Roger Smith – our own Poet Laureate

As you will all know many of our members are active in the Grayling Society enjoying days out fishing on a variety of Border rivers and streams. Annually, the society holds a weekend Symposium on a rotational basis in different parts of the country. This year is was held at Lockerbie with fishing on the river Annan. So what I hear you say. Well, as part of the Symposium proceedings, each year a prestigious trophy is awarded to the winner of a  competition, the subject of which is set by the committee.  This year the chosen subject was poetry. Our very own Roger Smith duly entered and was pleased to find out at the symposium that he was the winner of the Righyni-Roose trophy for 2015. This is a tremendous accolade and we must all congratulate Roger on this achievement. Roger has allowed me to publish his winning entry which you will see below. I hope to be able to attach some pictures of the presentation ceremony when I can get them from Peter Major. Well done Roger from us all.

An ode to the “Lady of the Stream”


Thymallus thymallus, “Lady of the Stream”,

so wild in your heart, and in guile so supreme!

Your scales and your fins iridescent in hue,

make you and your kind such good sport to pursue.


Many times you lure me to the river bankside,

where you’re cunning and sly and often will hide.

With fly or with worm I’ve tried hard to seduce you,

sometimes I succeed, but frequently miss you!


The ‘Witch’ or some other fanciful flies,

I’ve managed to cast in front of your eyes.

Fussy you are, and a hard one to tempt,

but take them you have done, and I am content.


Many rivers I visit, to fish for your sort,

with my rod, line and fly, you bravely have fought.

Armed with brandling or maggot I sometimes resort

to ‘trot’ past your nose, and oft’ times you’re caught.


A lifetime spent fishing, and methods show change,

but the rod, reel and line remain much the same.

Czech nymphs and French leaders head up this new craze,

‘Klink’n’ dink’ has its place – and can truly amaze!


The first time I caught you I mused at your stealth,

now fifty years on I still ‘drink to your health’!

My Red Tag it lured you – to the net you did go,

your successors I tempt now… how little they know!


Thymallus thymallus, “Lady of the Stream”,

so wild in your heart, and in guile so supreme!

Some folks called you villain, how cruel and how mean,

but for me you are always – “Lady of the Stream”!



Roger Smith

August 2015

Pictures now received and here is Roger receiving his trophy.

Steve Skuce presents the Righyni-Roose trophy to Roger Smith



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