Recently several TRM inmates had the pleasure of celebrating another 80th birthday with an angler who has been a regular visitor here for about the last ten years. He is from West Island and first came to NZ fishing in the 1970’s.
He is one of several who enjoy being seriously upgraded – promoted from inmates status to BOF’s (Boring Old Farts) by SWMBO to recognise their contribution to TRM and local fishing lore.
Which leads us into one of the most fascinating often discussed topics at TRM – how to make the most of the retirement years and stay forever young?.
After 40 plus years of working and saving it is a big adjustment to redirect energy into the enjoyment factor.
For many ‘retirement’ may revolve around family, hobbies, gardening, travel, golf, or bowls.
Trout fishing is the ideal activity for those folk resisting the slowing down process in their dotage, providing a daily challenge requiring focus, skill, experience, sedate fitness, etc.
Any inexorable process of ageing is more than compensated by increased fishing activity.
A stroll along the town pools of the Tongariro confirms that most anglers are well into their retirement years and enjoying the sport more than ever before as they finally have the time and patience to be successful.
The aged curses such as inevitable loss of memory and and diminished strength and energy do not matter any more as the fishing challenges keep them thinking ‘young’ spiritually.
And that is the key.
The BOF’s category of guests at TRM acknowledge any increase in their chronological number being deftly handled by adjusting their fishing style.
They may not wade so deep in the fast current or cover as many pools in a day but make up for it by sheer cunning.
So often we admire their clever little ploys to compensate for increased maturity.
They reassess and value the really important considerations in their remaining life – by that stage of life it is not about how much their house is worth or their bank balance – as they appreciate their continued fun and life style satisfaction, even beyond that which comes from happy relationships, by enhancing their physical and mental condition allowing them to pursue the wily Tongariro trout.
The challenge of the gentle art of trout fishing provides an achievable longer term goal for them every day, to focus on for the rest of their lives. Their fishing trips are based on how they feel and usually far surpasses any specially designed age-related activities deemed appropriate to their years or what is endured in so-called ‘retirement’ villages.
Instead of concentrating on survival, they are still living their dream in natures wonderland.
We younger anglers salute them.