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Elvis has left the building

Thank you. Thank you very much.

It was suggested, not by myself but by others, that last week’s Dirty Harry blog entry may have set the bar too high to ever be reached again, by the likes of me anyway. Now that’s not to say that I agree with the suggestion that it was a bar-raising entry, but given the depths of my mediocrity as both an angler and a writer, I believe there is much truth in the assertion that I may have peaked.  Long-time UA supporter Rebecca Garlock (keeper of the Outdooress blog and a Co-Chief Executive of the Outdoor Blogger Network) suggested in the comments section that I was, in fact, “toast”.

Many once-great professional athletes have hung on too long, only to end up tarnishing if not completely disgracing themselves and their legacies. Be the reasons what they may — the need for more lucrative paydays, a spirit that just couldn’t live without the competition, an ego too large for their own good, or perhaps a combination of them all — playing past their prime rarely if ever has resulted favorably for either the athletes or their fans.

As fans, nobody who witnessed these athletes at the height of their careers enjoyed seeing them wallow miserably in frustrating despair as their aging bodies were no longer capable of competing with younger, faster, stronger, better-dressed athletes.  Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael Jordan, Roger Clemens, Brent Favre…the list goes on. The best way to bastardize an otherwise brilliant career, it seems, is to linger past one’s prime. I am of the opinion that it’s far better to go out while you’re on top – to retire with grace and dignity, and humility. If you don’t, that humility will inevitably be shoved down your throat with great force.

That being said, which is not to say that the Unaccomplished Angler has ever approached a level of brilliance with regard to anything, I do believe it is time to bow out gracefully, before someone suggests I do.

To my 8 loyal followers who stuck with me over the course of the past year and a half or so, thank you—your support has made it all worthwhile. And to the many who jumped on the bandwagon just recently and left comments, thanks for doing so. It helps ease the transition into retirement knowing that I had a thousand or so extra hits on my website in the end.

What will I do with all my free time now that the blog of Unaccomplished Angler will no longer be demanding the minimal effort required to produce marginally acceptable Weekly Drivel?  Hopefully something lucrative. I’ve got my kids fly fishing books to promote, and a couple more to finish in the hope that my publisher demands them soon. I’ve got fish to try to catch, and a job to look for (if you’re hiring, drop me a line. Seriously).

It’s been fun while it lasted—at least for me—but I smell burnt toast.

I’m going fishing.  Tightlines,

47 thoughts on “Elvis has left the building”

  1. David Gibson says:

    As Douglas Adams so beautifully put it So long and thanks for all the fish.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/So_Long,_and_Thanks_for_All_the_Fish

    Also allowing my 7 year old son the delight of going round saying bugger. Here in deepest Yorkshire it something very different.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugger

    Sorry I came to this party late but better late than never

    David

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      David, I realize that in the UK, the term “bugger” has a somewhat different connotation. Believe me, it’s something that has kept me up late at night, worrying that my friends across the pond think that I’m the author of inappropriate children’s books 😉 Thanks for arriving at the party, be it late as it were. Cheers, Kirk

  2. Chuck Atkins says:

    WTF! We hardly knew ye!

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Consider this a favor, Chuck.

  3. David G says:

    This is the actual end? Completely gone?

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      David, I’ll leave the blog online until my webstats indicate that Google has disowned me. Shouldn’t be long now 😉

  4. Ed Estlow says:

    Man… couldn’t disagree more. The mark of a true champion is staying too long at the party.

    ‘course, if you’re not havin’ fun anymore, then OK…

    Still, I only discovered you today – and only ‘cuz Bob White noticed Elvis leaving the building while stringing a rod. Hope you change your mind…

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Ed, I think you are the winner here, finding me late in the race on a day when I ran my best. Odds are against me that I’ll ever win another big purse, so it’s time to put me out to pasture before someone turns me into glue, or dog food. Say hi to Bob.

