My life has been, for the most part, a drama this past month.
Work has been crazy, I've been preparing for an exciting new career, and my life at home has been a roller coster. I can say that the holidays unleashed every possible emotion in the Skinny Waders household.
I have gotten out on the water exactly one time since my trip early in the month to the Deschutes. This morning, I closed out my year of fly fishing with a quick run to a local river for some swing time in search of Steel.
No dice today, but just getting out and making casts during the light snowfall helped me process some of the craziness that has been my life in the past month (and year)!
I've had a few things affirmed this past year:
1. Your family is the most important thing you have. Secondly, a wife that lets you fish regularly is pretty dang great. Don't mess with that!
2. Trout are wonderful. Steelhead just might be better though! After latching into Steelhead on the Klickitat, I finally get it. There is something special about a fish so powerful, beautiful, and rare (talking about wild fish on this point).
3. Spey casting and two-handed fishing can be overwhelming. I'm loving the challenge and the gear is starting to make more sense to me, but I really need to get some casting lessons or go on a guided outing that instills the right way to fish on the swing.
4. Conservation of our fishing resources should be the number one priority of fisherman. If you can't conserve your fishery, you won't have a species to target, catch, and harvest. Simple but ultimately the truth. Get involved in any way and make a difference in your watershed.
5. Being patient makes a world of difference when it comes to finding a great job. I've worked restaurants for the last 10+ years, and even braved a retail gig this holiday season, but I sure am glad that I stayed patient and found a perfect career position... I'm the new Assistant Director of the Coastal Conservation Association of Washington. That's right. I'm going to do my best to make a difference within the CCA (which is a tremendously influential group that all recreational fisherman should be involved with)!
My favorite fish of the year:
This one was tough to choose. I caught some great Redbands on the Spokane, landed a trophy Westslope Cutthroat in Western Montana, and even tamed my first Tiger trout. It's been a great year on the water for me, but I have to go back to my large native Steelhead on the Klickitat.
Worst moment of the year:
The bat bite and rabies bill sure sucked a big one... but, a recent health scare involving Mrs. Skinny Waders takes the cake. A happy, healthy wife = a great life. I don't know what I'd do without her!
2013 Fishing Bucket List:
1. Catch a big Brown... and preferably on the Missouri.
2. Steelhead on the spey.
3. First Pink salmon.
4. First Puget Sound Cutthroat.
5. First Chum Salmon.
2013 Personal/Career Goals:
1. Make the most of the job with CCA. Sounds vague but my exact professional goals are my own, but we'll leave it at this... I want to see CCA Washington as an even greater force for change than it currently is. Bigger, stronger, and more vocal. BE A PART OF THE CHANGE!
2. Buy a house... My wife has a bunch of stuff and we need more room for it.
3. Drift boat/raft purchase.
4. Be a better husband... you should always be looking to improve yourself!
5. Lose less gear (cameras, nets, etc...) because my wife will kill me.
Good fishing in 2013 to all.
Happy New Year!