by Lloyd Arntzen, arr. Larry Nickel

Home 9 Composers 9 Larry Nickel 9 WHERE THE COHO FLASH SILVER

featuring the Cypress Studio Singers
This was written for my father, Arnt, in 1971 for his 81st birthday, He was still a commercial fisherman operating a one man troller in the Strait of Georgia, now renamed The Salish Sea. The song describes a fabulous day of fishing out of Port Hardy back in the days when the salmon were still plentiful and as the song says, literally, “ flashed silver all over the bay.” The song has been recorded at least eight times by various artists in Canada and the US after it was brought to the attention of folk music fans by my daughter, Holly.


           In Port Hardy one morning I cast off my line,
           The sea was all smooth and the weather just fine,
           And for Castle Rock I was headed away
           Where the coho flash silver all over the bay.

           It was just before dawn when I reached the fish ground,
           And I lowered my poles and I let my lines down,
           And I lit up my pipe and I waited and prayed
           To see the coho flash silver all over the bay,

           Well, the sun came up shining and so did the fish,
           All the bells were ringing, what more could I wish,
           And the gurdies were humming, I was making it pay
           Where the coho flash silver all over the bay.

           Well, they bit all that morning until well after two,
           They’re so hungry they’d strike at an old leather shoe,
           “This has got to be heaven,” to myself I did say
           Where the coho flash silver all over the bay.

           When I tied up that night they  asked,”How did you do?”
           And I showed them silver darlings, two hundred and two,
           They said,” You’re high liner, the best here today,
           Where the coho flash silver all over the bay,”

           Now there’s doctors and lawyers and bankers and more,
           There’s your big wheels and promoters with their big deals galore,
           But let me be a troller and king for a day
           Where the coho flash silver all over the bay.



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