  5. Steve Z says:

    I don’t think you fully appreciate how much folks enjoy watching the slow spiral of one’s career nor how lucrative such slow spirals can be for the fading star. I encourage you to enter a new phase where you’re fully embracing your decline in ways that are totally self-unaware.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Steve, I agree that watching the downward spiral can be entertaining, akin to watching a bullfighter getting gored. You’ve given me much self-anawareness to think about.

  6. Dave says:

    Jeez Kirk, I thought I was the only one who could give up.
    I, for one, am gonna miss the weekly drivel and the laughs. The next time you find yourself down here in Oregon, look me up. I’d like to go fishing sometime. I wish you the best. Good luck finding employment, but at least you prioritized correctly. Fish to catch and job to hunt! 😉 Keep in touch, you’ve got my email.
    Take care!

    Dave

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Dave, you’d be surprised how much quit I got in me- you have no monopoly on that! Thanks for the support.

  7. Harry says:

    Hope you will reconsider that decision. I have enjoyed the many stories you have put up here. Especially entertaining for guys like me (who can’t write at all!) and because where I live we have almost no good trout fishing close by I depend on blogs like yours to feed my habit at least somewhat.

    Good luck and good fishing. Keep the site up and drop us a note occassionaly.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Harry, I value your readership and words of support. I also worry that you’re denying yourself the very trout that await you in other areas. Ever considered moving to Colorado or Montana or Idaho or…? I have, but my wife won’t let me.

  8. Mrs UA says:

    Mr UA, ~ Enjoy your fishing weekend with your college buddies, then come back refreshed and maybe post on a monthly basis… no need to stress yourself out with weekly drivel, we can all adapt to monthly drivel! :) xo

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Dear Mrs. UA,

      Why are you always the voice of reason and rationality? Are you trying to counterbalance your husband’s tendency toward wild fluctuations? I get what you’re really saying: Cut back and offer quality, not quantity. Point taken.

  9. Mindy says:

    Awww, I enjoyed reading your “drivel”, and I don’t even fly fish – not that I wouldn’t find the sport enjoyable – after all of your tales, I just may someday be found wading (invading?) your secret waters 😉 I agree with Mrs. UA! So, how ’bout a Monthly Drivel? Good Luck with the job search too – being in the same boat, I know all too well what that is like.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Thanks for the good word, Mindy. If by chance you one day find yourself a fly angling person don’t blame me for your economic hardships 😉

  10. Rebecca says:

    I highly suspect one thing……and it worked for Brett Favre…..many times

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Rebecca, isn’t Brett Favre the guy who allegedly sent some inappropriate text messages to a particular massage therapist? For the record I would never do such a thing. I wouldn’t even send fish porn to a massage therapist.

  11. Hal (not his real name) says:

    Will miss the drivel. In looking at my Blogger records I made exactly two blog postings back in ’07 and then retired. I apparently have less drivel whilst you have more creativity.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Hal, your blogging retirement seems to have worked out pretty well for you. Thought I’d try it and see where it takes me- Hawaii, hopefully- though I am not going to bet on it.

  12. Owl Jones says:

    See you next week. trout bum. :)

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Mr. Owl Jones, do you know something I don’t? Shhh…

  13. ArlingtonGreg says:

    Kirk, lest you be confused, I think Ms. Garlock refers to unretiring rather than texting your junk. Let us know where to send the private jet.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Arlington Greg, thanks for that clarification! And to think that I was just about ready to create a texting scandal 😉

  14. Bob Gilson says:

    Kirk,

    I have been a faithful reader for many months and have looked forward to your weekly drivel. There are lot’s of fly fishing blogs out there that talk about products and technique, have great fish porn, etc., but your blog is the only one that is from a normal guy who loves to fish and has a sense of humor about it. UA is a fun read every week.

    Frankly, I don’t think you should give up now, because that Simms sponsorship that you have been dreaming about is right around the corner. Maybe try Mrs. UA’s suggestion & write something monthly….

    Good luck with the job search. The Eastwood portfolio should serve you well.

    I hope we will see your writing back on the web. In the mean time my UA decal sits proudly on the back of my Subaru right beside my TU decal.

