I suppose every writer has a story to tell. Each new story begins with a blank page, and a writer has full authority for where that new story goes. I write for my readers. And positive feedback is my pay.
The majority of my writing has focused on fly fishing. A passion I have held for over 30 years. I have been published in numerous fly fishing magazines over the years. At present I write for Ontario Out of Doors and The Outdoors Guide. That said, I have written for other publications on various other topics such as Christianity, policing, carpentry and family issues. My writing varies from instructional how-to, where-to pieces; to stories about adventures, and insightful and often humorous short essays. I would say essay writing would be my favourite form of expression.
Ontario Blue-Ribbon Fly Fishing Guide has been a great success. This was my first book project that is now completely sold out. At present there are no plans to publish more copies,
“Growing old gracefully” is one of those sayings that floats around for generations but no one knows where or how it originated; and more importantly, what it really means.
From where I sit I’m not necessarily fully old, but old enough to know that I’m not young. I’m definitely on the older side of young. I don't know exactly what age marks the transition between the two, but I do know that I’m on the downward slope of that pinnacle. To say that the process has been graceful would be a stretch.
About three weeks ago I fished pretty hard for two days on one of my favourite steelhead streams. After day one I actually felt pretty good. Good enough that I did it again the next day. A three mile trek through alder tangles, boulder strewn river banks, and across roaring current numerous times.
On day three I felt like I’d been beaten like a rented mule. Yet another timeless mantra of unknown origin. (Assuming there was a time when people rented mules did people routinely beat them? Did the rental agency inspect them before and after the rental period?)
Anyway, I did feel like someone had given me a good beating. Every muscle in my body ached, and particularly the region from the base of my skull down to the bottom of my heels - including the bones, muscle and associated connective tissue in between.
However, there was a time when I’d do that river trek twice in one day. It feels like it was just a few years ago. In fact, there were days when I jogged up the trail for two miles in my waders just to get to the river quicker.
Now, I don’t even jog to the outhouse. I conserve my energy for real emergencies.
Back in the day I remember chatting about steelhead fishing with guys that were my age now. They’d say things like, “We used to do that. But as you get older it looses its appeal. Too hard on the body. Too many snags. Fishing with frozen hands and feet isn’t so much fun anymore.” I dismissed this out of hand thinking that it would never happen to me.
But it is happening to me to some measure. But rather than “throw the baby out with the bathwater” (I won’t touch that one), I think the best course of action would be to scale it down a bit. Don’t do the river trek two days in a row. Fish for a few hours and then take it easy for a bit. Life is too short to give up things you love just because they're harder to endure for extended periods.
So the adjustment I have to make is not physical, it’s mental. Use that hard-earned common sense - or uncommon sense - to recognize and accept that although my brain may think I’m 25, my body is not.
I guess that’s the real meaning of “growing old gracefully.”
I have a very diverse background that gives me lots of things to write about. Although born in Winnipeg Manitoba I grew up in Dryden Ontario and developed my love for the outdoors along the shores of Wabigoon Lake. I moved to Thunder Bay Ontario in 1981 to begin a 30-year career as a police officer. I spent almost half of those 30 years as a member and commander of a tactical unit. I also spent considerable time as a detective and have a keen interest in forensics and other aspects of criminal investigation. I am now retired from policing and divide my time between fly fishing, big game hunting and upland bird hunting with my viszla Autumn. I am a journeyman carpenter and cabinetmaker and spend many hours in my workshop. I own and operate Finishing Touch Carpentry in Thunder Bay and focus on cabinetry, stairs, balustrades and custom work. I live in Thunder Bay Ontario with my wife of 40+ years Antonietta, our three married children and six grandchildren. Last but certainly not least I am a devout follower of Jesus Christ and my hope is that this devotion comes through in my writing and most importantly in my interactions with others. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Writing is a form of expression and is as much art as a painting. It is also a craft that improves over time. If you're an aspiring writer - then write on whatever passion moves you. If you're looking for guidance on style and story-telling, then read some good books. One of my favourite authors is Ernest Hemingway. His writing has shaped my desire to paint pictures with words.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" Paul of Tarsus
2 Corinthians 5:17
Sign up to hear about newly released stories and articles.