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The Outdoors Almanac | EXCERPT

Fishing lines

It's verse versus verse for some poetic anglers.

March 09, 2004

Competition at the Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Ore., is so laid-back, no one really keeps track of which poem wins. The fame comes from a moment of glory in front of a pub-seated crowd. But there are constraints.

Rule 1: Contestants receive the rules Friday evening and must have their entries ready by 11 p.m. Saturday to compete.

Rule 2: Each entry must be a four-line poem with at least two rhymes.

Rule 3: The entry must include the scientific name of a Northwestern fish. (A fish poster, which is also the prize, is provided for reference.)

A helpful hint for deciphering the poster: Oncorhynchus is salmon.

Among the 2004 contenders read at the gathering last month:

Two kinds of luck there are: good and bad

I guess it's four kinds that I've had

Kisutch, tshawytscha, keta and gorbuscha

four species of the genus oncorhynchus

Caught a deckload, now they sink us!

-- John Palmes

Juneau, Alaska

*

When going out and doing my work-a

I prefer to catch oncorhynchus nerka.

But when I'm being a regular guy

I just grab a fresh bright sockeye.

-- Buck Meloy

Bellingham, Wash.

*

We call you On chin cus (Ts)cha watch cha

liege of the palate and King of trollers dreams

You dance on the gurney like a Latin cha cha

And Snake River Dams bathe in coastal

Alaskan Screams.

-- David Bean

Portland, Ore.

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