I'm sitting at a computer casting my mind back through the years when I should be up in the hills on a high country lake casting for trout! This is my weather, cold, damp and a little uncomfortable but a warm fire at night, sensible clothes whilst in the boat, a couple of beers and more than a few laughs. A good fishing trip. But, as I'm sitting here reflecting I'm thinking - Damn, who in their right mind would want to be my fishing mate. Thirty years ago when I first moved to the area a workmate introduced me to the wonders of trout fishing. We walked the streams and being without a boat, fished the banks of many a highland lake. Then the bugger went and drank a few too many whilst driving up the mountains on a solo fishing trip, rolled the car and you get the rest. My sons began school and I struck up a friendship with another dad at a school working bee. This bloke had sons the same age so the fishing trips were big affairs and teaching five young lads camping, fishing and hunting skills made for some great times. The Vietnam War got him though, Agent Orange took a while but we saw him succumb to cancer. Change of jobs and would you believe there was a bloke there who happened to love fishing more than me. Best thing was our children were the same age and the wives enjoyed shopping and drinking wine on the weekends so they packed us off with the boys on most weekends. At an age much too young, my mate suffered a heart attack. His son and my son were there at the time but could not revive him. Total devastation. On many of our trips my mate's brother-in-law tagged along and that bloke and I continued to fish together for more years than I can count. We have fished the lakes for trout and the NT for barra, camped in some bloody good spots and camped in conditions that an Eskimo would bury himself in his igloo and declare it was too cold. No, if you reckon he too has gone to the fishing grounds in the sky you are wrong. A stroke has curtailed his desire to the rigours of camping out in the cold, sitting in a boat in the rain or even gathering firewood. The trips up north are becoming increasingly difficult. So I find myself sitting at a computer instead of being up in the mountains, setting up a camp for a few days and then catching a damn good rainbow trout. Let me tell you it is not much fun up there talking to oneself for more than a day (although sometimes I have an argument with myself but never seem to win) and I'm finding it bloody hard to convince anyone that it is not so bad camping in the middle of July up in high country. Probably something to do with being born before color TV, STD phone numbers and mid-strength beer. We get old and soft. But, I'm heading up there on Friday with the local fishing club! Even though I will be staying in a motel and enjoying a counter meal and a couple of beers in the pub each night, it just doesn't seem the same. There you go! It must be true about retired geezers - We know it all and we have the time to tell you all about it! And the purpose of this thread - well I don't know! It has something to do with fishing so it made me feel better and want to go down into the shed and get my gear packed.