Reflections and Resolutions

With the new year approaching quickly and my fishing likely done for the year, I find it hard not to start thinking of some goals for next year, and reflect on this past season.

Starting with the past, I had a decent season this year. Got on the water about 150 times and primarily fished trout. I think I’ve figured out the Farmington pretty well, although that’s a place I’d like to try through the winter months to see how the fishing compares. I also made out fairly well at the Deerfield, with about a dozen decent browns landed all year in addition to a load of stockie ‘bows.

Next year, I’m planning on fishing primarily for two species: carp and bass. I haven’t really fished hard for bass on the fly in a while, and I’d like to get back to that. Topwater strikes never get old, and I have a handful of huge articulated streamers that should hopefully let me target nothing but the biggest bass in the lake.

And while I’ve fished a lot for carp, I haven’t done much where I currently live. I think it would be a great learning experience to find a bunch of new bodies of water with them, maybe develop a couple new flies for them, and hopefully smash a PB or out put up some weights equivalent to what the bait fishermen are catching around here (which is HUGE!).

Having trouble thinking of a couple new fly fishing resolutions? Here’s some ideas… I believe it’s very important to set some goals while fly fishing, even if you don’t end up sticking to them. Put some bew ideas into your mind, get out doing something new, and you’ll have a lit more fun on the water.

  • Keep a log. Already have one? Keep a better one then. The best fly fishermen I have ever met are all meticulous loggers, recording all kinds of important details from their trips. And they all agree that having a few years worth of logs has made them the anglers they are today. Even if you don’t like the idea of logging your trips – maybe because you’re just out for the relaxation, which is totally cool – even a few pictures from your trips go a long way. I think it’s hard to deny that catching a few fish makes a stress-relieving trip all the better.
  • Fish more. This is a biggie! Did you fish 100 days last year? Up that by a couple! Did you fish 350 days? Go for the perfect 365 (I wonder if that’s been done before…)!!
  • Focus on a new species and fish it hard. Everything in fly fishing is applicable to another aspect of the sport. Learn to catch a new species, and you’ll be a better all around angler.
  • Happy holidays to all, and if I don’t write again before the first, here’s to a great 2017 of fishing!


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    5 thoughts on “Reflections and Resolutions

      1. Haha! This is actually a down year for me, and most of these trips were under an hour. But time on the water is time on the water. Right out of college I fished something like 350 days once, but then the real world came calling and here I am. I've always wanted to try for the perfect 365, maybe when I win the lottery haha

        But seriously, it's awesome to have so much water around us in the Northeast. Just getting out, even for a few casts in the local bass pond, still is a lot of fun to me. Looking forward to your reports in 2017!

    1. Nice post Noel! I like the reflections and goal-setting mentality. I'd love to be the type of person to keep a meticulous logbook but it's just not in my nature so I'm not gonna spend my energy fighting it haha…I suppose my main fishing goals for the coming year are
      1) finally learn to tie – I've tied some wooly buggers and basic streamers here and there over the years but there are so many patterns that I see that look really cool and are not that easy to find locally.
      2) explore new waters fresh and salt all over New England – I'm new to the area so this is a pretty obvious goal.
      3) meet fishing friends – I'm starting to meet a few people and it's great to have someone to go with or at the least have someone to discuss fishing with

      1. Adam, great ideas! Tying was a total game changer for me! Being able to create different variations to do exactly what I want in the water is so much fun, and catching fish on your own flies is outstanding! And your last two should be on everyones list!

      2. Adam, happy to share all of my recipes. Just ping me.

        The good news is that a handful of flies (and, their variants) account for the vast majority of my fish. For anchor flies, I'm usually fishing one of the following: Frenchie, Walt's/Sexy Walt's, Perdigón, or a stone fly. Many competition anglers also throw the Squirmy Wormy and the Mop Fly (Noel!), from what I gather. I tie the nymphs from #8 to #18, on competition-style, barbless jig hooks. I'll add some CDC or partridge for soft hackles, when I'm so motivated and want to add movement to the fly. I'll add various fluorescent hot spot thread colors for contrast; thread is cheap, and I've found it to be highly effective.

        The key for tightlining is having the right weight that gets flies down without spooking fish or getting hung up on the bottom; so, I vary my weights with anything from glass beads to 4mm+ tungsten beads. To save costs, my beads are nearly always black.

        For dropper flies, I'm usually throwing the following: midge larva or pupa, the WD-40, a Caddis Emerger, and small soft hackles. #20 is my favorite. Pinching down the barb leads to better hooking ability, and it's better for the fish.

        For dries: the X-Caddis and parachute flies, unless it's a very specific hatch, like Tricos. Parachute Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tails are great searching patterns, FYI. Go-to sizes are #16 to #26, with #20 being the most common for me. The dry-dropper was deadly for me during the summer.

        Note that Orvis shipping is free if you pay with their no-fee credit card. And, with your pro discount, you will get materials and tools at wholesale!

        I love fly tying as much as I like fishing. It's been a real joy, and, as Noel wrote, has been a game changer for me, too. It is immensely rewarding to fiddle at the vise and see a fly catch fish.

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