Not quite ready for the AARP

Well, that didn’t last long. Retirement, that is.

During 2 weeks of liberating freedom that included a steelhead trip to Idaho’s Clearwater River with a group of college buddies, I had a chance to clear my head and do a bit of soul searching. What I found was that I need this blog (more than this blog needs me). Before the inception of the Unaccomplished Angler I used to just go fishing, and in doing so have some laughs, maybe take a few snapshots, etc. But after I went public with my blog every trip became something to enjoy just a bit more (for me anyway). I began looking for a story when a story didn’t seem obvious, and therein lie the essence of fishing: it became about much more than catching fish (overused cliche). Yeah, my fishing buddies began looking over their backs, worried that their every move was being closely monitored (true). But luckily for them it is nearly always my own unaccomplished angling antics that keeps them safe from public ridicule. This realization, or re-awakening, may have been a key factor in my decision to unretire. Some people suggested that perhaps it was just a clever ploy, and that maybe I was just trying to shake off the doldrums of a long winter with some sort of shameless publicity stunt.

Another factor in my decision to renounce my retirement might be blamed on the Association for the Advancement of Retired People. Just this week Mrs. UA received a snail mail membership solicitation with her card included. Hell hath no fury like the premature recipient of a membership offer from the AARP, and I have never seen a piece of mail get torn up and tossed into the recycle bin so fast. I thought folks didn’t start getting harassed by the AARP until they were 50? She’s got another year before they’re supposed to come a-callin’ and I’m even younger, so the AARP can bite me. Besides, my IRA isn’t worth squat any more.

There was also a modest outpouring of well wishes and even a couple pathetic requests for me not to cash in my chips just yet. I feel bad for those people, but who am I to judge? (Surely, I jest—your support is not taken lightly). I want to personally thank Sipping Emergers for the public vote of confidence. An email from a stalker “Greg” in Belgrade, Montana also gave me cause to reconsider my retirement. Greg recently discovered the UA and alleges to have actually spent a couple of days reading it (winters are long in Montana). Greg had some nice things to say about my Weekly Drivel, and we have some things in common (including best friends with drift boats). He even invited me and my band of hooligans to hook up with his group sometime.  Thanks for the generous offer and good words, Greg, and congrats on having the “Greg Sucks Hole” named in your honor. Maybe we’ll meet up in Yellowstone this year.

Then there was the weighty matter of a bounty having been placed on my head–well, sort of. Over at the Outdoor Blogger Network, “missing posters” were distributed and there was a $50 Cabela’s Gift Card issued for the person who guessed where I was and what I was up to.

One bounty hunter in particular posted a rather engaging bit of speculation as to my whereabouts and what-upness.  Jump on over to The Naturalist’s Angle and take a look around (Jay, thanks for taking the time to poke around on my Olive the woolly bugger website).

Another seeking fortune was Pat Konoske. With a  penchant for Photoshoppery he likened me to the Terminator, as evidenced over at his Fishing For Words site.

Then there was the matter of the fine gentleman Jason, keeper of the Fontinalis Rising blog, who went so far as to suggest that I am tucked away in a remote valley writing Judy Blume-esque novels for adolescents. If that accusation isn’t enough to make a man crawl out of his cave to defend his honor, I don’t know what is.

Next we have a very forthright man named Fred man who admitted publicly that my absence was “good riddance” and that he actually needs $50 to justify his blogging over at Mystic Waters Alaska Fly Fishing. Cajones, sir. You must be an Alaskan fishing guide. 

Actually nobody guessed correctly, which is not to say that anyone was right or wrong—it was a random drawing. And the winner was Jay, over at The Naturalist’s Angle. Kinda pitiful that I was only worth fifty bucks, but whatcha gonna do? If you have an issue with the drawing, please take it up with Rebecca over at the Outdoor Blogger Network (she loves hearing from irate readers of this blog).

To Josh Mills over at Chucking Line and Chasing Tail, thanks  for your inspiration. Some day I want to be as tall as you.

The George Foreman Grill

There’s a chance that my decision to come out of retirement was also influenced by the dream of having a small kitchen appliance named in my honor. George Foreman came out of a retirement after 20 years and surprised everyone by becoming, at age 45, the oldest boxer in history to win a championship belt. After that he got a grill named after him. I’m thinking “The Werner Burner” has a nice ring to it (thanks to Elizabeth Walker for the idea).

And lastly, my return to the ring may be due to the fact that, like Sly Stallone’s character in Rocky Balboa said, “I still got some junk in the basement.” (For clarification, that is not the same thing as junk in the trunk).

So it’s back to the grind for the Unaccomplished Angler.  I may have a lot of quit in me–just not quite enough. Yet.

Stay tuned, and thanks for the support, I think.

