What Do You Think about during Those Quiet Moments in Your Life?
A Perspective on Fly fishing during Your Golden Years
Sometimes you really miss it, fly fishing that is. Both your father and grandfather were avid fly fishermen. You started going out with the two of them when you were just a young boy. Oh those were the days -- up at five in the morning -- sometimes four in the morning, just to drive an hour or two out of town to your favorite stream. Some days it was all magic, while on other days it was good enough just to spend time with your father and grandfather even if the fishing was lousy.
They taught you everything -- from how to make your own ties, the proper way to cast, the best place to look for fish, what to use for bait, the proper gear and everything else. You snuck your first beer (underage of course). While your dad and grandfather went down the river to scope out a new fishing spot. You suspect they saw you, but nobody said anything. It always remained a secret between the three of you. Sometimes when your mind is particularly quiet you think back to one particular summer day when you were about 10 years old. The sun was just heading over the horizon, and you looked down and saw the bright orange light glowing off the slowly meandering river as it moved by you. You will never ever let yourself forget the feeling of complete contentment and satisfaction.
It is time to fast-forward 60 years. You've had a really good life; starting with an amazing career that you retired from 10 years ago. You're still married to your beautiful wife, and your two grown children are successful with families of their own. The only problem now is that you're starting to slow down a little bit. The hip surgery that you had three years ago was successful, but you just don't get around as quickly as you used to. You really miss it; fly fishing that is. Somehow it just seems too much of a challenge to walk the mile through the trees down the hills and over the rocks to go to your favorite fishing spot. You really want to. Also, you really would like to spend more time with your son and grandson.
Here's Some Food for Thought
It may not be over for you. Have you ever considered fly fishing on a lake? Many people do it, although it does require more equipment. A fly fishing boat, would be a good place to start. The more adventurous among us (that means probably younger) would probably want to go kayak fishing. This relatively new sport combines the adventure and exercise of paddling a kayak with the tranquility and contentment of fishing. For better stability, many people recommend a pontoon boat either a regular hard hull or an inflatable pontoon boat.
The beam of a pontoon boat gives the boat increased stability compared to a regular hulled boat. They draw less water because the weight is distributed between both pontoons, this allows you to go into shallower water, which allows you to go to more fishing spots than you ever thought was possible. Many come standard with 360° swivel seats that offer you plenty of support. And yet allow freedom for your casting. This is particularly important for your health.
I mention using an inflatable fishing boat, just in case money or storage is an issue. Many of the newer inflatable boat models, assemble in five to 10 minutes and are extremely light (most will fit in the trunk of a car).
Some Other Considerations:
If going out on a lake is not your cup of tea you may have another alternative. There is a whole world of free advice available at your local fly shop. Kevin Jurgens wrote an interesting piece on the value of this local knowledge and the article is included on this website (Your Local Fly Shop). The article allows you to realize that fly shops are not only a place to purchase various fishing related products.
To paraphrase Kevin's article:
"They are a culture, a conduit, a chat room, and a myspace.com for meeting
other like-minded fishermen."
This knowledge can be invaluable. If anyone would know of any easily accessible local fishing spots it would be your local fly shop. Assume you are visiting an area that you are unfamiliar with -- but are keen to take your grandson out for the day fly fishing. If you do a little proper planning and have access to a telephone you can contact the local shops ahead of time. I bet that if you explain your situation you will get several suggestions as to where to go from the fly shop. I'm sure you are not the only one to have ever asked this question.
The sun is slowly rising over your left shoulder. It is almost too warm now in the heavy sweater that you sleepily pulled on at 4 a.m. this morning. Pretty soon it will be time to take the sweater off. You set your rod down for a moment and pour yourself another cup of coffee from a thermos. Somehow it just tastes better outdoors doesn't it? The water level is a little high this year. You knew there was a lot of snow this winter, but you didn't realize how much! Conditions should be normal in a few weeks. You wonder how it will affect your fishing.
You look to your left and see your son, leaning over and sharing a laugh with your granddaughter (you didn't see that coming). My how times have changed from when you were a little boy. But somehow it is just right. Your 10-year-old grandson on your right is having some trouble with his cast. You watch him intently for several minutes, suddenly realizing the problem. You put down your own rod to spend some time with him and to offer some assistance. After a few minutes, the casting problem is fixed. Your grandson asks you why it has been so long since you went fishing. Three years is a very long time for 10-year-old boy! You talk about your operation in a way that a 10-year-old will understand and how you thought your fishing days were over. He knows you sometimes have difficulty walking long distances, but I suppose he didn't realize how it affected you.
You also tell him that interestingly enough, you did some research on the Internet about people with mobility problems. Your research made you realize that with a little proper planning, some good advice, plus help from family and friends -- there was no reason that you still couldn't enjoy a sport that you loved.
He smiles, as you both look at the sun slowly rising over the trees.
About the Author:
Andrew Thomas is a successful author, both on and off the Internet. He is a regular contributor to best-inflatable-boats.com.