my year so far was pretty good but could always be better so far i fished up north in Pa and had several days on the water and caught my first trout on a Adams dry fly that i tied myself (very exciting) also i fished the gsmnp and surounding areas several times this year and everytime i had great days catching brookies bows and browns what else could i ask for . I also tried flounder fishing in the sound outside Camp Lejuene N.C. where i live that was a blast too better year then i ever had with flounder and next week i'm going back tothe gsmnp and try my luck one last time before i pack it up for the year. so all in all i can't complain. i just wish i lived closer to the mountains so i could trout fish alot more thats my love !!!!!!
I returned to fly fishing after a few years of being absent. Was fun gathering new gear, I even started tying my own flies. As far as trout, other than the way back mt streams with brookies we mostly have 'stocked trout' here..but if you pretend they are wild,,it works. I think I have my casting touch back pretty good,,not that I'm a pro at my best, but I do OK. I fished small lakes here,,and every stream that I could that held fish. I'm saving some coins and hope to take a couple trout expeditions away from my own back yard next year if possible. I take the 6 year old grandson with me some....that's usually less fish but more fun days ! The kid is a regular muskrat around water,,loves it.
Maybe the best thing is finding this forum....talk about learning things quick that would take years to learn...it happens right here ! I thank you all for this.
I've enjoyed 2012 in the outdoors maybe as much as any year ever.
Side note* I've curtailed deer hunting. Just a personal thing,,but Iv killed too many in my life and no longer feel the need. Maybe I'm becoming an ol' softie..but if it means more fly fishing,,YAY for that !
Not nearly as much variety as last year (2011 saw me catch trout out of 10 different bodies of water in CO over 2 weeks, insanely fun), and weather and terrible snowpack/low flows certainly changed the game.
No big trophies, but still a lot of fun... Challenging fishing always teaches you things, if you're open and willing to learn. It never ceases to amaze me, how much one can learn even after 25 yrs of fly fishing. Maybe that's why I like wine so much now, too... Just when you think you're close to knowing it all about a hobby/passion, you realize that, relatively speaking, you don't know ****
I caught a lot of fish, got to fish with my brother more than I have in recent years, fished with two of my best friends that I hadn't fished with in probably 10 years, and had several good days on the water with my dad, who I wasn't sure I would be able to fish with again following his bout with stomach cancer. Several days on the water with the wife, too... These things combined make it hard to complain, I am a truly blessed man
Some beautiful pictures and lots of accomplishments all round by the sounds of things. I love to see a thread run where there is so much positive response It is especially rewarding to read the posts from those who are just finishing their first year at casting flies but the reports from you old hands about new waters is cool too.
I started a series of draft entries that I'm going to put on the blog here about 2012. When it's done I'll come here and post a synopsis of the season. The truth is that there were so many situations regarding salmon runs and weather that I could not fit the whole story on this thread. There was some good, some bad, and there was the worst, this was a hard year to be a fly fisherman in Alaska. In the end, I managed a few good catches but we will be smoking turkey this winter not salmon
If you keep posting your memories of the season, I'll keep reading them
Its been a great year from my perspective. I happen to love hot, drought years. Especially coming off a near-record wet year in 2011. Nothing dried up and there was enough water. Mosquitoes were practically NON EXISTENT nearly everywhere!!! I enjoyed not knowing where my rain gear or bug dope was stored! Quite a change from 2011.
Good early season fishing without too much runoff, typical mid-summer conditions, and low-water late season fishing with mild temperatures and little precip. (And did I say, NO BUGS except the good kind) The spring creeks I fish didn't change at all. The big tail waters were average to high because farmers dictate flows, not water, and the farmers needed flowing water. The freestoners fished good all summer, with better fishing earlier. (Hmm, free stoners has new connotations in Colorado) In no particular order:
*A couple of tarpon trips to Campeche, MX before spring.
*Green below F. Gorge, Fontenelle, and other WY stretches. (My "home" waters, more or less, for the "fringe" seasons and day trips)
*Wind/Big Horn (sure miss the old days there)
*Snake (Jackson) and its tribs.
*Flat Creek (refuge)
*McCoy's Spring Creek
*Missouri River @Craig (2+ weeks!)
Toss in some stops here and there at some of the tributaries and drive-by's to the rivers named above, and a few unmentioned creeks that will remain that way.
