By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

WEBSTER RESERVOIR -- With retirement just around the corner, there's sure to be more fishing days on the horizon for these two buddies.

Even the slow trout fishing on a recent day didn't crush their outlook, or their optimism.

Janet Heiland and Maria Berls, both of Ellis, are ready to take on the water, or perhaps more appropriately, the fish in the water.

"I'm going to retire the end of the month and we're going to do more fishing," said Heiland, handling two poles on the stilling basin below the dam holding back Webster Reservoir.

"We do our fishing before the gardening starts," Berls said.

But they do plan to tuck a few fishing outings into the gardening regime, at least until the dog days of summer set in.

Berls' husband, Jerry, was along for the fishing trip as well, but he was downstream a bit, tending to his own rod and reel as the women sat in lawn chairs and chatted.

The wind made the day cool, but they weren't of a mind to cave in and head home.

"We're going to make it three to four times a week," Berls said.

"Any day the wind allows it," Heiland added.

Webster is the choice for the pair because they have access to the water and can fish from the shore.

"We fish up here because Cedar Bluff doesn't have decent bank fishing," Heiland said.

Webster offers plenty of bank-fishing opportunities, they agreed.

They do fish the waters of Big Creek, but mostly when Berls' grandchildren are around.

"You always catch something at Big Creek," she said. "But they're always bulllheads."

"Or bluegills," Heiland chimed in.