Archive for goals

Goals…

Posted in goals, Rod Building, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , on March 16, 2019 by stflyfisher

I put down the windows for the rush of air and to discourage conversation. I’m thinking of one of the last times Chester and I ever fished together. We had a remarkable day of catching, and he turned to me as he winched the boat onto the trailer. He had a giant cigar clamped between his teeth, and a large grin. “Those are the kind of days that keep you young, son,” he said, and then he cranked the winch handle like a man half his age.

Fish Pimping

Callan Wink

I believe in goals. Without them, my life would feel rudderless – a ship at sea drifting, with no destination and ultimately no purpose. Every year I set goals, then circle back and look at how I did against them. Some years I do well, others I find myself to have strayed, but as once said by General Dwight D. Eisenhower;

In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.

And so, every year I do my best to look into the future and project a path for all areas of my life, including fly fishing. I am convinced I am a better fly fisherman for doing that.

My goals for 2018 were aggressive, perhaps too much so for the year that was. As mentioned in my looking back post, it was a difficult year for a number of reasons, and one that kept me high and dry, rather than wader wet, more often than I would have liked. So what follows is my assessment on my performance to 2018 goals:

  • Expand my knowledge of smallmouth bass. Never happened… (0%)
  • Read books related to fly fishing, talk to and fish with experts, and study smallmouth bass biology. (0%)
  • Read Dynamic Nymphing by George Daniel. Did not happen… (0%)
  • Learn to fly fish for Muskie. (0%)
    • Purchase line and leader
    • Tie flies
    • Study muskie fly fishing
  • Saltwater fly fish in Destin, FL. Scored big here! (100%)
    • Expand bay and surf fishing activity. Fished both extensively.
    • Target reds, trout, ladyfish, jacks, and spanish mackerel. Caught a nice red, lots of ladyfish, and lots of pompano.
  • Saltwater fly fish the NJ coast: Here again I scored big! (100%)
    • Spring bluefish bite – the spring bite was more about stripers, but I did get one blue. I’ll try this one again for 2019.
    • Fall albie bite – my timing of the fall albie bite, was off, but I did get out. 
    • Possible tuna trip – never made this one.
    • Stripers – got out in August but not in the fall.
Cayuga lake 013

Dawn patrol, Barnegat Inlet…

  • Continue fly tying – learn to tie 5 more patterns. (100%)
    • Tied a number of unique patterns along with some of the usuals. One such pattern scored me my first ever Lake Trout!

Cayuga lake 057

  • Float-fish the local warmwater rivers (6X). Did not float the rivers at all, mainly due to high water. (0%)
  • Fly fish, practice casting, or attend fly fishing events 100 times this year. As previously reported, I only got out 35 times in 2018. Attendance to fly fishing events was poor as was my practice of casting. (25%)
  • Learn to build leaders. (25%)
    • Buy leader kit – not done.
    • Buy leader micrometer – Completed.
    • Fish my leaders – I have built some leaders and fished them. (50%)
  • Night fish for trout. Never got out. (0%)
  • Build more fly rods / advance my rod building skills: I’ll give this one 100% considering:
    • “River Rat” prototype. Started late 2018 / completed in early 2019.
    • Saltwater fly rod. Started and completed in early 2019.
    • Fly rod for BCFF auction. Push this into 2019 / 2020.

 

Trying best to summarize with an overall score for 2018, I’d say I landed a 40% – not very good. But I’ll take the highs and plan for a better year in 2019.

After assessing my overall performance, I always take time to rethink and re-tool my goals. For 2019, I have re-categorized my goals, to give me a little more focus.

