Live Long and Prosper my Friend

The last thing you want people to see on your gravestone is “there were too many rivers and too many fish, and there was never enough time to chase them all. “I am going to live forever so that I won’t have any need for a gravestone, but if I had, I would want it to read, “Jim fished every imaginable river, waded every saltwater flat in the Caribbean and caught more fish than he deserved.” Granted this might sound like an odd blog post, but as the owner of Sweet Waters Adventure I experience customers at their best, but unfortunately also at their worst.

Living the Life of Fly fishing in River

Gary Whipple’s drive and passion for the sport is second to none. Regular gym workouts  and spending time on the wrestling mat helping his middle school wrestlers help him stay in shape. All four of these guys keep themselves in excellent condition and their always on the move. It’s almost impossible to get them on the phone.  

It is always a joy to fish with fisherman in the prime of their angling life. People who can jump in and out of drift boats on a fast-moving river, slide off the bow of a flats boat without spooking a school of bonefish at thirty feet, stand in icy steelhead river somewhere in British Columbia day after day waiting for that tug. By now, you may be thinking these guys are probably in their late twenties but, in reality, guys and gals of this description can be in their sixties, seventies, and sometimes well into their eighties. I even have a customer who is ninety-three years old, and I am hard-pressed to keep up with him – it’s not only his energy; it’s his contagious passion for fly fishing. If he has the money and, maybe, more importantly, the free time along with his wife’s permission, he will go anywhere with me and out fish most folks half his age.

Fly Fishing in River

Larry Golightly is always in his prime. Larry is considerably older than one might think but manages to keep himself in great shape. The man never slows down. His buddy in the opening photo is Jerry Arnie. I won’t mention his age, but he is another serious angler that has found the fountain of youth.

Then there is the other side. You know, the ugly side of life. Some people’s life afield ends up cut short for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes they are self-inflicted, and other times Mother Nature deals a nasty hand – she can be a fickle lady, that one.

Not too long ago, I was well en route to falling into the former camp: overweight, overworked, under motivated to recognize that to participate at a high level in any sport for an extended period, we have to train continuously, stay in shape, and eat well. Moreover, the older we get, the more time and energy we need to invest to stay healthy and fit. Working out and eating well almost have to become a religion – something you have to do every day until you really do have to hang it up. Now that I have made the transition, lost the weight, and regained my energy and drive, I’d like to commit this blog to help others to get started and stay motivated. I dedicate this missive to fly fisherman mainly because that is the tribe to which I belong — an elite group of creatures a few short steps up the evolutionary ladder from the Nematodes – the roundworms – if you are interested.

It has been my observation that fly fishermen of a “certain age” belong to one of two camps. The first type of fly fisherman is one who has made peace with slowing down and feels content spending his or her remaining days sprawled out in a favorite recliner grasping a whiskey glass adorned with one or two ice cubes and a healthy shot of Macallan’s Scotch in one hand, telling fish tales or reading a good book when nobody’s around to listen. The book probably has nothing to do with fly fishing – that would be too dangerous as it might stir up memories of good old times, and the associated agony of longing. Meanwhile, the favorite bird dog snores curled up in front of the fireplace, dreaming of the chase while the cat thrones in the lap, glad her human finally stays put. More power to the armchair heroes aging “gracefully”; I am more than sure the spouse and grandchildren are thrilled, and the honey-do list growing. As my beautiful wife once wrote – fly-fishing can be a dangerous sport, and travel insurance premiums increase slightly as we leave our thirties behind.

Then again there is the other camp, the one I am determined to stay a member. You know the ones – the passionate, sprightly never-say-die old birds who spend their days in the gym so they can spend their free days in a field trying to keep up with their favorite retriever or wading down the Morice River in the middle of November chasing the elusive wild steelhead. You know the kind of old birds I mean – the oldtimers who would rather pee in their waders than give up their spot by getting off the river. They live by the credo that every moment the fly is not in the water is an opportunity lost. When we were young whippersnappers, we might have laughed at guys like that, but at the same time, we admired their passion and set out to emulate without even realizing it. What we might not have noticed at the time is that these oldtimers managed to stay in great shape for their age. We had no idea then that to do so requires effort as we get older: eating well (at least when not on a trip), joining a gym and actually frequenting it – to work out, not to socialize or chase the young and tenders around the track.

