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Trout Bums at Large is a monthly column appearing in the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Seattle Times. The column is written by Randal Sumner and Mark Littleton. We will be keeping an archive of these articles on this page.

by R.Sumner



     Retire from the NASCAR word Re-Tire; meaning your tires are shot and need replacement.


Last week I received a financial newsletter; on the cover is a picture of a white haired old man cutting a board on a table saw. The title in two inch letters,” Build your Dream Retirement.”  The sub title: “Now’s the time to line up what you’ll do with week after week of free time”.  Holy-Moly are you kidding me? Now bear with me dear reader as I have expert advice on this subject.

  First there are some people that should never retire, this is the Type A hard charging, result oriented crowd. You know the everyday is a new opportunity for excellence folks. Making bird houses is not going to cut it. Not that there is any thing wrong spending your last days making bird housing. My advice is to stay on the job, you’ll be happy and your children will appreciate there inheritance.

  Now for the rest of us Type B or C’s there is a couple ways to go in building your dream retirement. I mean what is your dream? Dream not fantasy, lets face it, your probably a sixty something washed up Troutbum . Your hair is a memory but at least you can still remember having it. Physically you are not the man you were at forty and maybe now even a bit optically challenged. This is what you have to work with in the Dream Retirement framework. Your thinking “This is depressing”, well yes it is and how do you feel about having spent your best years on the job? But as we say in fishing, that is water under the boat, get over it. 

  The one thing you don’t want to happen is to be talked into someone else’s dream. I’ve known people that were lured into buying a monster motor home and traveling; so you worked for forty years to become a bus driver. Not that there is anything wrong with driving a bus. In this case the husband died behind the wheel of massive heart failure. This is of course an extreme example, sometimes motorhoming just ends in a simple divorce. Another couple I know decided to move from Yakima to the coast and buy a sailboat. They live in Arizona now. If you want to be a blue water sailor start young. I guess that’s the point, start young so that when your dream retirement comes rolling in you won’t be sitting around deciding to take up Bulgarian folk dancing or watercolor classes. Not that there is anything wrong with Bulgarian folk dancing.

  Now that you’re retired, people will advise you to begin an exercise regimen, join a gym they’ll say, jog they’ll say, and certainly dancing will come up. I personally take a walk everyday; I also have two eggs each morning and a short nap about 1:30 each afternoon. Recently I have discovered a great low impact exercise, brewing beer with my son Bob, it’s a togetherness thing and the beer is delicious.

  In my own case I was retired by the Pennzoil Company in 1999, in there wisdom they chose to close all there small operations, but I could move to Atlanta Georgia and run that store. I researched Atlanta and the trout fishing is nil, so I took my severance and became a lowly fishing guide. Now I’m retired from my retirement.

  I guess I’ll buy new tires, hit the road and find some new water.

More Trout Bum Articles:
05/01/2015: The wolves will always eat the sheep by R.Sumner
11/17/2014: Red Fish Redux by R.Sumner
07/02/2013: Custom by Randal Sumner
05/01/2013: Subaru Magic by Randal Sumner
01/19/2012: Ding Ho by RandalSumner
04/06/2011: A Cautionary Tale by Randal Sumner
01/26/2010: Redfish Round-up by Randal Sumner
11/24/2009: Kentucky Don and English Bob by Randal Sumner
08/25/2009: A word about Bears by R.Sumner
06/30/2009: Polar bear hugging by Randal Sumner
01/27/2009: Christmas letters by Randal Sumner
11/25/2008: Trip to Eden by Randal Sumner
08/07/2008: Mime Time by R. Sumner
06/02/2008: fuel vs fishing by R. Sumner
05/01/2008: Long sleeve Hawiian shirt by R.Sumner
02/07/2008: The Empire by R. Sumner
11/29/2007: Troutbum self-help by R. Sumner
09/04/2007: The Perfect Client by Randal Sumner
07/02/2007: High Anxiety by R.Sumner
03/29/2007: Grasshopper by Randal Sumner
01/25/2007: Chinese food by R. Sumner
11/30/2006: Old Whitey by R.Sumner
09/28/2006: Chief Holland USN retired by R. Sumner
07/10/2006: BBQ by R.Sumner
05/30/2006: Cashmere by R. sumner
03/30/2006: Sterling Choices by Randal Sumner
01/26/2006: Tying with Pablo by Randal Sumner
12/01/2005: Brrr by Mark Littleton
11/24/2005: Thanksgiving 2005 by randal Sumner
09/01/2005: Anchors Away by Mark Littleton
07/01/2005: Some kinda fun by Randal Sumner
05/01/2005: The Base Lake by Randal Sumner
04/01/2005: Humble Pie by Mark Littleton
03/01/2005: Dance monkey dance by randal Sumner
01/01/2005: Where are the Instructions? by Randal Sumner
12/01/2004: Das Boat by Mark Littleton
11/01/2004: What me Worry? by Mark Littlton
10/01/2004: Priorities by Mark Littlton
09/01/2004: Falling In by Mark Littleton
08/01/2004: Ice Fishing by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Honey, I flooded the basement by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Elvis Lives by Randal Sumner
06/01/2004: Coyote by Randal Sumner
05/01/2004: Redfish and Capt. Dan by Mark Littleton
04/01/2004: Vested Interest by Randal Sumner
03/01/2004: Are you a Troutbum? by Mark Littleton
12/01/2003: Christmas presents by Mark Littleton
11/01/2003: Oklahoma by Randal Sumner
10/01/2003: Steel heading JuJu by Randal Sumner
09/01/2003: Motor Home by Randal Sumner
08/01/2003: Life is Funny by Mark Littlton
07/01/2003: Deschutes by Mark Littleton
06/01/2003: Class of 2002 by Randal Sumner
05/01/2003: BOAT FISHING by Mark Littlton
04/01/2003: ALASKA, LAND OF THE MIDNIGHTBLUE TARP by Randal Sumner
03/01/2003: MARCH BROWNS by Mark Littleton
02/01/2003: DEEP IN THE HEART OF IDAHO by Randal Sumner
01/01/2003: TOP TEN by Mark Littleton
12/01/2002: SAN MIGUEL by Randal Sumner
11/01/2002: DISNEYLAND by Randal Sumner
10/01/2002: CAMPING by Mark Littleton
09/01/2002: MMMM MAYFLIES by Mark Littleton
08/01/2002: CARNEGIE HALL by Randal Sumner
07/01/2002: CRAWFISH PIE by Randal Sumner
06/01/2002: Sons and Pals by Mark Littleton
03/01/2002: Visitation by Randal Sumner
02/01/2002: Ouch by Mark Littleton
01/01/2002: Death by Randal Sumner
11/01/2001: Leakers by Randal Sumner
09/01/2001: Poser by Randal Sumner
08/01/2001: Snake River Diary by Mark Littleton
08/01/2001: It's Hard by Mark Littleton
07/01/2001: Etiqutte by Randal Sumner
06/01/2001: June by Mark Littleton
05/01/2001: Road Trip to Paradise by Randal Sumner
04/01/2001: What Are They Doing Up There? by Mark Littleton
03/01/2001: Gear by Randal Sumner
02/01/2001: Soft Hackles by Mark Littleton
01/25/2001: Motivation by Randal Sumner
12/28/2000: Winter Fishing by Mark Littleton
11/30/2000: Old Blackie by Randal Sumner