Friday, December 31, 2010

Highlights of 2010... some of it just a few hours old

A look back at some of the highlights of 2010, a year in the life of the fly fishing naturalist and his favorite fishing partner.

1. In January, Kelly caught her first trout. See this previous post for the full story.

2. I caught my first Smallmouth of the year at Cypress Creek in northwest Alabama on "Tax Day."

Tax Day Smallmouth Bass

3. In June, Kelly and I made a trip to DeSoto State Park and Little River Canyon National Preserve in Alabama. We caught our first Redeye Bass (Micropterus coosae) and Alabama Spotted Bass (M. henshalli). I wrote an article about this amazing place for that you can read by clicking here. On this trip Kelly earned the title of "Green Queen" ("Queen Cyanellus" if you prefer Latin... I do) by catching so many Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus). Green Sunfish are like the cockroaches of the piscine world. They're found in just about every body of water (including polluted urban ditches) in our region of the country... although in some of the more pristine waters (read "too clean") you wouldn't really expect to find them... but somehow Kelly always does. She manages to find some nice ones too. Green Sunfish aren't known for their size... this one (about 7") would be a wall hanger if you were so inclined.

A "trophy" Green Sunfish in the hand of the "Queen"

4. On July 5th, I caught my best Smallmouth of the year at the Spring River in north central Arkansas. Kelly and I caught a bunch of fish on this trip. It was a healthy mix of trout, bass, and sunfish. Kelly even claims that she missed what she thought could have been a Musky! There are some in the Spring River, so I believe her. She did catch a bat on a backcast while we were trying to do a little night fishing. She's talented.

Big Bronze of the year

5. I built my first fly tying bench. See this previous post for more information.

6. In September I won an Emotion Glide Angler Kayak in a Yuengling Beer promotional drawing at a local grocery store. I wrote a review of the boat for that you can read by clicking here.

7. I began writing "The Naturalist's Angle" blog on October 20th.

8. Landed a personal best Channel Catfish on a fly rod in Hickahala Creek in north Mississippi. I have caught bigger Channel Cats by other means, but that was back when I still chunked bait in high school. I didn't even know catching a catfish on a fly was possible back then.

Channel Catfish on the fly

9. In November we got started on the Bassmaster "Bass Slam." Current count: Kelly 1, Jay 0. Read this previous post for the full story.

10. In December, I tied the "Christmas Crawdad" fly and somehow managed to catch my best trout of the year on Christmas Day using a pattern that wasn't really meant to be that serious. Read this previous post for details.

11. I wrapped up a great year on the fly with a New Year's Eve fishing trip with my favorite fishing buddy. It was about 30 degrees warmer than it was last week when we went to the Spring River. Kelly even managed to solidify her crown as "Green Queen" with one last lunker Green Sunfish for 2010.

One last nice Rainbow for 2010

The "Green Queen" strikes again in the last twilight of 2010

I only hope 2011 brings as many good fishing memories as this year has. I have a feeling it will only be better.

Happy New Year and may all of your outdoor pursuits in 2011 be great successes.


    1. Really nice post Jay. Glad you started your unique blog and 3 cheers for Kelly for being your fishing "best friend." Life is good.

    2. Heck of smallie on July 05! Happy 2011!

    3. I want to catch something other than trout!! That sunfish is awesome...

    4. Entertaining post. What fly did you use for the channel cat?

    5. It was a "Carp Tease"... I think it was black and red. There's not much to a carp tease fly, it's basically a chenille body with some lead eyes and some rubber legs/tails hanging off the back of it. I think the rubber appendages are what entice the catfish... and I guess carp too for that matter. I have yet to catch a carp on one.