Fly Fishing in River

Joe Hovious is another gentleman that might be getting up there in age, but you would never know it. This August we spent ten days on the road chasing Atlantic Salmon and at the end of October and the first few days of November we were in British Columbia chasing and catching Steelhead on the Skeena drainage. When he returned home him and his wife packed their bags and skies and headed back to BC for several weeks of skiing. Somewhere in the middle of this, he managed to squeeze in several long-distance bike trips. We should all be so lucky.


In theory, we all know what separates those who can no longer do what they love from those who enjoy it up to their dying days. So, I am not going to list all the telltale symptoms of the problems you can create for yourself. Suffice it to say, if you feel lethargic, overweight, and are running the risk of soon losing the ability to perform even the most straightforward tasks associated with your favorite pastime (like putting on your waders), it may be time to get started on turning this thing around. Even if you have already hit rock bottom and can’t even see your wading boots anymore, it’s never too late to get started. It may just take a tad longer to arrive at the desired outcome. The question is will you do it? Are you and your quality of life worth it to you?

You have to decide if you want to continue doing the things you’re passionate about and yes there is a price to pay for years of neglect, and yes change of lifestyle requires total commitment. Someone else can’t do the actual hard work for you. Only you can decide to eat better, to get a gym membership and to use it. I believe it’s a two-part problem – not only is it physical, but I think it’s just as important to stay fit mentally. It all requires a tremendous amount of effort and long-term commitment. It would help if you also had support – rarely does anything happen in a vacuum. Get the wife, the kids or grandkids involved. Make sure they understand why you want to do this and that you need their help. More importantly, make it relevant to them. The spouse might not be thrilled that you spend several hours in the gym each day. After all, these hours could be better spent helping around the house or making money. The progeny may not welcome the removal of junk food from the pantry. Your friends may miss going out for greasy burgers and fries. So, if you want their support, be a good salesperson. After all, by staying healthy, you save the family from having to take care of you as an invalid or shipping you off to a nursing home. Use the extra energy you gain from eating well and working out to spend quality time with your support team, spoil them wherever possible. Consider taking them along with you and compliment them on their successes. Find new fun things to do together that were impossible during your lethargic, semi-depressed phase.

Besides rallying the troupes behind you, the best way I know to get started is to read anything and everything you can about eating well and losing weight. We are lucky – we have the Internet, and fortunately, it contains a tremendous amount of great information about getting in shape and losing weight for all types of personalities and body types. Never forget that what works for one person might not work for another. In my case, I exercised three hours a day for nearly three years without an appreciable difference in my overall girth. The wife joked that I had to be spending my gym time with my girlfriend name Gym. Then, I found out about collagen, and suddenly I was losing a pound a day until I reached a healthy weight. Once that train got rolling, I learned about ways to keep my brain healthy, boost my metabolism, and nourish my body, all by blending a healthy and tasty smoothie in the morning. Your journey may require some trial and error until you find out what your body might need to get over the rough spots in the road. Below is a list of links that should get you started. I also included the recipe for my favorite smoothie. I have one for breakfast and lunch. I also spend time at the gym every day and, if you are really interested, I practice the Wim Hof deep breathing method – it’s a form of Yoga. Folks like to make fun of me sometimes, but they don’t mind telling me they are jealous when all around me are sick, and I walk through their sea of germs seemingly immune.


The following links will give you a place to start. Remember no two people will react the same way given the same circumstances. Make it work for you and don’t worry about the person working out next to you.

Navitas Organics is a great place to shop. It’s a little bit less expensive than Wholefoods or your local grocery store, and their product is consistent. It’s best to stick with what’s working. It’s best to understand what you are buying and what the general purpose of that product is.


