I think we can all agree, as fisherman, we want to catch more fish, catch bigger fish, catch different species, and most importantly fish more. With the winter doldrums kicking in and negative to mid-single digit temperatures blanketing the Missoula valley this week, I have cabin fever bad. While the snow has been fantastic here in western Montana, my funds are in such a condition that two expensive outdoor hobbies would be one too many expensive outdoor hobbies. So, I am stuck inside with dreams of spring, summer and fall flows, insect hatches, and hungry trout - planning the beginning of my upcoming fishing season. Here are my dreams and goals of 2011:
1. Finish my thesis.
So I can get a good job, make a difference in the world, not be a starving student, but a starving scientist, and do more awesome things both professionally and recreationally.
Amendment: Plus my parents (including the pater) would like it to be so.
2. catch a fish in every month of the year (bonus points for trout)
I enjoyed the pursuit of this goal last year and I think it is a goal that will always be a challenge to complete for a variety of reasons - mostly as a result of weather and temperature.
3. Catch a 20" cutthroat, 24" rainbow, and 24" brown trout
While I enjoy catching smaller fish, the thrill and skill it takes to fool and bring in a larger and more seasoned trout is something that I find myself increasingly intrigued by. I didn't reach all of these three subgoals last year. I would like to this year.
4. Catch 3 or more trout over 20" in a day of fishing
Got dangerously close to this goal twice this past season. Again, I like big fish. Optimally, I would like to catch a lot of them. So, repeating this goal this year only makes sense.
5. Catch a 20"+ brown trout out of the (name redacted) ponds
I don't want to let the secret out about this body of water until I successfully tame one of it's beasts. I caught a 18" brown trout out of it this year. There are bigger fish in there. Much bigger. And I would like to catch them.
6. Catch a 22"+ rainbow or brown trout out of the Warm Springs Ponds
A friend of mine did so last year. I was and am still jealous of his catch. I want to catch one. It is a goal.
7. Go fishing in Wyoming
The same friend that I refer to in goal 5, swears by Wyoming and the trout that live there. And, like other friends that have fished there, he will gladly take me there, but he won't give me specific details, unless I go with. I would name more specific waters, but he won't tell me. Tales of giant browns, bows, and cutties intrigue me. "I want to go to there."
8. Fish for bullies and cutties on the South Fork of the Flathead
I like bull trout. I like large bull trout. I want to catch large (25"+) bull trout. You can on the South Fork. Again, "I want to go to there"
9. Catch a fish on a mouse pattern
See goal 9.
10. Go night fishing, do more night fishing, and catch fish while night fishing.
Everytime I have gone into Montana Fly Company in Melrose, MT to buy streamers, George (the owner) has said, "Going after the big ones, huh?". During one of those visits, George regaled us with a story about night fishing on the Big Hole, saying something to the effect of "Yeah, I go out there (during the night time) hook big fish and let them take my flies." George Kesel of Kesel's Four Rivers tells a similar story about night fishing on the Beaverhead. The biggest fish he has caught in the past 10 years was on the Beaverhead in the middle of the night during one of his midnight bathroom breaks. I have heard that fishing under the moon is the best time to fish for large, piscivorous brown trout. Some people take these monsters on mouse patterns others on streamers. Either way, I can't think of a better place to do it than the Big Hole.
11. Catch fish on the following waters (with some left over or repeats from last year): the Missouri River, Elk River (in BC), Lochsa River, Selway River, Big Hole River, Beaverhead River, Madison River, Hebgen Lake, Skalkaho Creek, Fish Creek, Rock Creek, South Fork of Flathead River, Flint Creek, Lamar River, Firehole River, Poindexter Slough, Ruby River, Yellowstone River, Bitterroot River, Blackfoot River, Clark Fork River, and Slough Creek.
I think this is self-explanatory.
12. Make more videos. Make better videos. Make videos with less shaky elements. Make it on to Moldy Chum and the like.
Pipe dream - capture enough quality footage to submit a respectable, but most likely, the (pardon my french) shittiest fish porn at the 2012 F3T.
13. Catch fish on sub-surface/"nymphed?" grasshoppers
I want to throw the hopper-hopper rig. I have read of it's success. Plus, who doesn't love foam.
14. catch a northern pike on the fly
big, mean, and they like eating streamers. funny coincidence, i like throwing streamers.
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