  1. Knowledge
    1. Read Dynamic Nymphing
    2. Study smallmouth bass biology
    3. Study casting – read books, watch videos
  2. Fishing
    1. Fish 100+ times.
    2. Recon / fish 5 new areas
  3. Casting
    1. Practice 25 times
    2. Study FFI Certified Casting Instructor
    3. Video my casting
  4. Tying
    1. Tie 5 new patterns
    2. Learn 1 new tying technique
    3. Perfect the Wooly Bugger, Clouser, and Half and Half
  5. Rod Building
    1. Build 3 rods
    2. Improve wraps
    3. Learn new inlays
    4. Establish rod workshop

 

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Looking ahead to fly fishing in 2018

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on January 7, 2018 by stflyfisher

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

Benjamin Franklin

Those who know me know that I have always studied and enjoyed the wisdom of Ben Franklin. I named my youngest son after him, I’ve read his autobiography and other books by and about him, I’ve visited his museum in Philadelphia, and I have often felt that if there was one person I could talk to now, he’d definitely be in the top 5.

benjamin_franklin_1050x700

Franklin’s wisdom has helped me in life. I’ve tried to apply much of it to my life, and even my fly fishing. Franklin was among many things, a philosopher, scientist and inventor. He studied and read voraciously and was an optimist if there ever was one.

And while he was not a fisherman from what I’ve read, he does make some comments on fish in his autobiography, including this humorous note from a voyage as a young man. The note shows he toyed with the idea of being a vegetarian but eventually came round about to keeping fish in his diet…

I believe I have omitted mentioning that , in my first voyage from Boston, being becalmed off Block Island, our people set about catching cod, and hauled up a great many. Hitherto I had stuck to my resolution of not eating animal food, and on this occasion I considered, with my master Tryon, the taking every fish as a kind of unprovoked murder, since none of them had or ever could do us any injury that might justify the slaughter. All this seemed very reasonable. But I had formerly been a great lover of fish, and when this came hot out of the frying-pan, it smelt admirably well. I balanced some time between principle and inclination, till I recollected that, when the fish were opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs. Then thought I, “If you eat one another, I don’t see why we mayn’t eat you.” So I dined upon cod very heartily, and continued to eat with other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.

He also is the author of a quote my father uses…

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

Benjamin Franklin

Franklin was known for his views on developing character and continuous improvement in life and was so respected by author/educator Stephen Covey that his name was used as part of Covey’s planner system (The Franklin Covey Planner), a product I use in everyday life…

As posted last February, here are the goals I set for 2017 with commentary on how I did:

  1. Learn more about nymph fishing – study Joe Humphreys’ “Trout Tactics” (100%) Excellent book – highly recommended!
  2. Learn to fly fish for muskie. (0%) I did not prep of fish for muskie – need to move this forward to 2018.
    1. Purchase line and leader
    2. Tie flies
    3. Study muskie fly fishing
    4. Fish for them
  3. Saltwater flyfish in Destin, FL. (100%) I had great fishing in Destin and look forward to more of the same in 2018.
    1. Fish the bay for redfish & trout.
    2. Fish the inlet / surf.
  4. Continue fly tying – learn to tie 5 more patterns. (100%) Thanks to the BC Flyfishers tying clinic, I expanded into a number of new patterns and skills.
  5. Float-fish the local warmwater rivers (4X) (75%) I got out fishing twice in my kayak and once with Todd Smith in his Towee skiff.
  6. Fly fish, practice casting, or attend fly fishing events 125 times this year. (70%) Overall, I fished, practiced casting, and and attended events as much as I could. It was a challenging year at work and that kept me off the water a bit.
  7. Learn to build leaders. (0%)
    1. Buy kit
    2. Buy micrometer
    3. Fish my leaders
  8. Night fish for trout. (0%)
  9. Fish marginal waters. (100%) I did fish some more marginal water on a few occasions with mixed results. 
  10. Build more fly rods / advance my rod building skills: (33%)
    1. Fly rod for my brother-in-law for his 60th birthday – I loved building a rod for my brother-in-law and loved even more seeing it put to good use.
    2. “River Rat” prototype – I assembled the materials for this rod but never started the project.
    3. “Bay Rat” prototype.
  11. Search for the ideal river boat. (100%) – I spent considerable time looking at river boat options, including bigger craft like the Towee skiff

