It's been a while since my last entry. I have driven from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic and back, and have done a whole lot of fishing in between. I have fished about every kind of water you can think of, and landed some exciting new species and personal bests. After 8,000+ miles of driving, with no cruise control and a manual tranny with stiff old clutch, I am glad to be back in California and off the road for a bit. That being said, it's time to post some footage and tell some stories!
This trip was one of epic proportions. I left Northern California last winter and headed down the coast to wine country and visited an old friend. From there I crossed the Mojave Desert and made my way to Texas to spend winter in the Austin area and fish the waters where I cut my teeth. Once things started heating up, it was time to head East to my true home in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. It had been a long time overdue, and I was excited to reconnect with my Dad, some old friends, and some magical mountain streams. From there I drove to the North Carolina coast where I was able to spend some quality time with my extended family. I also got a shot at catching some new saltwater species, though my attempts fell short. Next up, North through Indiana where I fished the lagoons off of the Great Lakes, then the lakes of Minnesota. Undoubtedly, the highlight of my fishing adventures were the ten days spent in Montana. I was really blown away by the scenic beauty, the quality of the wild fisheries, and the amazing people that I met throughout the state. I will certainly be returning to explore further.
One of my favorite things about fly fishing is seeking new waters and new species. To be a successful fly fisherman you must connect with your surroundings and begin to understand the ecology of the fish you wish to catch and the body of water it inhabits. It is hard to describe the satisfaction I feel when I go to a river I have never been to before and am able to convince a spooky fish to eat my hand tied fly. To be able to read the currents, watch to see what insects are present, pinpoint the life-stage of the specific insect which is on the menu, and successfully present your version to a feeding fish is somewhat of a phenomena if you ask me. But the more you get out there and pay attention to the world around you, the more in tune you become. I think that is what keeps me coming back even after all the snags and tangles and associated cursing. That pure and undeniable union with the universe when you and the fish are connected through your fly line.
Though the elusive Muskee and Walleye evaded me on this trip I was fortunate enough to catch my fair share of memorable fish from wild native Appalachian Brooke Trout to Smallmouth Bass, even landed my first Carp. Montana provided me with several Brown and Rainbow Trout in the 20"+ range that I will not soon forget. I also entered into the world of film, and recorded over 200 gigabytes of fishing and adventure footage with my GoPro. I am currently in the process of editing the footage, which I am learning is not an easy task! My computer is fighting me tooth and nail, but I hope to get some clips availabe soon. Tight Lines till next time.