Jim’s Smoothie Recipe: Organic if possible and you can use frozen berries – it makes a better smoothie.

Bowl of Fruit

Frozen Fruit

1 cup of Blueberries

1 cup of Cherries

1 cup of fresh Mango

1 cup of fresh Pineapple

1 cup of Raspberries

1 cup of Blackberries

Bunch of Apples

Fresh Fruit

1 Kiwi

1 Banana


Navitas Organics Goji Berries

1 tablespoon of Camu Powder (Navitas Organics)

1 tablespoon of Pomegranate Powder (Navitas Organics)

1 tablespoon of Acai Powder (Navitas Organics)

1 tablespoon of Goji Berries (Navitas Organics)

2 scoops of Protein Powder. I use Pasture Fed Precision Blend by Biohealth


Omega 3 

2 Tablespoons Flaxseed

2 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (white or black)

2 Tablespoon Hemp Seeds



1 cup of Organic unsweetened Tart Cherry Juice.

I add enough water to get the smoothie to blend. Once the smoothie is in the blended state I add:


Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil

2 tablespoon’s of pure coconut oil. I use Brain Octane Oil by Bulletproof. Rocket fuel for the brain and body.


Olivado Macadamia Nut Oil

1 tablespoon of Macadamia Nut Oil – you will need to use one that does not require refrigeration. I prefer Extra Virgin Macadamia Nut Oil by Olivado.

Nutiva Red Palm Oil

1 tablespoon of Red Palm Oil. I use a Red Palm Oil made by Nutiva.

Tip: This is no job for an inexpensive blender. Do yourself a favor and invest in a good blender, one with a strong motor and a large capacity, and one that is easy to clean. Remember you are making enough smoothie for two meals. Also, invest in a Yeti cup into which you can put the second smoothie when you put it in the refrigerator. I know it sounds complicated, but believe me, it might be a little time consuming but it’s not rocket science, and it’s great for you.

If you are interested in Wim Hof deep breathing method – it’s a form of Yoga, please follow the link below.

Remember to find out what works best for you. Do your research and if you want to change the recipe then change it. The one thing I do know is if you don’t like the taste you will never keep at it.

If you have any question please call me and I will be more than happy to help in any way I can. Jim Stenson 251-633-6330




Leave a Comment

7 Responses to “Live Long and Prosper my Friend”

7 Comments so far
  1. by Christopher Pipes

    On March 31, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Well done and “my oh my” is that a friendly reminder about nutrition and exercise!! Thanks

  2. by David Graves

    On April 3, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Amen brother Stenson!
    Thanks, and continued Tightest of Lines, and Nothing but
    Tail feathers!
    Be well!

  3. by James Hamblet, Jr

    On April 4, 2019 at 6:35 am

    I enjoyed reading your article this morning. I’ll turn 71 shortly. My friends all hound me about when I’m going to retire and I assure them that I have no plans to retire and remind them the while they are making Dr’s appointments I’ve been busy booking bush pilots out of Kotzebeu for the start of my annual 5 week Fly fishing trip across Alaska.

    The Health & Travel Tips are a great idea and I look forward to the rest of the series.

  4. by jim

    On April 7, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Hi James – Thanks so much for the kind words and hang in there. It’s great to feel alive. We need to spend some time on the water one day.

  5. by jim

    On April 7, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Hi David – thanks so much for the kind words. Stay safe and catch a lot of fish.

  6. by Scott Winstead

    On April 25, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Wow! Great article that hits the nail on the head. Can you please elaborate on the collagen for your weight loss – I’m in a similar space right now (1 1/2 hours/day in the gym) with minimal weight loss.


  7. by jim

    On April 27, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Scott

    I make the smoothie described in the post, and I take one ( for lack of a better description) straw of AdvoCare collagen once a day. If you drink the smoothie for breakfast and lunch and the collagen latter in the day, it should help. The problem with collagen is it works for about 50% of the people that take it, but it’s defiantly worth the try.


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