Friday, September 6, 2019

Quit job, gone fishing

After 12 years, I’d had it. I gave my notice and I'm now unemployed. At least for the time being I’m back to being my happy ditzy self.
First thing we did was pack up for Wyoming. We spent time on the Hoback, Granite Creek, the East Fork and the upper Green River, among other places. But I think we each caught two fish after four solid days of fishing.

Wild and Scenic Granite Creek.
So we stopped at the fly shop to mine some intel. A tan-lined guide explained that it wasn’t us - fishing had been tough lately - and graciously offered a couple of bumpy two-tracks where there should be small, hungry trout. He also explained that the trout in a favorite local lake, that holds some huge ones, were not chasing streamers this year because the state didn't stock it with the fingerlings that typically serve as prey for the predators. But an Australian gentleman camped at the boat ramp said the risers were chasing something out there - could’ve been those longhorn sedges. Or damselflies. But I digress.
I got some revenge on the way home, at Grand Teton National Park. We parked on a turnout on a gravel road north of Moose so I could hike down to some braids. The water was low and I had to hike a ways to find the first spot to fish. But it was a good spot - eight to 10 lengthy cutthroats cruising a random, short lakey stretch. I wasn't confident, but as I was keeping an eye on one particular trout, another sneaked up and slurped my "Thunder Thighs" hopper.

Fine-spotted, but spotless. 

After getting organized back at home, I thought I'd go check out a lake in the Tobacco Roots I hadn't yet been to. I'd heard from some friends that they like it better than Lake Louise, which is quite a recommendation.

Alas, about 15 minutes into my hike I was confronted with a decision – go back to the trailhead for my rod or forgo fishing. I opted to keep hiking, being that I didn’t have much time and one of my dogs tries to bite every cast anyway. But when I got to this beautiful steep-walled tarn, I decided to find a stick with some taper, tied a leader of 3x to 4x to 5x, put on a hopper and threw it up into the wind that delivered my fly to the water about 10 feet off the shore. Unbelievably, I had four eats and actually landed one 10-inch neon-pink cutthroat. There seemed to be anabatic winds pushing ants, beetles and grasshoppers onto the water, and the fish were stupid.

Koda, no. Good boy.
The following day I fished an old favorite - the kind of place there are so many hoppers dashing from stem to stem you can confuse it for a spooked moose. But I only caught one small cutthroat, so I headed over to the Plan B River and quickly landed what was likely my last hopper-caught trout of 2019. But it was a pissed-off 18-inch brown, which was a day-maker. I sped home to spend the rest of the afternoon with my lovely wife, whose kindness and grace allows me these adventures (in other words, if she calls me off the river, I come a-runnin).

I wish they all could be hopper season 2019. 
So unemployment is going okay. Actually, I'm living my best life, and trying to figure out how to tell Liz that I'm retiring for good. Any thoughts?


Mike Sepelak said...

Follow your heart, Josh. Easy for me to say, I suppose, as I had the incredibly good fortune (and good sense) to retire at 52. The days since have been the happiest of my life. As a second choice, hold out for that job that you love. It's not worth it spending the bulk of your precious time on anything less.

But then it appears you've already realized that. Smart man.

Good luck!

Bill M said...

Retirement is great, but you gotta make the finances work. If you can do that, just explain it all to your wife. She wants you happy but she also wants to be secure. That said, I've been retired for two years and, as Mike said, they're the happiest days of my life.

Josh Bergan said...

That's great to hear that saving for retirement is not for naught. I'm definitely at least a few years away from permanent retirement but I'll keep working hard to get there someday. Thanks for the comments.