Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Highlights of 2012: Coulda been better

2012 was an interesting year.

Let's take a look back at all that has transpired in the last twelve months.

1. In January, I realized that maybe I wasn't the fly fisher head of the household.

2. February, we went looking half-heartedly for extinct woodpeckers and just missed our chance at a new Arkansas state record Largemouth. Turns out the guy who caught it blew his chance too, he didn't have the required license to make his catch legal.

3. In March, I officially relocated the headquarters of the Naturalist's Angle from Memphis to Birmingham.

4. In April, Kelly caught not one, but two big bass. The first was a Largemouth at Smith Lake. The second was an even more impressive Alabama Spotted Bass from the Cahaba River. That fish was "mounted" in a creative new way that didn't involve taxidermy.

5. In May, Kelly caught a really nice Smallie at Cypress Creek and I was beginning to think this would be another solid year of being outfished by a girl.

6. In June, I reported on our time hosting the OBN Fall River Fly Rod, and we were featured in a post on The Fiberglass Manifesto thanks to our penchant for cheap fiberglass fly rods... and snakes.

7. July was a busier and better month for us as far as fishing is concerned. I fixed up some spinnerbaits and a baitcasting rod and reconnected with my old days of fishing conventional tackle. I broke a cheap fly rod which was followed by Kelly and I playing a fishing game. We took our friend Elizabeth to Little River Canyon, and she snorkeled while we fly fished. She also got some nice photos of us that we wouldn't have normally been able to capture. Lastly in July, we had a bass catching battle that we ended up calling a tie.

8. Apparently nothing happened in August... except Kelly's birthday. I hope I remembered to get her a gift.

9. In September, I posted about an old wooden longbow that I brought back to life with a little insight to my thoughts on archery. We also experienced the best ten minute fishing trip ever in September.

10. In October, I wrote about our experience helping two boys injured in an ATV accident. It only reinforced my opinions about ATV safety and young riders. I was also invited to become a new member of the SmithFly Stream Team, and of course I accepted.

11. In November, Kelly and I met up with one of my old Knoxville buddies for a day of fishing the Hiwassee River, and we just happened to see some rare birds on our way there. About a week before Thanksgiving, Kelly's grandfather told us a story that suggested fly fishing is in her blood.

12. December was another delightfully busy month. We began the month with some fun harassing urban bass with ultralight spinning gear. I announced the birth of my new art blog: The Naturalist's Art. I finally got around to posting our "his & hers" review of Redington's Sonic-Pro Zip Front waders. We had another epic day of Christmas fishing... even though the fishing wasn't so hot.

I guess it was an okay year, but I really hope 2013 is a better year for fishing.

I at least hope to get out and enjoy nature more this year. I think it's going to be a good year for snakes if nothing else.

I wish everyone in the blogosphere a Happy New Year and good fishing in 2013.


  1. Jay
    After reading this post I would say you and Kelly had a fairly productive year on the water. As I read through each month I couldn't help but remember the nightmare trip for me in August 2011 on Bear Creek--in fact you and Kelly had a great trip that day. Hope we can get together this year for an outing. I think you all will really be surprised when you fish the tailrace later on this year. I was at the fly shop this past week when they released 1500 rainbow. All the trout now are coming from Missouri and not Dale Hollow anymore. The Dale Hollow trout were small and not in good shape. This stocking was all 12 to 15 inches which are the largest trout they are released in the tailrace. It will be a while before the place can be fished, because the generators are running non-stop. Keep an eye on the website for the best time to fish-- let me know when you guys are coming up and I will meet you there.

    1. Bill, that all sounds great. Sorry to bring back memories of the infamous Bear Creek trip.

    2. Hey Jay. Happy New Year. I was pretty impressed with your outings this year. In fact I would say that one month of fishing outdid my year. Oh well, sometimes it isn't all about the fishing. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I love the new blog and your art. Keep it up...I think you beat Kelly on this one.

    3. I gotta make sure Kelly doesn't start trying too hard to be an artist or she'll probably beat me at that too. She actually has a bit of ability in that area, but I try not to encourage her.