I’m not sure every year keeps getting better, but for certain 2015 ranks up there as one of my best since I quit working the fly shop. I continue to get busier with my business and I fish and travel more than ever imagined.
My year started with three months of speaking engagements at the famous Fly Fishing Shows in Denver, CO, Marlboro, MA, Somerset, NJ, Lynnwood, WA and finally Pleasanton, CA. Between shows I picked up several speaking gigs at fly fishing clubs. I was also the guest speaker at Chinook Waters Fly Fishing Club Conclave in Lethbridge, Alberta Canada and the Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Open House in Harrisonburg, VA.
What made my winter extra fun was that the same time I was touring, the F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour was touring. I was a featured angler in the “Carpland” segment. From there on, folks wanted to chat about fly fishing for carp, one of my favorite topics. Check out the “Carpland Trailer”
When I added up the actual single presentations I gave in 2015 they totaled more than forty ranging from PowerPoint presentations to casting demonstrations. I was thrilled how the three month tour went but also exhausted when it was over. It was time to fish.
On April 2nd I traveled to Dubai and I spent the next five weeks fishing there, Sudan and Oman. Granny joined me for the three weeks in Oman where we rented a car and lived off the beach. Our family was concerned for our safety while in the Middle East but the folks of Oman were lovely hosts. Not only did I add my 53rd country to my list but we made new friends and I racked up some new species on the fly as well. If only I didn’t lose the Africanus!
When I got home I was contacted by Voyages de Peche magazine in France. It turns out the editor learned of my trip and asked if I would write a feature article about fly fishing out of Dubai. I jumped on the opportunity and the four page article, “48 Hours in Dubai”, appeared in the October issue.
The travel never stopped. I bass fished in NH, carp fished the flats of Lake Michigan and then found myself working with RA Beattie on a film for giant northern pike in Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. This film will tour this winter as a segment of the 2016 F3T and the full feature film will be available as a DVD in April. The title is “Turning Points North”. – Trailer.
I fished locally when home but the travels continued. Granny and I made our first trip to Labrador courtesy of Paul Ostiguy and McKenzie River Fly Fishing Lodge. The brook trout were enormous and more impressive then ever imagined. The surprise fish were huge landlocked salmon (ouananiche) that Granny really laid the wood too!
I ended the year with a fall full of action and travel. In October I turned the big 50. I celebrated on the Henry’s Fork with more than twenty of my best friends many whom flew in for the party. A special thanks goes out to my friends at Trout Hunter for hosting us at their great hotel and restaurant bar. We had the time of our lives. To recover, two days after the epic bash Simms brought me down to the Florida Keys to test and photograph new saltwater fly fishing gear. The bonefishing was fantastic!
I snuck in a couple more speaking engagements between fishing. The most memorable was for the Henry’s Fork Foundation at a yacht club in sight of the Golden Gate Bridge. They had a fantastic turn out and I knocked out a conservation program highlighting many rare and endangered fish species of the world. The best part was hanging out with my longtime friend and mentor Mike Lawson.
Since November 9th I’ve been fishing and traveling. Granny and I spent three weeks in South Africa and Lesotho. This was a spectacular adventure that added two more countries to the list and a few more fish species. After this trip I spent a mere week at home then spoke to the Bozeman Trout Unlimited and took off directly to Baja to fish with friends Sammy Vigneri and Grant Harman. On this final trip I caught a long sought after new species on the fly, the yellowfin tuna. My species total is at approximately 325!
2015 has been a heck of a year. My business grew, I made a new movie and I fished three new countries and caught ten new fish species. If there are any regrets I’d have to say I did less artwork than in past years and I continue to be so buried keeping up with my blog that I’ve neglected my book, The First 50 Years. But both regrets are because I’ve been fishing so much. I think I’ll live!
Such a fantastic year would not be possible without Granny who is a wife that lets me live my dream, incredible sponsors that make these trips possible and provide the best fly fishing gear made – R.L. Winston Rods, Simms, Scientific Anglers, Abel and Ross Reels and the best friends a fly fisher could have – Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa, McKenzie River Fly Fishing Lodge, Ocean Active, FlyCastaway, RA Beattie Productions and a lot of great personal friends.
Here’s my growing 2016 schedule. I hope to run in to everyone somewhere along the way!
Here’s to a healthy, exciting and prosperous 2016!