All in all, I’d rate 2017 as a decent year in terms of goal accomplishment but one can always do better…

Following are my fly fishing goals for 2018:

  1. Expand my knowledge of smallmouth bass. Read books related to fly fishing, talk to and fish with experts, and study smallmouth bass biology.
  2. Read Dynamic Nymphing by Daniel.
  3. Learn to fly fish for muskie.
    1. Purchase line and leader
    2. Tie flies
    3. Study muskie fly fishing
  4. Saltwater flyfish in Destin, FL.
    1. Expand bay and surf fishing activity.
    2. Target reds, trout, ladyfish, jacks, and spanish mackerel.
  5. Saltwater fly fish the NJ coast:
    1. Spring bluefish bite
    2. Fall albie bite
    3. Possible tuna trip
    4. Stripers
  6. Continue fly tying – learn to tie 5 more patterns.
  7. Float-fish the local warmwater rivers (6X)
  8. Fly fish, practice casting, or attend fly fishing events 100 times this year.
  9. Learn to build leaders.
    1. Buy leader kit
    2. Buy micrometer
    3. Fish my leaders
  10. Night fish for trout.
  11. Build more fly rods / advance my rod building skills:
    1. “River Rat” prototype.
    2. Saltwater fly rod.
    3. Fly rod for BCFF auction.

Having set my goals, it’s never too soon to get started on their accomplishment. I’d encourage my readership to give goal-setting a try if they haven’t. I feel strongly that it has helped me progress as a fly fisherman. And as with all aspects of life, if you’re not improving, you’ve accepted status quo, and are essentially “decaying“. In the words of Ray Kroc, the great McDonald’s franchiser…

When you’re green, your growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.

I’m not ready to go that route just yet, are you?

Looking ahead to 2017…

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on February 8, 2017 by stflyfisher

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson

Anglers are a hopeful bunch, and perhaps the hope curve is highest this time of the year, when angling is still months away for us in the Southern Tier. Snow, ice, and arctic air might contain us, but within us our imaginations run like roaring rivers about what might be in 2017. We are hopeful in the pause of winter. We look back on the year, re-live the great moments on the water and learn from the not-so-great and then turn our gaze forward. We turn to tying flies, building rods, cleaning equipment, spooling lines, patching waders, and studding boots. And we dream and plan…

I set goals in most areas of my life, including fly fishing. I think the act of goal-setting is important in becoming a better angler. Goals stir us to action and hopefully, force us out of our comfort zone. It’s rare when I achieve everything I set out to do; in fact, if I hit 70 – 80% of my targets, I consider it a very good year, indeed.

All in all, 2016 was a decent year. A few factors and events influenced my results both negatively and positively. Because of the extreme drought, for example, I was much less of a trout fisherman this year and much more of a river rat, so that had an impact on some of my goals. The purchase of investment property in Florida also added a dimension to my fly fishing that was not in the plans back in January, 2016.

quote-dwight-d-eisenhower-in-preparing-for-battle-i-have-always-47920

So it is with planning and goals. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, architect of the D-Day Invasion, once said that plans are useless but planning is necessary. My take on his quote goes along the lines of another version of it – that no plan ever survives “first contact with the enemy.” The crux and irony of planning is that one needs to do it to preclude failure but since so many factors change the course of events and impact plans, one must not be rigid to a plan and should only use it as a guideline. One must be committed to the goal or objective, but remain fluid with respect to the plan to achieve it.

