It’s been a pattern of mine for years – spending a part of New Years Day camped out in a comfortable chair – fire softly burning in the fireplace – bourbon on the rocks or a dry gin martini within arm’s reach – and putting pen to paper, inking out my plan for the year ahead.
Don’t get me wrong – this is not some quick exercise completed in one sitting – it is the final draft of a plan I start formulating well before the end of each year. I start with the big picture, or as Stephen Covey would put it, “begin with the end in mind” – and gradually break my goals down into reasonable objectives for the year ahead. It’s a cherished process, and one that causes me to not only herald accomplishments, but recognize failures. Best of all, it helps me, in Stephen Covey’s words, to “be proactive”. By acting positively on past failures, I choose to respond rather than react. Put another way, I can gripe and wail about not being able to cast well, OR, I can recognize my shortfalls and do something about them…
While I do this for all areas of my life, I thought I’d publish my goals in terms of my one and only avocation – fly fishing. And so with great fanfare, I list them below:
1) Purchase and set up an 8 weight fly fishing rig (fly rod / reel / line) for Finger Lake and Great Lakes tribs.
2) Catch the following “firsts” on the fly; a steelhead, lake trout, and a bluefish, striped bass, or weakfish.
3) Begin fly tying – focus on the Picket Pin, Wooly Bugger, and Egg and Worm Patterns.
4) Float fish the Susquehanna; a) Binghamton to Vestal Park, b) Vestal Park to Campville, and c) Campville to Owego
5) Practice and improve my casting distance and accuracy. Learn to single haul and double haul.
6) Purchase my PA fishing license and explore, fish, and learn PA creeks and rivers.
7) Learn and use the following knots: Non-Slip Mono Knot, Palomar Knot, Improved Turtle Knot, and Perfection Loop. Learn to tie my own leaders.
So how about your fly fishing goals? Have you thought about how you could be a better fly fisherman in 2010? Take the time now, while Mother Nature is deep in sleepy snow, and jot down a few ideas.
Mull them over between swigs of whiskey if you will. Keep coming back to them over the next few weeks and refine and rethink them, until your list is something that inspires you. Believe me, you’ll be happy for it when 2011 rolls around…
Tight Lines, and Happy New Year…