Ahhh, the smell of freshly unwrapped fly tying and fishing gifts. There they lay, all your hopes and dreams from the past year sitting in a pile on the floor. What used to be a fantasy is now reality, opening a whole new world of possibilities. While it may seem futile, I personally can’t wait until warmer weather to test out this new gear. When I want to go fishing, I go fishing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are countless reasons to go fishing this winter. It may not be a super-hot bite like you’ll encounter in May, but fishing during the winter provides its own excitements. Plus, I honestly can’t wait to test out my new euro-nymphing rod. I know I can’t be the only one with this anticipation, so if you’re anything like me, you’ll soon be making the drive to your nearest tailwater or winter fishery also. Furthermore, its not like global warming is doing any damage to fly fishing on rivers during the colder months. While we may never have substantial ice for ice fishing (55 degrees and rain on Christmas Day is not particularly conducive to ice formation), days spent on the river will at least be much more enjoyable. Even through flood conditions, a day spent fishing is better than a day spent working.
This year may have been a little different, but I certainly took advantage of the unusual circumstances. A 12:15 end to school without afternoon activities made the perfect spring for doing some fishing. And that I did! I fished more this year than I did any other year. With 106 successful fishing trips, I spent nearly a third of the days this year fishing. Through these trips, I learned countless lessons, and caught hundreds of fish. When you spend time on the water, you pick up little tidbits that simply can’t be learned by reading books or watching videos. There is no substitute for fishing, and there was nothing I’d rather have done during this wacky pandemic. I don’t want to draw this post out, but here are some of the highlights from this past year:
-Four personal bests: largemouth bass, yellow perch, chain pickerel, and landlocked atlantic salmon. None of these fish were bonafide giants, but they sure were big in my book.
-Ten new bodies of water fished. Without the ability travel far, I was forced to discover new honey holes. I was surprised to have caught a fish in every new spot I fished! It’s always a rewarding experience to find unpressured areas.
-Dozens of new fly patterns tied. Not only did school end earlier this year, but it also started later. This left much more time for me to spend behind the vise. I had a blast learning new techniques and trying new flies.
-Three wake-up calls before 5:00 AM. As the old adage goes, the early bird gets the worm. And obviously, the early angler is no exception. Some may call just three times wimpy, but when you wake up your entire family every time you get up, you’d try to limit the amount of times you wake up this early as well.
-Countless good times had. Like I said earlier, there is no substitute for time spent on the water. Fishing was nowhere near as social as in the past, but it was great to reconnect with myself and take time to slow down my hectic life.
With all these new gifts waiting to be used, 2021 promises to be a good year for fishing. Spring, and its myriad of angling opportunities, could not come sooner. I have many goals for the new year, some more achievable than others, but all sure to put a smile on my face.
I am thrilled to have started the blog this past year, and you can expect to see many more posts in the coming months. I know my writing isn’t always top-notch quality, but at least it gives me a place to write down the thoughts that writhe around my brain like an albie out of water. I’m hoping to include more gear reviews, spot overviews, and tying posts soon, but let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to hear about. Honestly, I often come into Sunday morning without an idea of what I’m going to write, and a deadline to meet the following day. As you can probably tell, this was one of those weeks, but sometimes it’s nice to have a place to dump your thoughts. I love hearing feedback from my readers because it helps me grow, not only as a writer, but as a student as well.
In addition, I have some big plans on the way. I won’t spell it out for you, but let me just say that if you’re short on flies but don’t want to order from a big corporation, you’ll have a new place to shop soon.
Ok, that’s enough writing for me for this break. I’ve got a TV show to watch before the ball drops (anyone else binging The Office before they take it off Netflix?). I hope everyone has a great New Year, and let’s hope 2021 treats us a little better than 2020!