Thursday, January 2, 2014

Highlights of 2013 and First Bass of 2014

I'm really glad 2013 is over. It's been a year of lows and highs... mostly lows here on The Naturalist's Angle blog. I was a very inactive blogger in the latter half of the year... even though I probably did a few things that would have been blog worthy if I had been motivated enough to actually write about them. Life gets in the way of blogging sometimes... but that's not always a bad thing.

1. In January, I was very actively producing artwork and publishing it on my art blog, "The Naturalist's Art." Click here for all of the pieces posted in January. I also tied up a whole squadron of Stealth Bomber flies for a year of topwater bass bugging... and I still have some left in the arsenal... probably a good sign I didn't do enough fishing this past year.

2. In February, we caught a couple of nice Crappie on ultralights and ate them. I wrote a little bit of an explanation about why we rarely keep what we catch and the sustainability of fisheries. I finally finished working on some old school cork poppers that were a long time in the making. Chris Hansen, the fly fishing guide who inspired the popper production and ultimately the blog post, just happened to find his way to the comments section.

3. March was kicked off with a blog post about going to see the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) in Atlanta (ATL). I finished my DIY fly reel shelf and published it on the Ides. Kelly finally got the chance to realize the magic of fishing in the rain as the month came to a end.

4. April was a little different because Kelly and I were both featured on outlets in cyberspace other than The Naturalist's Angle. First, I wrote a piece on snakes for the Pelican products blog. Then Kelly was featured among the "Women in Fly Fishing" on the Fly Fishing Ventures blog.

5. In May, Kelly and I went fishing with Bill and I lost a really nice bass. Thinking about it is still a bit painful. 

6. In June, I caught a really nice River Redhorse during my first serious attempt to land a carp on the fly.

7. In July, I posted an epic photographic blog entry because it had been a while since I done a lot of writing and posting. Things would only get more stagnant over the next five months.

8. The months of August, September, and October called in to say that they were very disappointed that apparently nothing happened that was post worthy. On a serious note, we were busy starting a new job (Kelly), house hunting, packing, and squeezing in as much fishing as we could when we weren't occupied with all that other stuff.

9. In November, I finished a Sharpie marker drawing of a Sharp-shinned Hawk and posted it on my art blog. The headquarters of the The Naturalist's Angle was relocated to our new home... and hopefully won't be relocated again anytime soon.

10. Finally in December, I posted about my unique DIY pot rack (in order to get off the T! bad blogger list), and closed out the year with another installment of the Legend of the Christmas Crawdad. This year that silly little fly helped me land the biggest trout of my life on Christmas Day.

Now that 2014 has begun, it's time to share the first two bass of the year that Kelly caught on New Year's Day with ultralight spinning gear and a plastic crawdad...

Not a bad way to start the year

The second better than the first

I still haven't caught my first of the year... because apparently some things never change.

I'm really looking forward to great things in 2014 and wish the very best for everyone else in the fishing blogosphere.

23 comments:

  1. Dang, you caught a bass already? Nice!

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    1. Sorry, when I said you I guess when I say "you" I mean the both of ya'll. =) Thanks again for the comment on my blog. I look forward to your future posts this year. If you want to do a trade for some of the stealth bomber flies let me know. I have way too many trophy trout streamers which could easily be used for other species.

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    2. Kevin, I'll definitely do a fly swap with you. I haven't really settled in for a long winter fly tying session yet, but Stealth Bombers are at the top of my list for stocking boxes for bass. If you've never fished one, you're in for a treat. I've seen some of the streamers you tie and they look pretty awesome. I'm sure I could put some to use... even though my trophy trout fishing only happens like twice a year.

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  2. Jay
    I have a feeling landing a big spot on Smith is in your future come spring. Early April is even better than May, especially on top. Looking forward to the trip--thanks for sharing

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  3. Nice markings on those bass. Good to see you're still posting.

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  4. Nice bass for this time of year. I usually give up on them right now and hit it again in march/ April. I hope this year brings you great success in fishing and in life!

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    1. Thanks, Juan. The bass fishing doesn't really end during winter in the South... and it can be the best time of year to catch a big one.

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  5. No matter how frequent the posts, we will be around :) Happy 2014!

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    1. Thanks, David. It's nice to have a few loyal listeners.

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  6. Jay,

    Im in the same boat or I was I should say. With the Facebook page, Instagram and life blogging can be a challenge. I am planning on getting back into this year. Hopefully you will too. Congrats on a bass already. Must be nice!

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    1. Thanks, Jeff. Peer pressure is a pretty good motivator.

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  7. I still don't have a 2014 fish. Kelly, nice bass. I'm jealous. Did you guys see Shades Creek frozen?

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    1. No, we didn't get to see the creek frozen. I wish I had seen it though. I hope it didn't negatively impact our little fishery. Did you get any pictures?

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  8. Here's to 2014 and whatever it brings!

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    1. Thanks, Kevin. I'm looking forward to a better year than last and wish the same for you.

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  9. I hope we can continue to enjoy you and Kelly's adventures. Don't be gone so long!

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    1. Howard,
      We'll try not to disappear for so long again. Now that we're pretty well settled in our new house, the blogging should be a bit more routine. Thank you for being an audience since the beginning.

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  10. Those are some nice fish she caught! Hope you have a great 2014 brother and look forward to reading your posts again this coming year.

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    1. Thanks! I'll try not to let you down. I've got a couple posts in the pipeline that I just haven't had time to crank out.

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