To the top of it all!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry flies that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

Then down to the put-in the coursers they flew,
With the boat full of gear, and St. Nicholas too.

And then into the water, the driftboat did slide,
The reindeer and trailer moved off to the side.

As I picked myself up, and was turning around,
Down the lake shore St. Nicholas rowed without sound.

He was dressed in red polyprops, from his waist to his foot,
And his flyrod was tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of tackle he had flung on his back,
And he looked just like Lars opening up his chest pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
Filled with fly fishing passion that all of us carry.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
As he scanned the lakes surface for a fish that might show.

The grip of the rod he held light in his hand,
And his line lay in coils set to shoot on demand.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he’d cast like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

But one look at the fly tied to Saint Nick’s long thread,
Soon gave me to know, fish had something to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Double hauled a ninety footer; then stopped with a jerk.

By laying his fly down then stripping it slow,
And twitching the rod, up the brown trout he rose.

He landed the fish, to his team gave a whistle,
And down the lake they all flew like the down of a thistle.

And I heard him exclaim, ere he soared out of sight,
"Fish On and Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

----------------------------------------

If you don’t find anything in your stocking this year, don’t worry, it wasn’t your fault. Saint Nick just decided to go fishing instead. I think we can all understand.

Happy Christmas,
Matt


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