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.
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.