So looking forward, I hope to set goals that help me achieve a higher level of effectiveness as a fly fisherman but not keep me from pursuing opportunities as they arise…

Here’s how I did in 2016:

  1. Learn more about nymph fishing – I read a little of Joe Humphreys and George Daniel’s works but as mentioned previously, a lack of trout fishing kept me from doing much in this area. Call this 10% complete.
  2. Learn to fly fish for musky. Per my 2016 plan, I purchased a new musky fly rod – a beautiful Scott Tidal “MP” 9′ 10 weight, and a Lamson Liquid Reel Pack to go with it (1 reel with two additional spare spools). I still need to purchase fly lines and then tie flies, study, and lastly, intentionally fish for these apex predators. Call this 20% complete.
  3. Saltwater flyfish in Destin, FL. – As mentioned in my Looking Back on 2016 post, I was able to wet a line a few times in Destin and had some fly fishing success as a newbie. 100% COMPLETE.
  4. Continue fly tying – learn to tie 5 more patterns. Thanks to last year’s BCFF Fly Tying Class, this is 100% COMPLETE.
  5. Donate a box of my flies to the TU banquet. The Al Hazzard TU banquet, a ritual of Spring was not held in 2016. Initially, it was rescheduled to late 2016, but it never actually happened. I’ll remove this goal for 2017 unless I see the event scheduled.
  6. Float-fish the Susquehanna (4X) – I did only one float of the Susquehanna this year, mainly because Mollie, my prized all weather fly fishing vehicle, was given away early in 2016, her rusted frame not able to pass another NY state inspection. I did not see a way to transport my small kayak to the river, as my wife’s SUV did not have a roof rack, but come fall, my interior design wife – the ultimate packer – showed how I could fit my kayak inside our SUV. So 1X could have been 4X after all. Call this 25% complete.
  7. Make perfect fly casting practice a habit. 100% COMPLETE.
  8. Fish with friends, including at least 3 trips with new friends. I fished with 11 different friends in 2017. 100% COMPLETE.
  9. Fly fish and/or attend fly fishing events 100 times this year. I also accomplished my goal of fishing / attending fly fishing events 100 times. This was a stretch goal but well worth it. 100% COMPLETE.
  10. Learn to tie 3 new fishing knots. 0% COMPLETE.
  11. Fish the Salmon River – Spring, Fall, Winter. I fished for steelhead in the spring and got out once for the fall Salmon run. 66% COMPLETE.
  12. Night fish for trout. 0% COMPLETE.
  13. Fish marginal waters. 0% COMPLETE.
  14. Build my own fly rod. As profiled here in early 2016, I built my first fly rod courtesy of the BC Flyfishers and expert rod maker, Joe Swam. 100% COMPLETE.

Putting a final measure on my results, I’d say I was a little over 50% effective in achieving my 2016 goals.

As most who have read previous “looking ahead” posts know, my process for goal setting starts with a look back and recounting of the year past, usually in December. Once that is done, I begin to plan for the year ahead in early January, mull my draft goals over through the rest of January and early February, and post them – a formal commitment – before my birthday in early March. This year I’m ahead of schedule…

My fly fishing goals for 2017:

  1. Learn more about nymph fishing – study Joe Humphreys’ “Trout Tactics”
  2. Learn to fly fish for muskie.
    1. Purchase line and leader
    2. Tie flies
    3. Study muskie fly fishing
    4. Fish for them
  3. Saltwater flyfish in Destin, FL.
    1. Fish the bay for redfish & trout.
    2. Fish the inlet / surf.
  4. Continue fly tying – learn to tie 5 more patterns.
  5. Float-fish the local warmwater rivers (4X)
  6. Fly fish, practice casting, or attend fly fishing events 125 times this year.
  7. Learn to build leaders. for a
    1. Buy kit
    2. Buy micrometer
    3. Fish my leaders
  8. Night fish for trout.
  9. Fish marginal waters.
  10. Build more fly rods / advance my rod building skills:
    1. Fly rod for my brother-in-law for his 60th birthday
    2. “River Rat” prototype.
    3. “Bay Rat” prototype.
  11. Search for the ideal river boat.

