I thought that it would be good to recap this year with everything good that has happened fishing wise. 2016 will probably go down as one of the weirdest years in our lifetime, but in spite of all the strange exterior happenings, it has been a very good year for me personally, professionally and anglingly.
I started the blog back in March with the lofty goal of hitting every body of water in the Fishing in Oregon book—not this year, but in general. At my current rate, it will take me 100 years to get through all of them, but that’s not the point. I wanted to get out and fish more often and in different places, and to be able to share that experience with others, which I have. I’ve fished 14 different rivers and lakes on the coast, in the valley, and in central and eastern Oregon, some of them multiple times this year. I’ve probably fished more this year than in the last 20 years combined.
I’ve also learned a lot too. I’ve gotten much better at reading water and learning where fish hold. I’ve seen more big fish rise than I ever have before. I learned how to make my own spinners, and I caught my first steelhead this summer. I’ve switched from being a fly-fishing purist to learning how to throw spinners, and I’ve learned about drifting and twitching jigs. My gear bag is fuller and more diverse that ever before.
iFish became part of my fishing life too. Despite the political differences that sometimes arise on the site, it is full of good people with years of knowledge they are willing to share, even if they won’t impart their secret fishing spots. I like that it is a virtual space where folks from different backgrounds can come together united by a common interest. This sharing of knowledge has led me to be more open with other anglers on the river. Although I still prefer being the only one fishing, I’ll now stop and chat with other anglers to pick up tips and local information. My best two best experiences were meeting someone on the Necanicum who talked quite a bit about ethical fishing and wished me well before getting into his Trump-sticker-bespangled pickup, and talking at length with a state trooper who was out checking permits.
This year also marks the beginning of my involvement in volunteering and conservation. I joined the NW Steelheaders and have volunteered my time and knowledge to help them communicate with members and reach out to the public.
2016 is coming to a close, but my lure box is full, I got a new Lamiglas rod for Christmas, and I’m eager for 2017 and all the fishing it has to offer.