P.S.- Mr. Eastwood, since I’m not done, I expect the same from you. Give us that one last great Dirty Harry fly fishing movie before you retire. Please.


  1. Owl Jones

    Awww man. I was going to get first dibs on your lunch in CO this August. ( You ARE going, aren’t you?)

    Glad to see you un-retired, Mr. Favre. Now get to work on something else. We’ve had withdrawals around here, you bum. 🙂

    • Kirk Werner

      Mr. Owl Jones, I cannot say one way or another as to my presence in CO in August. I’ve gotta sell a lot of Werner Burners in order to justify such a lavish trip. Thanks for sticking around.

  2. David Gibson

    Everyone loves a tease.

    Gale force winds here across the pond so no grayling fishing.

    Think your product names too short and doesn’t fit your character

    How about getting across your unaccomplished side

    The Werner learner blackener burner

    Sort of glad you’re back


    • Kirk Werner

      David, sorry to hear the Grayling fishing is still off. Cabin fever is not good for the angler, as I have discovered this winter. As for your reference to me being a bit short on character, I’ll let that one slide this time. 😉


  3. Steve Z

    The Werner Burner has to have a coffee maker attachment or I’m not buying one.

    Welcome back.

    • Kirk Werner

      Steve, I think a series of add-ons would be necessary: Coffee maker, humidor, and a instant cold attachment for when the cheap beer has gotten a bit warm. I don’t know, maybe I’m putting the cart before the horse on this one. Thanks, good to be back, I think.

  4. Harry

    Welcome back!
    I hate to tell Mrs. UA this, but she can expect at least one mailing a year from AARP. They never give up.

    Looks like some of those requests not to cash it in just yet worked!

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Dirty Harry- I missed you. Tell you what…YOU tell Mrs. UA about the AARP. I’m still afraid to go near her after that.

  5. Fred Telleen

    Since you are back and thinking of taking your cooking to the next level with a specialized appliance, consider me for product testing and pro team support. The Werner Burner might be just the thing to keep in the drift boat for cold spring days in Montana and cold fall days in Alaska. Make sure to come up with a cool logo for boats, trucks and barroom walls. Also, consider retiring again for a couple weeks this time next year. Maybe we can get the bounty to like $100. For now,

    Tight Lines and Happy Blogging.

    P.S. If Clint Eastwood won’t take your calls, maybe you could work something out with Chuck Norris.

    • Kirk Werner

      Fred, I’ll put you on the Werner Burner pro staff when and if Black and Decker ever approaches me with an offer. May have to come up with a couple different models: electric for home use, 12 volt for use in the cab of the truck, and of course fuel cell for in the boat (propane is so low-tech). I’ll take your annual retirement idea under consideration.

      As for Chuck Norris, I think he may be too badass to represent the fly fishing industry. Bank Walker, Texas Angler may have some possibilities, however.


  6. Elizabeth W

    You know Kirk, I will always have your back! It’s fun to see the Werner Burner label getting some traction in the conversation…
    Let me know when you want some circuitously related material – I have some stories from my experience with I would be happy to be a guest blogger even. In other words, it seems to fit your blog better than mine. I’m just saying…

    • Kirk Werner


      I knew the Werner Burner had great potential the minute I told you about it you suggested it.

      You’ve officially peakedd my curiosity with regard to plenty of fish, which I assume is not a site proclaiming the status of Puget Sound wild steelhead. One feature of the UA as it heads into the future is the guest blogger feature. Would love to hear your thoughts so shoot me an email on the matter. As for cross blogging, I have an idea for a fishing/sustainability entry that would be good on your site, maybe.

  7. Patrick

    I would say that you, Kirk, have discovered that blogging, like any form of writing, can be like an itchy dog; it needs to be scratched. Welcome back. Don’t make us regret your return by leaving us in the lurch again.

    (My sympathy on the whole wife-getting-the-AARP-solicitation thing. Happened to me. Hence my improtu fishing trips the last two years.)

    • Kirk Werner

      Pat, I think you knew all along that I’d be back. That either makes you a sage or just confirms my simple predictability. Either way, and I ain’t sayin’ which, it’s good to be back. As for that itch, there are salves for that sort of thing. Could be ringworm.

  8. chunky tuna

    Hey little feller, I’m glad to see you’re back but I never knew you were gone. Are you sure you weren’t just on vacation and forgot? /Forgetfulness happens with greater frequency as you approach 50, as does the volume of AARP trash coming to the front door. Get used to it…

    PS Glad you are back…didn’t even miss you.

    • Kirk Werner

      Chunky, that hurts. The fact that you didn’t know I retired just means you don’t make the UA a weekly priority. And that means you must have a life.
      Unlike me.