So here’s to achieving fly fishing goals in 2017! In the words of Saint Gerome (340 – 420), father of the Latin church: “Good, better, best, never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Goals for 2016

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , on February 25, 2016 by stflyfisher

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ernest Hemingway

It’s that time to proclaim my fly fishing goals for 2016. Much as I’ve practiced in the past, the process for goal-setting starts in late November / December, when I start a review of the year and spend time thinking about where I want to go, what I want to do, who I want to be in the fly fishing world. I usually start putting some draft goals to paper in early January, mull them over through the rest of January and early February, and post them – a formal commitment – before my birthday in early March.

So here they are – my fly fishing goals for 2016:

  1. Learn more about nymph fishing.
    1. Study Joe Humphreys’ “Trout Tactics”
    2. Study George Daniel’s “Dynamic Nymphing”
  2. Learn to fly fish for muskie.
    1. Purchase rod, reel, line, leader
    2. Purchase / tie flies
    3. Study muskie fly fishing
    4. Fish for them
  3. Saltwater flyfish in Destin, FL.
  4. Continue fly tying – learn to tie 5 more patterns.
  5. Donate a box of my flies to the TU banquet.
  6. Float-fish the Susquehanna (4X)
  7. Make perfect fly casting practice a habit.
  8. Fish with friends, including at least 3 trips with new friends.
  9. Fly fish and/or attend fly fishing events 100 times this year.
  10. Learn to tie 3 new fishing knots.
  11. Fish the Salmon River – Spring, Fall, Winter.
  12. Night fish for trout.
  13. Fish marginal waters.
  14. Build my own fly rod.

2014 Goals

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , on January 11, 2014 by stflyfisher

“A goal properly set is halfway reached”

Zig Ziglar

I never met Zig Ziglar during his lifetime on this good earth. Known best for his southern charm, zany quotes, and unending enthusiasm, he became successful as a salesman and then took off on his own as a motivational speaker, spreading the good word of “Zig”. I came to know of him courtesy of a co-worker named Lee back in the days when I worked for Texas Instruments. Lee introduced me to one of Zig’s foundation books, “See You at the Top”, and would often preach Zig’s message on success by quoting him throughout the work day. His sayings sometimes seemed corny, indeed, but they stuck to the point where I can still recite the likes of: “Don’t become a wandering generality, be a meaningful specific”, “You can have anything in your life, if you help others get what they want”, and “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine you altitude”.

zig-ziglar-244x300

It took a while for me to buy the message, to be honest. I was a little on guard – some of it seemed almost too ‘over the top’ and even Ned Flanderesque, but after reading the book and digesting it gradually, I began to like what I read and found that much of it rang true. These days I’m more a student of Dr. Stephen Covey, but Zig still occupies my heart and soul for his good hearted fire. It’s sad to say, but both Zig Ziglar and Dr. Stephen Covey passed away in 2012. They each left indelibly good marks on the world.

Dr. Covey and Zig Ziglar both believed in goals. And I obviously do too. In my last post, I promised the unveiling of my 2014 goals. I finished 2013 on an OK note in terms of goal completion, but vowing, I’ll do better…

And here they are:

1) Become a better nymph fisherman. Study the works of Dave Hughes (author of “Wet Flies”), Sylvester Nemes (author of “Soft Hackled Fly”), and George Daniel (author of “Dynamic Nymphing”). Buy better nymphing tackle.

2) Catch one of the following saltwater game-fish on the fly: a bluefish, striped bass, or weakfish.

3) Improve my fly tying. Focus on perfecting three patterns, with a goal to catch fish with these patterns:

a) Sulphur Soft Hackle

b) Caddis Sparkle Pupa

c) Murray’s Nymph

4) Donate a box of my own tied flies to the Annual Al Hazzard TU Banquet.

5) Float fish the Susquehanna; Campville to Owego.

6) Practice and improve my casting distance and accuracy.  Make perfect casting practice a habit.

