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The Lung Fish

Written by: Andrew Barton Paterson | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 The Honorable Ardleigh Wyse 
Was every fisherman's despair; 
He caught his fish on floating flies, 
In fact he caught them in the air, 
And wet-fly men -- good sports, perhaps -- 
He called "those chuck-and-chance-it chaps". 
And then the Fates that sometimes play 
A joke on such as me and you 
Deported him up Queensland way 
To act as a station jackaroo. 
The boundary rider said, said he, 
"You fish dry fly? Well, so do we. 

"These barramundi are the blokes 
To give you all the sport you need: 
For when the big lagoons and soaks 
Are dried right down to mud and weed 
They don't sit there and raise a roar, 
They pack their traps and come ashore. 

"And all these rods and reels you lump 
Along the creek from day to day 
Would only give a man the hump 
Who does his fishing Queensland way. 
For when the barramundi's thick 
We knock 'em over with a stick. 

"The black boys on the Darwin side 
Will fill a creek with bitter leaves 
And when the fish are stupefied 
The gins will gather 'em in sheaves. 
Now tell me, could a feller wish 
A finer way of catchin' fish?" 

The stokehold of the steamship Foam 
Contains our hero, very sick, 
A-working of his passage home 
And brandishing a blue gum stick. 
"Behold," says he, "the latest fly; 
It's called the Great Australian Dry."