  9. Jimmy

    Well this news sucks! I had first dibs on the D B zippered waders, do i still get them?

    • Kirk Werner

      Jimmy, you know damn good and well that my waders wouldn’t fit you.

      Your legs are too long.

  10. cofisher

    Well that’s gratitude for ya! I find your blog and comment that you set a high bar for the rest of us. To show your appreciation, you retire. I defend your honor and respect your decision…you UN-retire. I even offered to split the reward with you! From now on I will only read UA in the bathroom. Welcome back!

    • Kirk Werner

      A paranoid person might think that I am simply tormenting you. Be sure not to drop your laptop in the toilet. I would have to be responsible for the damage. Thanks, though—really, for the encouragement and unfaltering support.

  11. Mindy

    Somehow I knew you’d be back 😉 Glad you had a change of heart – you have a lot of great supporters… whether you like it or not. Being humble is one thing, but really Kirk, you have a great way with words and provide entertainment in a unique and humorous way and it really does come down to a “win-win” here – you found you need this blog, but you also just witnessed how many others need you too. 🙂 P.S. Great action photo shot (err, shop) – my how you’ve packed on the muscle – looking rather fit at fifty! (in AARP years that is).

    • Kirk Werner

      Mindy, are you suggesting that multivitamins, prunes and Metamucil, in addition to clean living, cannot be responsible for my new beefy look?! Thanks for the kind words of support, whether I like it or not.

  12. Fontinalis Rising

    I stand by my allegations. No one expects Olive to be 8 years old forever, unlike Bart Simpson.

    • Kirk Werner

      Olive can be whatever age she wants to be for however long she chooses. You are not the boss of her- I am. And if she decides to live in a perpetual state of childhood, so be it. If I can refuse to grow up, so can she. So there.

  13. Dylan Rose

    Glad to see that you’re un-retiring my flyfishing blogging brethren. If Farve can do it, so can the UA! Just skip the bit about texting lude pics to cheerleaders and stuff.

    • Kirk Werner

      Dylan, it’s good to be back. I feel like a 2 salt fish back to the spawning grounds. Well, sorta.
      Advice well taken. I’ll keep the lude pics to myself.

  14. Auer

    Glad you are back. Although just an occasional commenter, I do enjoy your wit, and the untold story. good seeing you buddy, and thanks for making the fishing trip. You presence made it special……..any chance on a bit about natural vs synthetic?

    • Kirk Werner

      Auer, good to be back. Almost like I never left, except for a weekend to go catch those B-Runs on the noble, synthetic egg fly! Indeed, I have something in the queue for that…so you’ll just have to stay tuned. You sir, are the special one. Thanks for the trip!

  15. Jay

    I have no issue with the drawing. I’m actually pleasantly surprised by the results. It makes me feel like I didn’t waste my time writing my own little piece of drivel… and if, in some small way, my post helped keep you in the business of writing yours… I feel like I’ve done my good deed for the week too.
    Thanks for letting me be a part of the fun, and linking to my Giant Woolly Bugger post over at the Olive blog. I noticed.

    • Kirk Werner

      It’s a win-win for everyone, Jay.

      Except for Chuck. He’s never happy.

    • Kirk Werner

      Congrats, Jay, on being the big winner. With that sort of fame and fortune comes great responsibility as well.

  16. chuck

    Hmmmmmm? I was hoping for your sake that you would spend your time more productively now. While the blog parasites are glad you are back – the host would be better served if you concentrated on writing an adult book or something. This blog thing is fun and entertaining but basically a waste of time – and there is nothing more valuable than time my friend!

    I”l tell ya what I told my sister who writes three blogs about parenting and life in general; If you aren’t getting paid…… it’s a hobby! If you have the talent and you give it away for free ……well , it’s not very smart! The last post took a lot of effort and time.
    Do ya really have that time to sacrifice?

    So, we will all benefit from your effort but what will you get ……..REALLY?

    • Kirk Werner

      Well, Chuck, I see my hobby as a necessity because I got all this junk inside me and if I don’t have some way to let go of it, I just end up getting cranky and bloated. Blogging is my creative enema if you must know. And actually, when one is passionate about a hobby, there is a chance of it turning into something that might make a nickel or two, which is perhaps the case here.

      Besides, I am a giver.

  17. Cory Yarmuth

    Welcome Back!
    I guess the Aliens didn’t take you after all!

    • Kirk Werner

      Not yet, but I’ve seen them watching me.

  18. chuck

    How about a book; “The diary of an intellectually constipated angler?” Ha!

    You just need some mental Metamucil! HAR HAR!

    • Kirk Werner

      Chuck, I like your line of thinking. Maybe I can get the makers of Metamucil to sponsor my blog and help finance the publication of the book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *