Just down river, a short distance from the dam,
There is a borrow pit, once filled with gravel and sand.
Now it’s a pond not too big, not too small,
Where I would run to fish when my friends would call.
There on the banks a contest would begin,
Champion trout verses novice fishermen.
The trout had the advantage, it was in his home court,
Every time I tried; I would end up a bit short.
One day the trout was a bit off his game,
I snared this warrior, my new claim to fame.
I held the trout tightly as I carefully removed the hook.
I looked him in the eyes as both hands of mine shook.
He seemed to say, “You got me this time.”
“We can do this again, if you let me off your line.”
So, back in the water I gently released this graceful foe,
He swam a few feet, turned to wink, then he would go.
The trout and I would meet many more times,— Albert L Swope
He became an old friend at the end of my line,
Sometimes I’d catch him, other times I wouldn’t get close.
My friend from the borrow pit, my most gracious host.
It was finally summer, some fish needed to be caught,
So, I and the boys carried the poles that we brought.
Through the woods to the creek down the banks,
We knew those trout would never stand a chance.
But every time we neared the shore,
We’d slide down the bank with a terrible roar.
Somehow, we would land in a yellowjacket nest,
Arms went flailing, and I tore off my fishing vest.
Swatting and swinging mostly just air,
Occasionally our blows would hit some of them there.
They’d start floating downstream where the trout had a feast,
Even this could not stop us from having fun in the least.
We had plenty of bites but none from the fish,
They would never be part of that day’s picnic dish.
We’d tell mom we had “Yellow-Jacket Surprise,”
Which would be perfect with any of her pies.
Every summer, we’d return to that unlucky spot,
Determined this time, some fish would be caught.
And every time the yellowjackets would be there,
And sure enough, we’d land in the nest with a flare.
Looking back on those yellowjacket summers with friends,
Are wonderful memories that bring out a grin.
If we’ve known then, what we know now,
We’d have brought a small net with us somehow.
We would catch some yellowjackets flying about,
And use them for bait to catch us some trout.
It was already proven the trout loved the taste,
Then our pain from the stings would not go to waste.
Ahh, yellowjacket summers were always the best,— Albert L Swope
With friends and fishing, and yellowjacket nests.