Before going out, I spent an hour during the morning cleaning the handle of my HT Comp 5. First a good cleaning with warm water, a cloth and some soap. Then I set it aside to dry and gave it a light sanding with 800 grit sandpaper, and voila - the handle is almost like new. I know some people think this is heretical, but I do it once in a while when my rod handles get too dirty. I like the feel of cork, not dried up sweat, grime, dirt, fish slime, scales and other gunk.
So I went out today - just brought my HT Comp 5, a reel and a MED 5. No tape measure, no rings, no targets (and I should have brought a spare leader :-).
I'be always practived with a certain goal. Tightening up my loops loops, anchor placement on spey casts, long carry, release point when shooting line, timing and double haul, precision etc, but not today. I just went to have some fun, drae some doodles, tie a few windknots, get a sense of where I am and which specific elements needs work.
I spent an hour or so and came up with a mental plan, which is now actually on paper and when I've gotten my basics properly back toghether, I'll start setting some goals for some more specific work.
But I'll tell you this - it's really amazing how familiar it feels picking up a rod, even though I haven't done so more than five times since March 2019. And it's also amazing (but not surprising) how much fish fever I got from that hour in the park, since I obviously haven't fished for almost a year (!) either. That hasn't happened since I was 6 or 7 :-).
Have a great weekend!