How’d we do in 2015?
It’s that time of the year when I draw up to the fire (well, maybe not this year based on how mild it has been), break out my goals for the year, and see how I’ve done. I’ve posted my goal reviews here before, but somehow fell out of practice in 2014. So without much adieu, here are the goals I set quite optimistically this time last year, with their status as of the end of 2015:
- Become a better nymph fisherman. Complete. This one is probably not a great goal as we can always be better, but I’d like to say I made good progress towards being better – both from an equipment perspective, tactics, and results. I did not fish the West Branch as much as I normally do, in favor of the Salmon River, but I did well nymphing for steelhead.
- Learn to fly fish for musky. Not complete. I’ll have to give this one a go again next year. I never got around to purchasing and setting up the proper tackle, nor did I tie any musky flies, but I did get a nice follow from one who chased a large white deceiver to my kayak!
- Continue fly tying – perfect these patterns – goal to catch fish with each pattern: Mostly complete. I caught steelhead or browns on the Salmon River on all of the patterns I tied below, save Rusher’s Stone fly and Tom’s Redhead.
- The Salmon River Gift
- Rusher’s Stone Fly
- Sucker Spawn
- Egg Flies
- Tom’s Redhead
- Donate a box of my flies to the TU banquet. Complete. I made up a pretty nice box for the TU banquet and noticed it going early in the table raffle!
- Float fish the rivers – 2 times. Complete – see below…
- Float fished the Tioughnioga – Messengerville to Marathon
- Float fished the Susquehanna – Apalachin to Hiawatha
- Make perfect fly casting practice a habit. Complete. I’d say I did a pretty good job practicing my casting, especially since I was involved in our IFFF chapter’s (The BC Flyfishers) casting clinic and also because I gave fly fishing lessons to a wonderfully nice older couple throughout the summer.
- Fish with friends. Complete. By my records, I got out and fished 10 times with friends.
- Fish 50 – get out and fly fish 50 times this year. Complete. I did get out and fish 50 times this year, including some new spots.
- Learn to tie additional fishing knots. Complete. I learned the Palomar knot.
- Fish the Salmon River. Complete. This year I purchased a new JP Ross 11 fot 8 weight switch rod and put it to work. I fished for dropbacks in the spring 4 times and followed that up with fall and fall/winter fishing on the Salmon River for salmon and steelhead 4 times. I caught steelhead during both seasons and my first salmon – 2 coho’s (I lost a number of kings too) in the fall.
- Night fish for trout. Complete. Finally got out with fly fisher friend Eric Tomosky on the West Branch. No luck, but a very interesting learning experience. This will be repeat in 2016.
- Learn the whip finish. Complete!
So there you have it. A very good year in comparison to past years – I scored myself a 90%. Key to this score were two things; 1) setting realistic and achievable goals and 2) getting after them.
Coming soon will be a post listing my 2016 goals. If you haven’t set yours, I’d recommend taking time to do so. Write them out – then let them marinate a bit. Review them again, and commit by showing them to someone, preferably a fellow fly fisher. I promise you won’t regret the exercise and you’ll be a better angler for it!