2012 was one heck of a year… At this very moment last year I was still nestled in my beloved White Mountains of New Hampshire. Late fall I had just bought a Hyde drift boat and was gearing up to do some serious guiding during the new season on the western style trophy waters of the Androscoggin River in my mountain valley. Bookings for 2012 were trickling in after the 1st of the year and things were really looking up. I was sublimely ignorant to the sudden job opportunity that would pop up for my partner causing me and my entire family to pick up sticks and move our lives plus a 3 story household 18 hours West in a little over a months time.
If there is such a thing as jet lag from moving I definitely had it this summer. Adjusting sounds simple enough to do and with all the new species of fish to fish for in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I should be plenty busy and some how the adjustment will just magically happen without me even realizing it, or so I thought. My partner was kind enough to give me a year to find myself, so the 2012 season was just about exploring and fishing, Woot woot how exciting! What I did not consider is that when you go from all that is familiar and comforting to the unknown with little to no comfort is a drastic shock to the system. Of course I’m referring to much more than just my home fishing waters here, but this is a fishing blog and for now I’ll stick to fishing.
When looking back at my 2012 fishing, I realize this season was more about mourning the loss of waters that had become my best friends over the years, comforting me though some very tough times – waters I knew the in’s and outs and trusted whole-heartedly. I knew my rivers back east so intimately that if it rained I could tell which river was best to fish the day of rain, the day after rain and proceeding days after until all the rivers recovered. I knew which river was best to fish on the rise or fall of a rain swelling and new exactly where the fish staging areas were during these transition times. I knew how much water the ground would drink up before it would even affect the rivers. I’ve spent many, many hours getting to know each river’s unique personality and could rattle off the CFS on any given day because you know I checked it daily. With my deep love for these waters it’s impossible to not feel a gaping void when I was all of a sudden without them. It’s absolutely true that waters can haunt you.
No, this past fishing year I spent clinging to the past even when I fished my new waters for new species as I only gravitated to the rivers that were most like the waters I left back east. I’ve caught some amazing fish this season with many “firsts” for me, yet something always seemed to be missing.
With this move I have become fully aware that it’s definitely not the fish that I fall in love with, it’s the waters, people and land that surrounds them. Now that I see what my 2012 season was really all about I plan to make up for the lack of exploration into unknown waters that are so foreign to me it boggles my mind that fish would even want to live in such muddy backwaters. I will always have a special love for my NH mountain waters and I’m sure if I ever get the chance to fish them again it won’t be the same, but that’s ok. I’m moving onward and outward now. I played it safe last year going with what I already had some knowledge of and it’s not going to be the case for 2013.
- Keep a fishing journal here at this blog and be consistent at contributing
- Get behind the lens more , both video and still
- Procure a “flats” like boat to fish the local slow waters and learn to “pole dance”
- Hook and land a local musky on the fly
- Dial in the local carp that are less than 20 min from my front door and haunt many flats in the area
- Explore new water weekly or bi-weekly even if it means just fishing it with my minds eye
- Catch my first walleye
- Teach fly fishing as much as I can
- Continue my fishmance with the St. Mary’s Rapids – I am swiftly falling in love with her
- Adventure with the amazing fish friends I have made here in the Midwest
- Explore more rivers in Canada, it’s only 30 minuets away!
- Build up the guiding business
There is a saying in the gardening world about a recent transplant: first year they sleep, second year they creep and the third year they leap. I find humans that transplant to hold true to this ditty as well. If I can achieve all the above it will be an amazing year hopefully full of amazing adventures with many amazing people. Challenge yourself this fishing season!
Tight Lines, Nome