So, I’m being introspective a bit and thinking about the many, many things I’ve learned this past year. The many awesome people I’ve met. And, already, some great memories.
Here are my thoughts:
High point: Landed a 17″ rainbow on a #28 emerger. On a cold autumn day, I saw a few fish rising. Threw out a BWO. Nothing. Put on the emerger. First cast: a shadow gracefully rose and a trout porpoised slowly. After a quick stomach pump, I was elated that the fly was a close facsimile of the naturals. In the photo below, the fly I used is at the top of the frame. The trout I landed is in the second photo below.
Low point: Falling in the spillway of the Swift, as Gary and Bill hooted and hollered afterwards in delight. Complete face plant. Pretty funny. And, I kept fishing.
Biggest serendipity: Lost a fly box absolutely crammed with dries. Thanks to Bill, got the box back a few weeks later.
Best new gear addition: Frog’s Fanny. More here.
Most useful book: Tying Small Flies. More here.
Biggest lesson learned: Sometimes, the fish just won’t eat much. A slow day isn’t a reflection, usually, of my angling skills. Learn to appreciate each day on the rivers and be happy with just one good hook set. The rest is upside.
Best way to learn: Be polite and ask questions. I learn a great deal watching other anglers and asking them for pointers.
Best way to pay it forward: I remember well the kind anglers who gave to me a favorite fly or two. Now, when I run into newbies, I try to remember to do the same.