Salomone: Fly fishing New Year’s resolutions￼
The most satisfying goals are those revolving around fishing
Anglers looking into the new year need to focus on constructing resolutions that are more enjoyable to attain. New Year’s resolutions carry an air of negativity that often cause them to lose their luster. Let those resolutions be angling-centered and the new year is already looking bright. Here are some suggestions for angling centered resolutions.
Hike to an alpine lake to fly fish for native fish. Familiar with rainbows, browns and brookies? Now, seek out the colorful cutthroats of Colorado. Cutthroat trout are symbols of wilderness. They belong here. They are Colorado.
Reconnect on the water with an old friend. Remember the people who drive importance in your angling — in your life. Time spent on the water with a fly rod in hand creates sacred moments anglers cherish forever. Make it a point to capture bites of the day with images on your camera. Put that camera to use and chronicle the event for all time.
If you’re always floating, make it a point to get out of the boat more. Too many of my friends get stuck in their boats and forget to get out and get their boots wet once in a while. Slow down and enjoy the ride. The best way to slow the float down is to stop and get out. Float fishing lends itself to a one-and-done presentation style. A wade angler can dissect a specific spot with scrutiny, repeatedly making presentations until it is just right.
Plan a trip. This doesn’t have to entail hotel reservations, airline tickets or car rentals, although those trips are rewarding. A planned trip should be focused on the people involved, the location and the type of fly fishing. Renting a small cabin in the Colorado mountains near water makes a fly-fishing trip attainable and productive. A day trip into the high country to fish dry flies on a mountain stream with the best man in your wedding lays the groundwork for a memory to last a lifetime.
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Give fly fishing on a stillwater a try. The mental game anglers need to decipher provides a challenge. The skills necessary for success on stillwaters will provide crossover benefits to your overall fly fishing. Access is easy and plentiful from state park lakes like Sylvan Lake or Sweetwater Lake to public water in the middle of town, like Nottingham Lake. If you read my article about kayak angling then you know where I’m going. Kayaks and fly rods blend together to provide the ultimate platform for exploring the stillwaters in Colorado.
Pack a special fly-fishing picnic lunch. A simple charcuterie plate is enjoyed immensely when presented riverside. Fruit, cheese and some select cuts paired with a cold beverage tastes better with the scent of pine needles, river water and wildflowers in the air.
Kicking it up a notch is easily achieved. Packing along a small hibachi style grill elevates the whole experience. One word of caution during the summer is the prevalence of fire restrictions. Check with local conditions before sparking an open ember along the river. But a bratwurst grilled riverside just tastes better.
Catch a trout on a fly you tied. Learn a new skill that invests you deeper into our sport. Fly-tying enhances your knowledge of fly design and effectiveness. It could open your eyes to the fact that flies don’t need to look like exact representations but rather hint at the shape, size and color you are trying to mimic to be successful. Vail Valley Anglers hosts numerous fly-tying events throughout the year. Approach one of the shop managers about your desire to learn how to tie flies. All it takes is a little desire.
Go fly fishing at night. There is a disconnect when the stars litter the surface of the water that is unattainable in the daylight. The moon seems larger as it illuminates the night. When it’s nonexistent, the dark of night is painted with a thick, purple-black that envelops everything outside the beam of your headlamp. The casting, the set and fight all feel foreign in the dark of night. If your fly fishing needs to be more invigorating, then this is the realm to explore.
Take these ideas as suggestions and come up with your own angling centered resolutions. Perhaps commit to fishing a dry fly more or joining an organization like Trout Unlimited. Whatever the resolutions may be, they are more fun to attain when focused around fishing.