Amber's last day was spent on the Thompson River embracing nature's joy.
She was fly fishing with an elk hair caddis at her employ.
Though death is a finality that cannot be untied,
It is not the fly landing but the cast that defines the ride.
Her journeys took her too many streams, "cricks," and ponds.
From high mountain lakes covered in needles to glades littered with fronds.
Her fishing vest was recovered from the remaining wreckage
With an effort to recall, the beaten vest was given one last voyage
On the calm waters near Russell's Gate
A fisherman's nightmare sealed my fate
A poorly tied leader let the flashing trout go
Now there is one less fish we might have had the pleasure to know
High in a spring in the Elkhorn Mountain
The speckled trout leapt from the water leaving a silvery fountain.
She was deceived by the presentation of a wounded royal wolf on the stalk
After a brief moment on shore she was returned to her watery flock
The Boulder River lay bare and reflective before the setting clarity
Giving it a sense of pristine singularity
The mosquitoes, however, gave little thought to the sun in its golden form
And they quickly drove me from the water in a vast blood thirsty swarm
The Little Blackfoot gave some sport on an odd fly
A fluorescent green bead head was given a try
After two failed attempts to negotiate the icthyological capture
The trials ended with a prism-colored trout form and a self-made rapture
Amber's vest in all of its tan and faded glory
Is now beginning to tell a marked story
Through a Stream's name and date it conjures many trials
Yet it also brings forth many fishing conquests and their frequent byproduct…smiles
Combative fishing on the East Fork of the Bitterroot nearly spoiled the day
It became necessary to travel further upstream pushing past those in the way.
Though my drowning hopper gave no play with its languid theatricality
The travel had offered a small 'peace' of mountain top tranquility.
Prickly Pear Creek offered brookies from its gentle liquid caresses
Childhood memories slowly returned from aged cranial recesses.
I smiled as I waded while my dry black ant glinted in the sun
My cognitions were filled with daydreams of long past summer's fun
My last journey with the vest was spent floating on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River
But the vest was never mine it was just with me to deliver
As I handed it over to Amber's friends and loving kin
I realized that these fishing adventures were far from over and just about to begin.
[It is with a heavy heart that I ask you to consider the following submission. Recently my wife and I lost a Sister. She was an avid conservationist and fisherwoman. She recently passed from this earth and left amongst her belongings her old fishing vest. I thought I would take it out for one lasts adventure for her.]
Cody "the cod" Pallister