7) Fish with friends – enjoy their company and learn new skills and places to fish. 

8) Learn to tie one new fishing knot. 

9) Fish the tributaries.

10) Night fish for trout. 

Absent from the list this year is ‘Catch a Lake Trout on a fly’. I pulled this one off the list as it is a hit or miss goal – a hard one to achieve. Instead, I added ‘Fish the tributaries’, which could result in catching a laker, brown, steelhead, or landlocked salmon. If I do better at fishing the tribs more often, I’m sure to meet Mr. Laker one of these days. I also added “to become a better nymph fisherman” as it is something I love to do, and I met some good success in 2013 focusing on it.

I’ll close by wishing everyone a successful fly fishing year in 2014, however they may define it, and leave with the following ‘Ziggish’ quote of LCDR Harry G Ulrich, III, Executive Officer of my beloved USS Stark (FFG-31), who often exhorted his junior officers with the following:

“Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best”

2013, going, going, gone…

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , on January 3, 2014 by stflyfisher

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Confucius

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/confucius140548.html#2tXJx80siqreKagy.99

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Confucius

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/confucius140548.html#2tXJx80siqreKagy.99

Last year was not a great writing year, and for that I truly apologize. As we all often do, I started the year with good intentions, but putting pen to internet paper was a struggle in 2013, partly due to another posting obligation on my Examiner.com site, partly due to fishing, and partly due to the added time of my long distance work commute (no, I don’t write for a living just yet…). I promise, with hand placed on the good book, that you’ll see many more posts on my beloved blog in 2014 – certainly more than the woeful eight that I sent out to the blogosphere in 2013.

While my blogging was pretty pathetic, my completion of 2013 goals was at least somewhat better. Most of my followers know I try to start the year setting some fly fishing goals and then end the year with a look back on how well I did. I’m a big believer in goals, not so much to be able to tout achievements, but to make me think about how to improve as a fly fisherman, along the lines of the late President & General Eisenhower, who once said:

In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.

Brad_Ike_Patton

Goal-setting, after all, requires planning, and the act of planning, in turn, makes one think about what, where, and how to improve. Having said that, it’s still nice to look back and see if one did improve the way they planned and hoped.

For 2013, I’ll rate myself a 4.5 out of 10 for completion on the goals I posted. Here’s the detail on my accounting:

1) Catch a lake trout on the fly – lake run or from the lake. Never happened.

2) Catch one of the following saltwater game-fish on the fly: a bluefish, striped bass, or weakfish. I did catch blues and stripers, including a few dandies, but not on a fly.

3) Begin fly tying – focus on perfecting three patterns, with a goal to catch fish with these patterns. Here’s a goal I did achieve. I began fly tying in earnest and tied the following patterns:

a) Wooly Bugger – I caught quite a few largemouth bass and smallmouth bass on the bugger patterns I tied. I experimented quite a bit with color and added features such as weight, flash, and even rubber legs.

b) Picket Pin – My first fish of the season, and the first on a fly tied with my own hands, was a fat brown from Cayuga Creek that slammed the fly as it drifted through a nice run. I caught a lot of trout on my own version of this venerable pattern.

c) Maribou Streamer – I LDR’d a nice brown with this classic pattern. I’m feeling generous to myself (shouldn’t we all be, after all?) so I’ll count that as “catching” a fish on the fly…

4) Float fish the Susquehanna; Campville to Owego. I did not float the Susky once, and probably fished it only a half dozen times, at most, due to very high water over much of the summer. I’ll keep this one on the list for 2014.

5) Practice and improve my casting distance and accuracy.  Learn to single haul and double haul. Here’s another goal I achieved. I learned to single and double haul and I’m a better caster overall (sounds like a Dr. Suess rhyme!), but still retain some bad habits. I’ll keep a casting improvement goal on 2014’s goal list.

