2017 was a heck of a year. It started with nearly 75 straight days of show life. Nine years ago, when I switched my career to fulltime art and speaking professionally about fly fishing, I wasn’t sure it would work. But it most definitely has. This year I gave more than 40 seminars throughout the US and continue to do my art when home.
The travel was far from all work. After the winter show season ended the world travel schedule fired up. This year I fished in seven countries. In April I went to St Brandon’s Atoll which belongs to the country of Mauritius. Mauritius is an island nation located in the southern Indian Ocean as far from Victor, Idaho as you can travel. I went with a couple friends from home and met up with my South African friends. Mauritius celebrated my 60th country fished and I added three new species to my list.
In Portugal I played a role helping the USA Masters Fly Fishing Team to its first ever World Championship Medal.
On our Yellow Dog Ambassadors trip to the Bahamas I landed my biggest permit.
The most amazing experience of the year involved a polar bear and some oversize char in the Arctic of Ungava Bay in Nunavik.
I fished extensively throughout the US. Granny and I had great fishing at home in Idaho that included my Henry’s Fork Marathon and some superb Blackfoot Reservoir carping. And we never miss our annual overnight float on the Nunya. We also enjoyed our annual smallmouth trip to New Hampshire and added a bonus trip in November for the monster redfish of the Louisiana marsh.
I made two trips back to Wisconsin – one on the ice and the second was my first trip troutfishing the Driftless area. There was August on the Manistee in Michigan. A speaking engagement at the Fly Fishers Club in Oregon led to some epic chinook salmon on the fly. There was my weekend in Pennsylvania with Joe Humphries and Jerry Arnold. And last but not least, in November I spoke in Texas and in turn caught my first ever, smallmouth buffalo. 2017 ends with nine new species for my list.
While 2017 was one of my best years ever there’s no reason not to believe 2018 could be even better. I’m an angler. An optimist. And I always aim big!
I look forward to the 2018 winter speaking tour and lots of great fishing days. Hopefully there will be visits to new places and if there’s one major goal on my mind – its catch the yellow permit on my return trip to St. Brandon’s in May!
Thanks everyone for following the blog. And thanks to my fantastic sponsors that make my life possible.
Will I ever get a beer sponsor?!?!!!!