Tangled Up in Red

redfish driftwood 2 James Sept 2012Early one spring the sun was shining

I was lying in bed

Wondering if she had changed at all,

If her scales were still red.


My wife said our life together

Sure was going to be rough

She never did like

My new flats boat

Our bank book wasn’t big enough.


I was standing in the yard

Rain falling on my shoes

I was heading out to McClellanville

Lord knows, I’ve paid my dues

Now that winter’s dead

Tangled up in red


She was tailing when we first met

Trying to catch a crab

I helped her out by throwing a fly

Made from deer hair so drab

It fell in the water by an oyster shell

So I moved to the right,

Over the muddy seabed

Till it was just where I liked

Six inches from her head

Tangled up in red


She turned her head to look at it

And then glanced up at me

Thought you’d never cast my way she said

You look like a big dummy

Standing on your fiberglass sled

Tangled up in red


She opened up a book of tips

And handed it to me

Written by an American angler

From the nineteenth century

Every one of those words rang true

And glowed like burning coals

Pouring off of every page

Till they were written on my soul

And filled my head

Tangled up in red


I cast again with different flies

I got to get to her somehow

All the sliders and poppers that I tied

They’re an illusion to me now

I even thought about using live bait

But something inside of me died

I looked down at my casting rod

And froze up inside

When she refused every fly I cast

I became withdrawn

The only thing I knew how to do

Was to keep on casting on

Till fish and fly were wed

Tangled up in red


So now I’m going back again

Got to get to her somehow

All the fish I’ve caught before

Don’t seem to matter now

Some are giant tuna fish

Some are really big bones

Don’t know how this all got started

She has left me all alone

But me, I’m still in my boat

Searching all over this flat

Hoping I wouldn’t have to look too far

For a redfish so fat

Feeling like I have bled

Tangled up in red

( My apologies to Mr. Bob Dylan)


About castingawayblog

I am a retired orthopedic surgeon with fly fishing in my bones! Living in coastal South Carolina, saltwater fly fishing is my passion, though I also love to use the long rod in freshwater. I have been known to use conventional gear as well.
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3 Responses to Tangled Up in Red

  1. Michael Barnett says:

    I know her well, a fickle lady. Thanks for sharing.

    Best regards,

    Michael Barnett McCrackin, Barnett & Richardson, LLP PO Box 1182 1000 21st Ave. N. Myrtle Beach, SC 29578 (843) 448-8405

    NOTICE: This e-mail is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §2510-2521 and is legally privileged. The contents of this e-mail, and any attachments hereto, are intended solely for the designated recipient(s) addressed and named in this message. This e-mail message contains information that is confidential and may be subject to attorney-client privilege or other applicable privileges. If you are not the intended recipient, or this message has been addressed to you in error, please notify the sender at (843-448-8405) and delete this message and all attachments. Unauthorized use, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this message by other than the intended recipient(s) is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.

  2. Ed Barfield says:

    Very good article!

  3. joe jarrett says:

    About time you posted something new on your Blog…and very good it is!! Did have to revisit Bob Dylan YouTube tunes to find Tangled Up In Blue. Be happy to play it on guitar while you sing your poem….with a couple of cold ones, of course.

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