Quiet Times....

"December is a month to keep warm - and to think thoughts that will keep you warm".

.....Neil Patterson - The Chalkstream Chronicle.

Life has slowed.

Considerably and by choice.

Since retiring in October,  I've taken whatever the day gives.

No plans.  No pressure.

I've been asked repeatedly, prior to, and now, after the fact ....

"What will you do?" and "What do you do" and "Are you bored?"

"Whatever I please, no, and thanks for asking."

It's only been a couple of months, basically it's been like this.....

October and early November bought a flurry of spring creek fishing.  Once the olive hatches faded and the midges failed to appear, I did likewise. Since then, the trips have dwindled.   Sometime after the new year I"ll reassume my creek surveys just to make sure that everything is in it's place and that the fish are behaving properly.

Mainly, I've whiled away the days cooking, baking, tying the occasional fly.  I hike snow packed trails, check for animal tracks, and keep tabs on the travels of a particular mountain lion.  There's only been one day out of a dozen or so that our trails haven't crossed.  Some days he steps into my tracks, others I step into his.  Fresh snow wipes the slate clean and we start the process all over.

There have been a couple of productive afternoon sessions on the Madison.  The fish are pretty, colorful, scrappy and in good condition.  A guy can catch all he wants in an hour or so.  After that, the fish deserve to eat in peace.  And, my feet are usually frozen anyway.  That leak in the neoprene foot on my waders doesn't help.  A little Aquaseal should remedy that.

Sure, I look forward to warmer weather, rising fish, hiking and camping in the high country, but I don't dare get ahead of myself, there's too much time and opportunity between now and then.


  1. Lester
    You are entering the best time of your life with the retirement years ahead of you. I've been retired for 12 years come August and have never looked back. I'm looking forward to some wild trout post once you get your bearings on the weather. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks Bill, I hope I make it that long! I'm also looking forward to those "wild trout". Lately, the snowshoeing and winter walking have been outstanding.

  2. Congrats, Les, on retiring from what you'd rather not be doing, while not retiring from the stuff that keeps you ticking. Have a fine new year, and be careful while you're out there trading identities with a mountain lion. It's an enviable condition, to one who deals with the smaller felines like the bobcat. Anyway, happy trails, and I'll look forward to hearing more from the mountain state.

    1. And a happy new year to you too Walt. No sign of the kitty yesterday as any tracks were promptly covered by snow that fell at a rate of a couple of inches and hour.

  3. I didn't have to ask, I was pretty sure you would become Montana's newest trout and outdoor bum. Now you can simply take the opportunities you wish, and let the fish and conditions come to you. Should be a great ride for years to come, at a perfect pace.

    1. Jim, it seems that when a guy is still working that he has to get out there on any day off, conditions notwithstanding. Some of those days are a little less than ideal. It's good to be able to "cherry pick" opportunities. Take today for example. With temps in the single digits, no fishing. No snowshoeing either. If the sun comes out I may exercise the snow shovel (for the fourth day in a row). Other than that, maybe tie a few midge pupa. March and it's midge hatches isn't that far off. And, it looks like we might hit forty degrees on Friday, so you know where I may be heading....

  4. Les: Your recent transition seems to be going well. Enjoy the different pace!

    You quoted Chalkstream Chronicle....one of my angling favorite books.

    1. Yes it is Bob. And, thanks to you for calling my attention to the book. You had mentioned it in a blog post somewhere along the line.


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