By: Scott Schmidt – The Musky Poet
THE RIME OF GUS
Old Gus retired from the Mill
With one thing on his mind,
To fish for Muskies every day
And catch all he could find.
In Gus’s dreams there was a Fish
As long as Gus was tall,
Old Gus knew that someday soon
He’d have it on the wall.
Every day his hopes were high,
His heart filled with elation,
But every night it was the same,
Gus only felt frustration.
He fished the weeds, he fished the rocks,
He fished the deepest spots,
He put his time in on the lakes,
But lucky? Gus was not.
One day Old Gus found a spot
Way back in on the Flowage.
No one ever fished that place,
Not to Gus’s knowledge.
Weedy, deep, and full of rocks,
The perfect place, it seemed,
Old Gus had finally found the home
Of the Muskie of his dreams.
The sky was dark, the air was warm,
The wind a wee bit strong,
So Gus tied on his favorite bait,
A Bucktail, black and long.
Gus’s rod was new and stout,
Graphite, strong yet light,
His line was super heavy,
And his drag was set just right.
He packed his cheek with a fresher chew,
And spit some on his bait,
Then casted near some sunken weeds,
He didn’t have long to wait.
Behind his lure Gus spied a shape
Some five or six feet long,
Old Gus just kept on reeling,
Prayed nothing would go wrong.
The Bucktail blade spun perfectly,
Vibrating, flashed attraction,
Gus swung the rod tip left to right,
Providing extra action.
The cast was done, the line reeled in,
The Muskie was too late,
But Old Gus knew a trick or two;
He did a figure-eight.
The Muskie hit next to the boat,
Gus shuddered at its size,
Gus was amazed, there had to be
A foot between its eyes!
Gus set the hooks. The fight was on!
The Fish gave a mighty pull,
Gus held on as the line screamed out,
He knew his hands were full.
The Monster thrashed next to the boat,
And gave Old Gus a soaking.
Gus was glad when his reel got wet,
It kept the thing from smoking.
He thought of clubbing the Muskie then,
But just knew it wouldn’t work.
The Muskie looked Gus in the eye,
Gus gave another jerk.
The Muskie turned; it jumped, and rolled,
Its strength caused Gus to wonder,
Old Gus focused on fighting the Fish,
Oblivious to the thunder.
The Muskie pulled the boat
At least a half a mile, or more,
The battle raged across the lake,
A long, long way from shore.
Gus’s arms were getting weak
As the Muskie dived and swirled,
But he knew he couldn’t lose that fish,
It was the Biggest in the World!
An hour after that fateful cast,
The battle was nearly done,
The Muskie made a last-ditch pull,
And Gus knew he had won.
His mind was all aflood with thoughts
Of newspapers and TV,
This massive Fish would bring Gus fame,
It was plain to see.
With ready gaff in his right hand,
The left with rod tip high,
Poor Gus never expected
The Lightning from the sky.
That awesome bolt stopped Gus’s heart.
It shocked the Muskie dead.
They found them both, there in the lake,
Floating, head to head.
Gus’s funeral was unique,
But everybody knew,
That what they’d done was just the thing
Old Gus would want them to.
They buried Gus and the Muskie together,
The epitaph goes like this:
HERE LIES A MAN
WITH NO REGRETS
HE DIED WHILE CATCHING FISH