    Cheers.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Bob, don’t think for a minute that I don’t appreciate your loyalty and comments. Your words of praise are appreciated, but also reveal the truth behind the UA: The blogs that talk about products and techniques, display impressive fish porn, etc, do so because they can. Conversely, I cannot because I am, simply, unaccomplished. I had hoped that Simms and Sage would add me to their pro staffs, and that publishers would be offering me lavish contracts to write my memoirs, but alas it is not to be. If for some freakish twist of fate that were to happen, your LImited Edition Unaccomplished Angler sticker will become worth twice what you paid for it. Thank you.

  15. El Guapo says:

    I’m jealous! You’re more than welcome to guest post over on the Chum if you ever need a fix.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Handsome One, I appreciate the invitation to be a guest over at The Chum if I ever get backed up and need to relieve some pressure.

  16. The Goosemaster says:

    Oh come on! Really!

    Are you really going to give up or are you just looking for a little attention? Are we going to start calling you “The Unaccomplised Blogger”.

    I think that this is really a little ruse like the April fools blog.

    I also think that you might have alittle George Foreman in you. You can retire , come back an old fat man and still win the championship.

    I will be reading next weeks drivel as always, along with the other eight loyal fans.

    Stan

    1. Dave says:

      Stan,
      I am the “Unaccomplished Blogger” so, you’ll have to give Kirk a new title. I started a blog after reading UA and The Outdooress. I’ve made maybe 10 posts since about this time last year… I am the unaccomplished one at blogging! Fly fishing, eh getting better!
      Oh yeah… Stan, by the way you are 100% correct. George did it, and so have several other guys. Now we do hear way too much about Bret Favre, but he was just trying to keep his weenie out of the picture (or not). And, how about Tiger Woods? Last year was pretty disastrous, but it looks like he’s finally gotten his head back in the game, of course we don’t know her/their names yet.
      I guess that what I’m trying to say is this. Even though the greats retired and came back out of retirement, and yeah, maybe they weren’t as good as they were before, but they still gave it their all, and gave everything to us, and above all… They gave us something to laugh about! How many good Tiger Woods jokes have you heard??? huh? How many good Brett Favre one-liners made you giggle or at least snicker? At least one of each in the last 30 seconds! Me, I can only do that when I have good, high quality material to work with, and plenty of double meanings. Kirk, on the other hand doesn’t need such high quality material to get a laugh, a giggle or a snicker.
      Gonna miss you Kirk. I hope it’s not for real.

      Dave

      1. Kirk Werner says:

        Dave, I think Stan can find an abundance of amusing “titles” for me. Thanks for the good words and for following along…

    2. Kirk Werner says:

      Stan, do I look like a needy little panty-waist? (don’t answer that). I’m done. No mas. I’ve tapped out. The towel has been thrown in. If I come out of retirement I wonder if I can get a small kitchen appliance named after me, or perhaps an indoor fish smoker? Look into that for me, will ya?

  17. Mat Trevors says:

    Say it ain’t so!

    I promise you were going to make next year’s list!! Seriously!!

    Enjoy the fishing & good luck on the job hunt. Take care!

    Mat

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Mat, I don’t want you to carry the responsibility of causing my retirement, but not making your list really hurt, man. Cut to the quick. 😉

  18. cofisher says:

    Say it really isn’t so Kirk. I’ve just discovered UA and read the best post ever. (Fly Fishing needs Dirty Harry) I hope if it is true, that you will reconsider for the benefit of all of us n’er-do-wells who follow you.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Cofisher, I appreciate the good sentiments but another benefit to retiring is that I’ll have time to spend reading the blogs of others, including yours. Fortunately (or not) for you, I’ll leave the UA online for a spell so you can go back and read the archives. By the time you’re done doing that, you’ll be glad that Elvis has left the building 😉 Thanks.

  19. Paul says:

    Hey, just found you a couple of months ago. We really need someone writing about fly fishing in Washington state and especially the western side of the mountains. It’s pathetic how little information there is for this area given our natural resources.
    If you must, you must, but I will miss your writing.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Paul, Thanks for the comment and the good thought. I think the guys who fish on the wet side of the state just spend too much time actually fishing to write about it. Or, there’s just not enough happening, except in the salt, to make for enough material to write about.

