I've been busy. I will admit that. Election season took some time from me. Medical appointments, including some that require travel. A weekend at an ultramarathon. A weekend visiting my daughter at college. And, on the very limited number of weekend days that I wasn't too busy, it's been cold and rainy. In some cases, the water was still just too low. The last time I fished, the White River was the lowest I've ever seen in the 19 years I've been fishing the river.
But, I had a decent season. No, I had a really fun season. I caught way more good sized fish this year than I did last year, and I caught a lot more fish as well. I probably caught the most fish 16" or larger that I've ever taken in a trout season, and I got fish that size in 4 different states in a year that I never even fished in PA. Some of them were stocked, but some were wild. I caught my first ever landlocked salmon this year. I chased pike on the fly. I finished third in the White River Open fly fishing tournament. And, I learned a lot and I'm a better fisherman now than I was a year ago. I'll take that.
A friend just sent me some pheasant feathers from two birds he shot. I need to start working on smaller white and olive buggers, PTs (regular and soft hackle), princes, juju baetis, and a few other flies that are getting thin in my fly box. I didn't tie much last winter, mostly due to going through chemo and just spending my days trying to stay warm.
This year, I'm hoping to get more time at the vise. I'm hoping that a couple more rounds of treatment buy me time so I can stay healthy for all of fishing season next year.
I was hoping that I could teach skiing all winter and use the money to buy a new rod and reel next spring. I have two different outfits in mind, both in the 9 foot, 5 weight range, and both expensive. Since I'll be doing radiation and having more surgery this winter, I doubt that I'll work enough to save up the money for the 2 outfits I've been considering. I certainly won't have enough money to buy that elusive pontoon drift boat I've wanted for a few years. But, I can't really complain.
I saw my wife catch some amazing fish this year. One early summer outing in the rain with my wife, and 2 of our friends yielded some great results, and we shared a nice dinner afterward.
Guides! Brian Cadoret. Matt Heron. Al Karg. I listed them alphabetically. There is no preference there. I'd fish with any of them any chance I get. I can't say enough about these three truly professional and passionate guides. If I'm lucky, I'll fish with all of them in the future.
During the years that I focused my free time on running ultramarathons and marathons, I really missed fly fishing. But, life only gives us so much time. Yes, I did my first ultramarathon in 6 years this season. But, not once did I let the training for the race interfere with fishing. My priority is being on the river these days. I train during the week. I fish when I can.
Life is good. Uncertain at times, but good.
Until next time...