Saturday 24 February 2024

Trout bum , mildly eccentric or a Geezer ?

 This year I am starting the process of getting into retirement.  I think initially it will be a day a week less work and then over the next years slowly increase fishing time and decrease working time.  I enjoy my work still and I have the pleasure of working with nice people in an interesting profession but its time I just did a bit less of it .  

I am most fortunate that I have a understanding wife who tolerates my fishing obsession , I have access to beautiful rivers to enjoy which are  full of wild trout and Grayling .  I have plenty of rods and reels including spares for sons and daughter to use. But there is something that I haven`t quite got my head around though it is making that transition from being a normal hard working professional gent to that of a retired crusty old git who talks to himself and can put out a suitably strange aura to keep being pestered by well meaning passers by with the inevitable "had anything mister “?

It isn`t that I want to be rude or even indeed a crusty old git although I do have some work colleagues who consider the transition to full crustiness would be absolutely easy and indeed a seamless transition. Its just that it would be nice if people looked at me from afar and there was just something about me that made them veer away rather than endeavour to engage me in polite conversation .  Fishing is about solitude or the company of suitable companions. Not about exchanging meaningless platitudes .

To deter the curious I have been known to get engaged in a raised voice heated argument with myself and that routine has often deterred passers by who were indicating an intent to engage me in polite conversation, it is not consistent though and relies on my having early sight of intruders to give me time to get into the routine .  It is the appearance I need to work on .  Perhaps old Hugh Falkus had the right idea I read that he simply Painted FUCK OFF on the gateway to his cottage .  Perhaps a more direct approach would be the answer but I am struggling to come up with something that would be acceptable to my fellow club members .  I will have to stick with more subtle messaging.  

It would be even better if it worked for dogs too.  I seem to be a dog magnet especially for Labradors, I am especially fond of them and I am convinced they know it .  I am clearly to much of a temptation when I am stood midstream in a river they clearly believe I am there for their amusement .  Charging up to me all wagging tail and presenting themselves for an ear rub. When I was a young fella I was useless with woman but here I am an older gent now I am positive magnet with labs, there is no Justice in life . 

The other thing I wrestle with is what should be my image be ? I don`t think I can carry off the full John Gierach trout bum approach I haven`t got the beard , attitude or fishing ability to do that ,  I do quite fancy the  mildly eccentric old fashioned eccentric approach , After watching his delightful Rod and Line you tube recordings from a good few years ago I could see myself as 50% of a Michael Horden but crossed with 25% Tom Skerrit ( the Rev Maclean ) from a river runs through it and perhaps 25% Jack Hargreaves  .  The non British amongst you will need to consult the wonders of YU tube to understand the effect I am aiming for.   I have just seen this on the interweb... I can aspire to this I want to be a geezer when I retire .




To complete the transformation  I think I am going to have to ditch the chest pack and fish out my old Orvis Waistcoat mainly because it will better hide the one recent purchase that was for comfort rather than tactical efficiency , My  new Vision Chesties have a Zip.  So much more convenient, If you aren`t sure what I mean ask your dad,  I certainly need them to stop looking so new though .  Crusty mature fly fishermen with attitude shouldn`t be wearing sparkly new waders .  Waders should appear to be fighting a losing battle with age and abuse , just as wading boots should not have matching laces and should have the odd aquasure repair , when tied the odd lace hole or hook should be missing .  Finally of course is the icing on the cake the hat.  My old canvas fedora style affair has sat up top for many years and I haven`t the heart to start breaking in a new hat .  It keeps of most of the sun and most of the rain . For that it is perfect .  I will also continue to wear my old flat cap at times .  It was my late Fathers hat I wear it fishing quite often its like I am taking him with me. its something I wear mostly in Winter when Grayling fishing . The Grayling was his favourite I am sure he would approve .  He was a a crusty old fella too but must confess that he is one of the few folks that I would love to have out on the bank with me just one last time. 




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