Man From Stanley River
Man From Stanley River (Poem)
was movement at Lake Somerset, for the word had passed around,
That a Cod from Woodford Weir had washed away,
And had joined the wild fishes, Oh it weighed a hundred pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted fishos from places near and far,
Had mustered at Kirkleagh Campground overnight,
For these anglers love hard fishing where the bigger fishes are,
And their outboards snuff the battle with delight.
was Rod Harrison, who learnt his trade while he was still a cop,
The big man with his girth that's wide you know,
But few can fish beside him when his blood is fairly up,
He can go wherever fish or man could go.
And Schultzy of Lake Wivenhoe came up to lend a hand,
No better angler ever held a rod,
For not a fish could spool him while the reel gears would stand,
He learnt to fish out west on Murray Cod.
one was there, a stripling in a small and leaky boat,
It was something like bass boat undersized,
With a tiny little two stroke six or eight horsepower at least,
But such as are by river anglers prized.
It was hard and tough and noisy, just the sort that won't say
There was courage in its quick impatient idle,
And it bore the badge of ANSA like a bright and fiery eye,
And the proud and lofty ports of It's head.
still so slight and leaky one would doubt its power to plane,
And the old man said "that boat will never do,
For a long and tiring session lad you'd better stop away,
Those waves are far to rough for such as you."
So he waited sad and wistful, only Schultzy stood his friend,
"I think we ought to let him come," he said,
"I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end,
For both his rig and he are local bred".
hails from Stanley River up by Mt Archer's side,
Where the snags are twice as thick and twice as rough,
Where a motors prop strikes firelight from rocks on every side,
And a man that holds his own is good enough.
And the Stanley River anglers in the snags they make their home,
Where the river runs those giant hills between,
I have seen full many fishos since I first began to roam,
But nowhere yet such anglers have I seen".
he went they ran the sounders up along the lakeside stumps,
They trolled and cast around the rocks oh how,
And the old man gave his orders "boys lets go try around
No use to try for fancy fishing now.
And Schultzy, you must go now, go try up along the right,
Fish boldly lad and never fear the knocks,
For never yet was angler that will keep this cod in sight,
If once it gains the shelter of those rocks".
So Schultzy fished along the rocks he was fishing on the wing,
Where the best and boldest anglers take their place,
And he ran his sounder right over it and made the ranges ring,
With his flyrod as he met it face to face.
And it halted for a moment while he swung the dreaded lash,
But it saw its well-loved river full in view,
And it charged beneath the flyrod with a sharp and sudden dash,
And off into the upstream snags it flew.
fast the fishos followed where the water's deep and black,
Resounded to the rumble of their boats,
And their casting woke the echoes and they fiercely answered back,
From cliffs and crags that surround this winding moat.
And upward ever upward the big cod held its way,
Where ironbark and eucalypt once grew wide,
And the old man muttered fiercely " We may bid the cod good
No man can get past Villeneuve side.
they reach the rivers summit even Schultzy took a pull,
It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
The wild bottlebrush grew thickly and the hidden water was full,
Of rocks and snags and any slip was death.
But the man from Stanley River let the tinny have its head,
He swung his flyrod round and gave cheer,
And he raced it up the river like a torrent down its bed,
Wile the others stood and watched with very fear.
sent the cormorants flying but the tinny kept its feet,
He cleared the fallen timber in his stride,
And the man from Stanley River never shifted from his seat,
It was grand to see that river angler drive.
Through the ironbarks and saplings on the rough unchartered ground,
Up the river at a racing pace he went,
And he never drew the throttle till he landed safe and sound,
At top of that terrible ascent.
hooked up on the monster as it rounded the next hill,
And the watchers in their boats were standing mute,
Saw him bend his rod so fiercely he had him on yet still,
As he raced across the water in pursuit.
Then it snagged him for a moment where to mountain gullies met,
In the river but a final glimpse reveals,
Up a dim and distant feeder creek the big cod was running yet,
With the man from Stanley River at its heels.
he fought it single handed till his hands were white with foam,
He followed like a bloodhound on its track,
Till it halted cowed and beaten and he turned its head for home,
And alone and unassisted brought it back.
But his hardy little tinny it could scarcely raise a troll,
It was dented and leaking water from the snags,
But its motor was still running though its telltale running hot,
For never yet was two stroke donks a cur.
down by Kilcoy township where the hoop pine ridges raise,
Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal and the white stars fairly blaze,
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky.
And where around Lake Wivenhoe the weed beds sweep and sway,
To the breezes and the rolling waves capped white,
The Man from Stanley River is a household word today,
anglers tell the story of his fight.
poems theme was taken from the great Australian ballad The Man
From Snowy River by one the renown A. B.(Banjo) Patterson.