I had long awaited my return to the Shire. My absence was due in part mostly to environmental factors with some life thrown in to the mix. I had managed to avoid the pregame show in October and what was to be a grand November came and went without as much as a hope. I managed to keep my composure and assured myself that my return would not be under sub prime conditions. I needed a grand day on the healing waters and I would not compromise this for anything. Life was keeping me preoccupied and mother nature was keeping me at bay. So much so that we finally decided to book an early trip on the Muskegan with Jeff Stuhan. Any day on the water with Jeff is a blast so that was what we were planning when the graph finally did a little jump. Not the anticipated blow out that I promised myself would happen but a mere jump followed by what appeared to be a somewhat sustainable flow. The jump was big enough to temp a push of fish and big enough to offer some decent options with nice colour. A last minute decision was before us and we opted to tempt fate and follow our hearts back to the shire. It was a no loose option for me as I longed to get back and walk the cedar lined trails and stare into her emerald green waters. My reasons for being on the river have changed in recent times and my successes are measured with different metrics. Today I spent quality time with a great friend. I shared many a laugh. I forgot about life. I got lost in the stunning reflection of the far bank and relaxing pace of my favourite drift. I experienced grand successes and shared the pain of a great loss. I had forgotten how important that place is to me and what she really provides. It was nice to be home again.