      Even though I’m retired, I’m planning to leave the blog up. There’s a lot of Weekly Drivel to review, for the person so inclined. Think of it like reading and re-reading a good book, except it’s not a good book.

  20. Owl Jones says:

    If you’re retiring, I want my money back, mister.

    Oh wait….

    ( Seriously, you’re going to make us start some kind of Fund or something to get you back in the saddle, aren’t you? Even Favre wouldn’t do us that way, would he? Where are we supposed to get our unaccomplised angler fix? You can’t just leave junkies hanging out to dry cold turkey?! I need a drink. water, I guess. NO. No. Lemonade. *sigh….)

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      You get what you pay for around here, Owl Jones. And you’re not the first who wishes they’d kept the admission fees in their wallet. I wish I had more UA stickers left- I’d send you one and you could wear it like a nicotine patch to help ease transition toward being Unaccomplished Angler-Free. Cold turkey is, unfortunately, the only route, unless you spend a few days going back through the archives, in which case you’ll be glad I’m gone 😉

  21. Kirk,

    The feelings I am experiencing at this moment are reminiscent of the heart wrenching feeling I had at the age of 7. I was playing in the back yard of our home in Idaho and heard the screeching of tires and the yelp of my dog Barney…………..

    Not really. Barney died at the old age of 15 (105 in dog years) and lived a long full life chasing critters to the end.

    This is still sad news though. As a loyal reader for well over a year (maybe since the beginning), I always looked forward to the drivel. There are several of your blog posts that I’ve bookmarked and gone back to re-read several times. Those posts are especially comforting when I’ve spent the day swinging flies with nothing to show for it. When I get home I pull up an old post of yours and am comforted to know that it could be worse.

    To be serious for a moment, I want you to know I’ve appreciated your writing for it’s whit & humor, but most of all for it’s honesty. You’ve never been shy about weaving your faults and failures into a great story. When I look at my own blog, I see gaps between posts that tell about my fishing trips. Those gaps don’t necessarily mean I haven’t been fishing – quite the contrary – it generally means I haven’t been catching anything! You wrote every week, regardless of the outcome of your outings. That brutal honesty, at your own expense, is admirable.

    Needless to say, I will miss the UA Weekly Drivel. I wish you many years of good fortune in your future endeavors. Feel free to post on the Riverwood Blog anytime you feel the urge. Remember there is an open invitation to fish the North Santiam with me (Smoked Ribs included) and if I find a way to make it up to the Yak and fish with Derek, I hope your schedule will allow for you to join us (I’ll even take the rear seat).

    Tight lines and many thanks!

    Dave

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Damnit, Dave- you’re making me all misty-eyed over here. I have appreciated your loyal readership for a long time, and have always been able to count on you for a comment here or on Faceplace. It means a lot that you were one of my original followers. I appreciate your kind words, and to be honest, my writing is simply a reflection of my childhood self defense techniques. Growing up a small, scrawny kid with clothes made by my mother (at a time when the latest in fashion styles was important), I had to learn how to defuse the cool kids who would otherwise tease and taunt me. And so I began to poke fun at myself and proclaim such things as, “Hey, my mom made my shirt- want her to make you one, too?” It would seem 35 years later I am still wearing home made clothes 😉 Fishing with you shall remain something I look forward to doing, sooner than later.

  22. Un-everything says:

    UHHHH…WTF i just found this blog and now you say your gone thanks to some pair of swinging ____???? Bullshit keep it going man this is great stuff. Records were made to be broken and bars were set high only to go higher……..

    tightlines

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Mr. Un-everytfing,

      Easy there big fella- that’s the Goddess of the OBN you’re talking about, and a personal friend. Therefore I had to edit your comment so as not to offend her or my other puritan readers. Having said that, I appreciate the enthusiasm, brother. I may never reach the bar again, but I’ll deliver a lot of worthless drivel in the process of trying.

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