I was chatting with Ben the other day about my fly fishing bucket list and as we were dreaming of far off places and exotic fish we hope to catch someday I put together a short list of attainable goals for this season.
1. Catch my first Redfish On The Fly.
This is number one on my list this year for a few reasons. I have wanted to catch a red on the fly for some time now and Ben and I had the chance to throw to a few different schools of tailing fish when we were in Florida last year. Unfortunately the fish just weren't interested on that particular day. This only fueled my desire to finally hook a bull red and feel the power as it takes the line off my reel. Hopefully this week I will be able to cross this off the list as I have a trip booked with Steve Soule, who runs The Shallowist guide service , out of Galveston, TX. Be looking forward to a hopefully positive fishing report coming soon!!
For the past couple of years my first striped bass of the season has come in the first or second week of May. This year I want to get our early and often and hope to catch my first schoolie in April. With the unusually mild winter and recent warm weather I feel like this one should be no problem. I will focus my efforts on the river mouths, estuaries, and shallow flats that usually produce early season stripers.
I had the opportunity to land my first pike on the fly last year during the 2015 Ditch Pickle Classic in Vermont. The fish I caught was by no means big but it was enough for me to catch the pike bug. Ever since then I have been researching pike fishing opportunities in the New England area, talking to anglers and guides about which bodies of water hold pike, and tying pike flies. This season I am going to spend the majority of my freshwater fishing time seeking out these toothy critters.
My last two goals for the year are more stretches, but isn't that why we have goals in the first place, to push us and help us to be better. I have wanted to target shark on the fly for a few years now and hopefully this year with the help of my good friend Zak Robinson, owner and operater of Rising Tide Anglers, I can check shark off my fly fishing bucket list. We had talked about going out last year for sharks but it never happened. Hopefully this year we will have the chance to throw heavy rods and huge flies for some blue sharks!
5. Catch the elusive 40" Striper on Fly
If you talk to most fly anglers who fish for Striped Bass they will tell you that a 30+ inch fish is a big fish but that a 40+ inch fish is a monster. I have been hunting for my 4o" monster for a few years now and have fallen inches short for the past couple of seasons. A few summers back I caught and land a 33" fish up in Maine and boy was that a fight! Last year I was fortunate to catch a 32" fish but have always fallen short of the 40" mark. This year I am going to focus on fishing at night as much as possible in search of my trophy striper. As with any sort of fishing the number one advantage is spending as much time as possible on the water.
What's To Come
I'm sure we will have many more weekend and day trips throughout the season, but these are the big highlights of the season that we are looking forward to. I hope everyone is getting as excited for the upcoming season as we are!! Get out and fish as much as you can!