No Tellum River

by Jonathan Lee Pickens

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Full color CD with lyrics to all the songs. Album originally released on cassette tape in 1992. Digital remastered and released in 2020.

    Includes unlimited streaming of No Tellum River via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $10 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $7 USD  or more


Out On The Big Lake Out on the big lake Watchin’ the mist rise Out where the loons dance This is my real life…. Rowin’ my old boat Trollin’ a big spoon Way on in my V-wake I’ll see a trout soon Chorus Out on the big lake Nothin’ can touch me Except for the wind and rain And the mornin’ sun…. And if the rain comes There’s a cove I can pull to With sandwich and coffee I’ll watch that storm run Chorus Out on the big lake Watchin’ the mist rise Out where the loons dance This is my real life
Bubby Ray’s Wish I had a friend name of Bubba Ray And he’d go fishing almost every day And in West Texas you’ve got to love to fish ‘cause it’s a long way to water…. ‘Bout every two days he’d hit the interstate In his custom bass boat painted purple metalflake Lookin’ for lunks in every pothole he’d find Then one day in the not too distant past Bubba Ray caught the fish that was to be his last ‘Cause when he relled it in that fish said, “Set me free and I’ll grant you one wish….” Now Bubba Ray he just grinned from ear to ear He said, “That’s what I’ve been waitin’ all my life to hear…” “So listen up fish…here comes my wish!” Chorus Just give me a sixty-six Corvette A pretty little dark-eyed girl…. Moonlight on a west Texas night And a cooler full of ice-cold Pearl…. Some folks might wish for diamonds, Some might wish never to grow old…. But give me that fast read car and that pretty little girl and keep them beers comin’, icey-cold. That was the last I ever saw of Bubba Ray But you can hear that Corvette growlin’ when the moon’s full some say Followed by high girlish laughter And the smell of beer on the breeze…. ‘N me I go fishin’ every damn day And when I catch my magic fish I’ll know exactly what to say, So listen up fish…here comes my wish!
Read The Water It’s a clear little stream Tumblin’ cold from above the tree line Calmin’ down as it reaches the meadow And there through the aspen it winds…. And it was me getting’ all fired up Strippin’ line and working out a fly Figurin’ anywhere I dropped it would be perfect But a little voice broke through, like a ripple from a rise…. Chorus You’ve got to read the water Before you cast your fly You’ve got to read the water Try and figure out where they lie Well it’s just like a lot of things in life I confess The odds just get better with an educated guess You’ve got to read the water Before you cast your fly So I cooled my heels for just a minute I kept my shadow off the water while I spied I saw some ice-age boulders by the far bank With a finny-looking shadow by their side…. So I false cast and eased out some fly line I laid an Evening Dun above the last rise Now that shadow just sipped that fly for dinner My reel is singin’ out and I’m feelin’ so wise…. Chorus I try to learn every time I go fishing And I figured out a thing or two that day Fools may rush in where angels fear to tread But they don’t catch many fish that way…. Every stream that you fish is a mystery All the clues within the reach of your line Solutions lie there in pools, bends, and riffles You’ve just got to slow it down, and take a little time….
Rio Animas 04:56
No Tellum River Stumblin’ around, before daylight Loadin’ up my old truck, hope I get it right Cane rods and fly reels, coffee thermos too I can sleep about halfway there ‘cause my truck knows what to do…. Chorus To Tellum River, that’s where I’m bound Thirty-seven and a half miles from the Mystery Town Just an hour as the crow flies from Many Names Lake When you come to the fork in Whichaway Road That’s the one you take. When I talk about hogs, I mean the trouty kind Cutbows and brownies, that’ll blow your mind These fish are hungry, but they’re picky too If you miss the Adams hatch the No Tellum fly will do….
Stalkin’ The Wiley Catfish Rum-soaked cigars and a clearing in the willows Slow stretch of river and a good dog for a pillow Bright cracklin’ fie, chasin’ the chill Oh, we’re stalkin’ the wiley catfish tonight Chorus Bobber up! Bobber down! Fish on, fish on, hold your ground Don’t horse him, reel him in Put him on your stringer bait your hook again…. Good sippin’ whiskey ‘n firewood smoke Tricklin’ together, burnin’ down your throat Bright shinin’ stars, whisperin’ cattail leaves Yeah we’re stalkin’ the wiley catfish tonight Chorus Good stink bait, chicken livers Wind off the water gives your old spine a shiver Mosquitos whine, Lord this livin’ is fine Yeah we’re stalkin’ the wiley catfish tonight
If That Ain’t Treasure My tackle box was my father’s It’s a little beat up, painted Coleman green He gave it to me when I was younger It’s the only one I’ll ever need. And it’s sat beside me Down through the years now On a rowboat seat o the bank of a stream And the best of memories are tucked inside it Alongside the lures and the fishing dreams. Chorus Now if that ain’t treasure I don’t know what is The rarest kind beneath the sun Those fishing memories are passed down with it From a fishing man to his fishing son My grandpa always fished the big lakes He liked to troll the cold and deep More flash and sparkle was his theory He never lacked lake trout to eat When I turned eighteen, he lost his vision He said his fishing days had flown He sent me all his fishing tackle Like a pirate’s chest of glittering gold Chorus Now if that ain’t treasure I don’t know what is The rarest kind beneath the sun Those fishing memories are passed down with it From a fishing man to his grandson From fisherman to fisherman


To the listener:
These are songs about fishing, different kinds of fishing. Some are true, some not as true as others...but they’re about fishing so truthfullness should be suspect anyway. It takes all kinds to fish, and I’ve been most of them...but whether you fish with a worm or a hand-tied dry, you do it because you love it. How you fish isn’t always as important as why you take it easy on each other and enjoy these songs on your way to No Tellum River.

Special Thanks
Extra special thanks to Pamela Lee and Walker Lee Pickens: my wife and son, my partners in life and fishing...To Leslie Salzillo-Schmidt: executive producer, publisher, and friend, who still believes in a left-field songwriter from Idaho, and brainstormed this project to keep me in town...To Dad and Grandpa: for teaching me to fish and for taking me along...To all my fishing friends, past, present, and future: for the good times and the bad, and sufficient stories to explain the latter...And to the elusive Trout: for living in such beautiful places.


released February 16, 2021

The Rising Trout Band
Jonathan Lee Pickens:
acoustic guitar, tin flute, vocals
Jonathan Yudkin: fiddle, mandolin, electric guitar
Mike Rojas: piano
Bruce Bouton: pedal steel
Richard Chisum: drums, keyboards
Produced by Jonathan Lee Pickens
Engineered by Richard Chisum
Executive Producer: Leslie Salzillo Schmmidt
Recorded at Chisum Music, Nashville, TN
All photos: Pamela Lee Pickens

All songs by Jonathan Lee Pickens
© 1992 Dancing Mesa Music/Swell Kid Music, ASCAP
Digital remastering and album design by Don Grieser,
Adobe in the Pines Studio


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