Year end recap, 2015 goals

An annual review, along with setting goals for the new year, is commonplace for most anglers. For anglers who blog like myself, it makes it into a formal post like this but even the most casual anglers usually say things like “I sure hope this year I catch a” or “this year I’d like to do”. It’s always fun to look back and re-visit exciting accomplishments and/or catches, while also reflecting on unmet goals. Fortunately, this is fishing related, so I don’t have to confront the annual new Year’s Resolutions of getting to the gym more or eating healthier! Those annual mid January / early February fails cause more guilt than simply evaluating fishing performance, I think.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESPlenty of nice fish and a little guy who insisted on using the “big boy” rod!

This past year was fantastically memorable for me and my family. We welcomed a daughter at the end of March while also managing a move. Anyone who has experienced the birth of a child and moving knows there aren’t that many bigger life events. This made it one of those years that if no fishing goals or accomplishments would have happened it would have been understood if not totally expected. Surprisingly, between setting realistic goals last year and a bit of good circumstances, I didn’t do that bad.  I fulfilled the goal of watching my son catch his first fish and it was exactly how I envisioned it (post can be viewed here).  I made a destination type trip and caught a lifer Striped Bass (view here).  I explored new water as it became a necessity with moving.  I did do a fair number of trips only taking my fly fishing gear.  Under the circumstances, I did a good job in getting out fishing in general.  The only goal I really didn’t do too well with was fishing with friends more.  With so much going on, I rarely had enough notice to make plans with anyone.

So after a somewhat surprisingly decent 2014, it’s time to look at 2015.  I want to try to be plenty ambitious to push myself, while being realistic about having two little ones.  Here’s what I’ve decided on;

  1. Get my new kayak in the water and get my first catch out of it
  2. Kayak fish at least 2x a month during the warmer weather
  3. Catch a 30″ or larger Steelhead or Walleye
  4. Catch a “Fish Ohio Award” sized White Bass
  5. Make it to the ‘Walleye Run’ at least once
  6. Do fishing with the entire family
  7. Add a new species to my life list

Wish me luck!

Fish ‘Spirit in the Sky’

Driving to work this past Monday, I was rather astonished to look at the sky and see what was clearly (in my mind at least) a cloud pattern resembling a fish.  Maybe my lack of fishing is making me see things and go fish crazy, but it’s what I see.  In fact, I even think it looks like a Steelhead chasing a school of small fish… making the aerial display even more fascinating due to our current season.  Okay, I’ll stop and let you judge for yourself.

CWF12012014Fish in the sky?, or just a guy with ‘cabin fever’?

I have to be honest and admit my wife says she doesn’t see it at all.  At best, she simply will give me that maybe it “ever so slightly looks like a shark”.  So even without her vote of confidence that this was even fish related, I’m posting this.  I enjoyed seeing it and it was a bit of an awe-inspiring way for me to start my week.

Quiet day on the Vermilion River

It is hard to think of a more scenic place to fish in Northeast Ohio in the fall, than the Vermilion River. While fish cooperate some days and some days they don’t, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed taking in a nice walk along the river. Being a husband, a father of two youngsters in diapers and a gainful provider, any opportunity to fish is a blessing.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESA view of the picturesque Vermilion River

While the day proved to be more of a nice workout getting in a nice hike and walk, it was very peaceful as I did not encounter another soul.  The bites were few and far between, but I did land a few River Chubs and Rock Bass, species that I don’t really target or encounter all that often.  In the end, at least I had coaxed a few fish into biting.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIn their own way, they seem kind of beautiful

The most interesting fish related happening, was spotting what surely looked to be Northern Hognose Suckers.  The water was running pretty low and clear and the polarized glasses gave me a rather definitive look at the fish in shallower depths.  A group of three fish had the rather distinct look of this species, a species I have never caught, so I did spend a considerable amount of time drifting baits and flies around them.  I possibly had one bite, or maybe simply bumped into one, but it didn’t stay on.  Not that I need another reason to want to fish this river, but I will add this to the list.  Always neat to target a species that isn’t on the life list.  Guess I need to read up on the species to give myself a better chance for success.

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