Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Looking Back at the Season of 2012

As another fishing season comes closer to an end, I look back at how the fishing gods always seem to throw their spin on every fishing season. Every year, my fishing seems to have an under lying theme, something that stays common throughout the entire summer. In 2010, it was a memorable year, because it was the year of the small fish. I fished many rivers and streams that summer, but everything I caught was in the 4-8 inch range, even a rainbow that I caught with a hopper on the North Platte River, just outside of Casper.

2011 on the other hand was the year of big fish. That year, I manage to land my 2 largest trout ever caught. A nice 18-20" brown trout, and a wonderful hard fighting 24" rainbow. This was the summer, that I really began to understand fly fishing, and how it works. This summer was also my first success at nymph fishing, which ironically enough, has almost taken over my fishing success stories now. It is rare that I break out a dry fly now.

A beautiful brown trout
A trophy size rainbow trout


So this year began with a trip to the N. Platte River with my Dad guided by the fine guys over at Wyoming Fly Fishing. It began with showing my Dad the ways of fly fishing, getting him into his first fish on a fly rod, his first brown trout caught ever, and several nice rainbows. Later that spring, as is my tradition, I ventured to a new water way to see how it fished.

This year, that river was the lower stretches of the Little Popo Agie River. I hit the river throughout the entire season learning how it progresses as a fishery throughout the season. At one point, the water grew to warm, so I had to stop going out there. However, fishing this water, landed me a brand new species, Mountain Whitefish. The Whitefish would be a reoccurring mini-theme of its own, as I managed to also catch one for the first time on Worthen Reservoir, also caught one on Granite Creek, outside Hoback Junction, and lastly I caught one on the Wind River outside of Dubois.

Back to this year's theme, which turned out to be new species of fish on a trout rod. In addition to my first whitefish, I also managed to catch large mouth bass, carp, and most recently a Yellowstone Cutthroat. The carp, probably the "heaviest" fish I have caught on a fly rod. Also a very technical catch, that I look back on fondly for the mere fact that I happened to notice the softest of any take ever.

A carp to big for the net
My first bass on the long rod
Another white fish!


The season isn't quite over yet. October brings some of the best fishing in Wyoming, without the crowds. Many fishermen hang up their rods for their bows and guns this time of year. I'm not a hunter, so that leaves the water open to me. However, I do temper my locations by not going back country hiking to stay on the safe side of hunters. I should get out another 2 times this month at least, and will continue to fish until my local water is iced up. Then it will be back to the fly tying table to replenish for another year, and excitedly wait to see what the fishing gods will bring in 2013.

So how about you? Do the fishing gods bring a common theme each year out for you? For me, it was a year of new species. It makes me wonder, what next year will bring.

Get on the water,
Paul