.....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.