I took more time off this summer than I have since back when I didn't really have a job and was one of those "bums" before the book came out. Next summer, I'm working even less, taking most of July and August off to be a seasonal bum. Instead of "camping" in the back of the pick-up, I now tow a small trailer, and carry more creature comforts. I fish fewer hours in the day, float shorter distances, and take more naps. I think its some sort of crisis thing. I feel older, I am older, and I can now see that I won't be able to enjoy it forever. Its already harder, though I still hold my own and get around pretty good.
I heard a Gierach quote the other day, from a radio program he was interviewed on, that went something like this. "Some people mortgage their lives and work hard to make lots of money so that when they retire they can buy their lives back. I don't think it works that way." I never have tried that, and even more so now. I won't look back some day and say to myself, "I sure wish I would have worked those weeks I took off to go fishing." Well, I hope not! I digress.
We went to Alaska for the second time, a 2 ½ month van camping tip. The main focus wasn’t fishing, but I did a fair amount. We hit the Kenai between runs in June and it was practically deserted. I had an #8 switch rod with me and it works great for “flipping”. Fished with a native in another river, one that “always catches fish”, but the water was too high and we struck out. Caught some pink salmon in Homer. We also did a halibut trip with big boat rods and 4 # sinkers, they were there and we each kept our limit of 2. That is work in 200 ft of water.
The best part of the trip was ferry hopping down the marine highway and our trip to the Prince of Wales island. POW is noted for rain, bears, and fish. We camped on the ocean and drove an hour up a logging road several times to catch the early coho run at Neck Lake outlet. People fishing there said to use a red/white bucktail on a #2 hook. I snagged a few that I landed and released, then I switched to a #6 chartreuse/white Clauser that I tied myself and they attacked that. I used an #8 single handed fly rod. Only kept a few because of limited refrigerator /freezer space, but it was fun. Well, at one time, the guy across the small stream from me said “there is a bear behind” you. I looked back (of course) and he was about 30 yards away. He was more interested in the fish, but I edged away. The guy said don’t come down here around dark, there are usually half a dozen bears. Talked for a First American there and he said he fishes out of his kayak and has caught halibut over 100 # by paddling them back to the beach and beaching them. We also went to a totem pole raising in Hydaburg, a village of mostly Haidas. They were replacing 3 poles out of around 15 in the town square. We helped raise 2 and got invited to a big feed at the school, the whole town was there. Had salmon fixed at least 3 ways as well as halibut several ways, some local venison (Sitka deer) and platters of Dungeness crab and shrimp as well as 3 seaweed dishes. The buffet table was the length of the basketball court and I certainly won’t forget that day. There are several kinds of salmon that run there, as well as steelhead.
We stopped overnight in Ketchikan and there was a fish resort/campsite that was doing great, all boat fishing. Didn’t go, but the people were coming in with about 2 halibut, a king or two and some silvers and pinks (per person). They had two girls there filleting fish for their customers, as fast as I have ever seen. One said they did 3000# of fillets on Tuesday. Ketchikan gets 14 ft of rain a year – that whole coast is part of the Tongas temperate rain forest. Most mornings it was 53 degrees with light rain.
I am sure that I could have caught a lot of fish on a charter or trolling, but I like roadside fishing. Just getting back into fly fishing after about 30 years off – it is fun to catch them of the fly rod. Have to catch some keeper sized stripers near here in May.
I consider this my best year so far in my fly fishing career.
Started it out freezing in the marias river in February.
Took my first trip alone on the Missouri in march, caught four fish and pneumonia.
went down the first week in April to the Missouri and slayed them on midges
Me and a friend went on the marias camping and on Easter Sunday someone stole my grill from my campsite. What is one of those commandments, something about stealing...
Taught one of my friends to fly fish and got him his first trout on a fly rod the same day.
Missouri and marias river trips fill time in between April and June.
purchase my first drift boat in June. Shes at the doctor right now getting a chime job.
Have a 50 fish day on July 5th on the marias. Pretty awesome.
Make a 15 mile bike trip into beaver creek on the sun river for some beautiful brook trout
Take a two day float trip with my dad and grandpa on the missouri
Hike to a high mountain lake and fish the creek above it
Catch what I think is my biggest brown trout on the marias
Hike to an even higher mountain lake and catch a ton of cutthroats
Catch some more fish
Go to the Missouri and buy a 700 dollar pair of waders at headhunters
Put a hole in said waders but catch a nice brown trout
Return waders to headhunters and get friend who I taught to fly fish earlier this year catch his first brown trout ever, fly fishing on the missouri
(Remainder of year pending)