the good: rods & reels that work and have endured; waders that make you look seasoned and have yet to have a serious leak; old men who share the keys to the kingdom; old homesteads that make you wonder; old hats that don’t make you look like a rube; old dirt roads and no one around; old rods and reels set aside out of respect for new more efficient gear; old spots that are still productive; rediscovering proven flies.
the bad: old reels with no drag; development near your secret spot; paved roads; gates blocking access to old spots; glass rods; too many leaks; improved campgrounds; wool; gutted Salmon for the roe; small runs; tired and damaged bodies; taking off neoprene waders on freezing days; cheap, cracked flylines; old, unfriendly farts who don’t share; snaggers; arrogance of privilege.
This is an evolutionary experience. At the ends of the age spectrum you are either too young or old to care. In between, you are usually making choices and identifying preferences, and heaven help you boundaries. This sport affords many of us great blessings to travel, experience the far reaches of our sport and to do it again. Stay humble about that and don’t set too many boundries for this sport in your mind. Always learn from those willing to share. Don’t be a know it all….that guy or gal standing nearby may know way more than you..and you will look like a bozo!