6) Fish with friends – enjoy their company and learn new skills and places to fish. I’m proud to say I did well with this goal, managing to dedicate 8 outings with friends & family. I also enjoyed meeting and fishing with a few good fishermen while on the water.

7) Learn to tie one new fishing knot. I perfected the non-slip mono knot and came up with a variation of it that works quite well in my opinion.

8) Fish for steelhead. I’ll take 50% credit for trying on this goal. I intended to venture forth twice for steelhead with my good friend Dan, but both times the weather canned the trip. I’ll keep this goal for 2014.

9) Fish Handsome Brook. Nope – this one got away on me…

10) Night fish for trout. Didn’t happen but I’ll keep this for 2014.

I projected last year that if I could accomplish 6 to 7 of these 10 goals, it would be a good year. Accomplishing 4.5 would therefore make it a marginally OK year, but again, it’s not so much about the goals, but the act of becoming a better fisherman in all ways.

I’ll soon be revising my 2014 goals based on the above and possibly add some new areas for growth as a fly fisherman. Stay tuned for that post as well as one on 2013, where I’ll make a ‘year in review’ post…

Fly Fishing Goals and World’s Most Interesting Man…

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on February 8, 2013 by stflyfisher

My grandfather on my father’s side was a most interesting man, but not “most interesting” in the zany way a successful Dos Equis beer ad has been running recently…

My grandfather had less hair, but the skin tone is right on…

He wasn’t known for bowling overhand, sky-diving in a kayak, or shooing a pet mountain lion from his kitchen counter, but he was most interesting in his mannerisms and the way obscure factoids on his life would pop up in conversation. There are pictures of him, for example, on his “ersten tag” (first day) in Kindergarten – in Germany that is. Mind you, he lived in Staten Island, NY, the only child in a rather wealthy family. There are pictures of him in full Ivy League raccoon coat regalia, and pictures of him standing most majestically atop some hill in Mexico, his side arm prominently displayed (he apparently had spent time with a rich Uncle in Mexico at a silver mine back in the Pancho Villa days)….

Pancho Villa – one most interesting man crosses another…

…and pictures of him in front of his freshman alma mater, RPI. He was apparently kicked out of school for being more partial to parties and other such collegiate fun than his studies.

He was a quiet man, but his mind was anything but quiet. He was both curious and fascinated by absolutely everything and when I would visit with him in his golden years, he’d frequently remark, “explain to me Robert, how do they do that?…”

One of his great quotes, in response to anything that required his time and attention, was; “I’m studying it…” Though he was definitely in the running for patron saint of procrastination, the old man was very smart and a relentless student of life which kept his mind as sharp as a razor until his dying day at the age of 95.

As covered in a post last year, I decided to re-write my fly fishing goals. My intentions were good, and sadly, I can’t even use my grandfather’s procrastination veil as an excuse. I never did publish them last year, no less re-write them, as a matter of fact. So, as promised most recently, I’ll give it another go, here:

1) Catch a lake trout on the fly – lake run or from the lake.

2) Catch one of the following saltwater game-fish on the fly: a bluefish, striped bass, or weakfish.

3) Begin fly tying – focus on perfecting three patterns, with a goal to catch fish with these patterns.

4) Float fish the Susquehanna; Campville to Owego. There’s some good water back there.

5) Practice and improve my casting distance and accuracy.  Learn to single haul and double haul.

6) Fish with friends – enjoy their company and learn new skills and places to fish.

7) Learn to tie one new fishing knot.

8) Fish for steelhead. Did it once in 2012 – do it more in 2013.

9) Fish Handsome Brook. Fish it a full day, good and hard with a lunch break at Gilligan’s Island (best burgers and ice cream around!).

10) Night fish for trout. Always wanted to do this!

Life is short. A day not fished is a day never to be fished. If I can accomplish 6 to 7 of these goals, it will be a good year, indeed. Here’s to 2013, tight lines, bent rods, and plenty of head shakes…