I warn you right now, this one is going to be a bit of a ramble. It starts with the fact that I have not had a fishing rod in my hands, except for a few deep sea ventures, since I was a kid, back in the late 1800s. Part of that is that I am just simply not a camper. I loved it when I was a kid, to be out at a lake, in a tent, fishing for trout and then pan frying them over the campfire. As I grew up I got lazier and softer and camping ceased to be fun – but the memory of the fishing and frying remained.
A few months ago, my wife and I somehow got on to the subject of learning to fly fish. She had fished for salmon, in a prior life, and loved it, but, like me, had no experience with the world of fly fishing. So, we found a local fly fishing shop to take lessons and proceeded to load up on the gear we would need.
The classes over, it was time to actually go fishing! So, in the middle of August, with no real understanding of what we were getting into, we signed up for an 8+ hour guided day on the river, in a drift boat. We did not really expect to catch much, if anything, but we figured we would take the next step in our education.
The good news is that we did learn a lot about fly fishing on the river. The bad news is that we did learn a lot about fly fishing on the river for over 8 hours, in the middle of August. I was at the head of the class, as I caught both a beautiful rainbow trout and sunstroke. For about three days, I had a fever, a decidedly unhappy set of internal organs and extreme fatigue.
Now, why am I writing this story in this blog? It is either that I am still rambling from the effects of sunstroke, or I recognized a lesson for myself personally and for folks who, like myself, qualify as seniors but have not yet internalized the meaning of that fact.
I have spent hours and hours in the sun before, playing two rounds of golf, for example. But, guess what, I was considerably younger then. I absolutely failed to factor my fairly new-found “seniorhood” into the equation of an 8+ hour float down the river. Both books that I have written so far are about the aging experience. Well, this definitely added to my experience, and it was a lesson I will not soon forget it.
If you are in my neighborhood, age-wise, or have a loved one who is, incorporate my lesson into your / their experience. Learning it first hand is not required. 🙂
Best wishes – and, by the way, catching that trout on a little fly rod made it feel like I was fighting a ten pounder! I loved it. Bert