Thoughts on 2016 From The Fishwest Staff

With 2015 ending we at Fishwest have been reminiscing on all the new experiences, species, good times with friends and adventures we’ve been on this year. I think I can speak for all of us when I say this was a stellar year on the water for the staff, here are some of our stories and what we are looking forward to for 2016!

Rich – Webteam / Shop Staff

2015 was an amazing angling year for me, there were a couple firsts and I built upon the experiences from last year, this ended with me riding the Esox train hard, punching in a little over a month chasing these incredible apex predators. On top of that I accomplished a goal from 2014 to land a striped bass on the fly, caught a trophy carp, broke-in my two-hander with a few pike and musky and spent most of my days off camping out of my Subaru with great friends.

For 2016 I want to expand the radius I travel to fish and would especially like to hit some of the “famous” rivers out west, increase the number of muskie to hand, throw to river pike and would really like to make a steelhead trip. These are at the top of my list and if I can accomplish them while sharing the experiences with good friends in amazing places then it’ll be another great year.

Morgan – Shop Manager

I’m happy to say 2015 will be tough year to beat fishing-wise. I was fortunate enough to land a few Tiger Muskie, I did my fair share of sleeping outside and I even slipped in a 3 day Steelhead trip to Idaho. I still haven’t found my first steelhead but that will hopefully come in 2016. I was also able to float the Green with my brother, girlfriend and dog which was one of the year’s highlights for me as well.

2016 is already off to a good start with a trip to Costa Rica planned in a couple weeks. This will be my first saltwater fly fishing experience and I’ve been tying flies to hopefully throw at Roosterfish while I’m there.

Once again, Muskie will remain on the to-do list for next year. I think the Tiger Muskie in Utah present the opportunity to chase the largest fish (lengthwise) in the state. They are beautiful fish with some intimidating teeth which make for an exciting pursuit. In general, I’d like to throw more 8 and 10wt rods next year.

I’m looking forward to spending time in Utah’s small streams chasing big browns and cutthroat when the Drakes and Stoneflies are hatching. I’ve noticed my fishing has become seasonal over the past couple years and Spring/Summer is my go-to trout season.

My fishing trips quite often involve camping in my Jeep and I try to beat last year’s number of days sleeping outside every year. My current record is 30 days of camping and I will try to spend as much time camping as I can again in 2016.

As always, fishing with good friends is a must. Whether I’m fishing, drinking beer on the side of the river watching or camping, good company makes those experiences even better.

JC – Web Team Manager

2015 was a good year for me when it comes to fly fishing. The goals I set for 2015 were for the most part accomplished. I am very fortunate that my eyes were opened to the world of big rivers and anadromous fish. Unfortunately, I was unable to land any steelhead. I did however have a ton of fun fishing for carp, muskie, and pike. I have really started to chase the elusive “golden bonefish” with greater frequency. I feel that fishing for these species has made me a much more rounded angler.

My fly fishing related resolution consists of two parts for 2016. First and foremost, I would like get out and fish more often with the guys at the shop. No matter what we decide to get out and fish for, it is always an adventure. For example, I was fortunate enough to watch Richard land a pretty large carp with a tiny Brodin trout net. I would prefer to spend a lot more time throwing an 8wt or 10wt for muskie or carp however I won’t be too picky. Secondly, I would like to get out and learn much more than I presently know about steelhead. After having my first taste fishing for them in Oregon this last summer I am excited to put in more time on the water learning about these illusive fish. What it boils down to is that I would like to spend a lot more time with a fly rod in my hand.

Spencer – Staff Writer

I’m a trout snob. I was raised on a tiny creek stuffed full of wild rainbows, and from there I moved on to catching wild browns in what little wilderness is left East of Spanish Fork, Utah, and finally I discovered the perfect fish that is the cutthroat trout. (My column is called the Cutthroat Chronicles, after all!)

So with all that in mind, what I’d like to do in 2016 is expand my tastes just a tad. I caught my first bass ever in 2015 – smallies on Flaming Gorge, including a pretty nice 15-inch female. Aside from the odd bluegill, those were the only fish I caught that weren’t trout.

I want to try to chase more bass, including pike and musky, and I’d also love to learn the art of streamer fishing. I’m a terribly streamer fisherman, but I know it’s a great way to catch big fish. I just get so comfortable throwing an Adams-Hare’s Ear combo that I’m loathe to switch things up. I need to expand my horizons and try other fish and new techniques; after all, I can’t claim to be a fly fishing writer if all I do is fish high country streams with Royal Wulffs and bamboo rods. The sport has evolved far beyond that, and it’s time I move my old soul into the 21st century.

Amos – Fishwest Pro / Staff Writer

2015 was a great year for me. First and foremost I fell in love with fly fishing, which changed my course of life in multiple ways. Reflecting back, I can’t help but recognize how much joy it has brought to not only my life, but my son’s life as well. We both agree that 2015 was the best summer of our lives thus far.

My goals for 2016 are to continue improving my casting technique. I’ve been told by seasoned fisherman that this is a lifelong goal. I welcome that. I also want to spend as much time on the water with my son as I possibly can. Instilling in him that love for fly fishing and nature is a huge priority for me. As much as I love fishing for trout, I’m excited to get my hands on some new species of fish this year. I’m heading to Alaska in the spring with my husband where my fly fishing skills will be put to the test, and I can’t wait. I’m itching to catch some Dolly Varden. I’ve made it a goal to work extra hard throughout the year so I can travel a lot more too. New water brings new adventures. Most of all, I’m looking forward to the variety of people I will meet along the way. I love the fly fishing community, and I am so grateful to be a part of it. Here’s to plentiful fish and priceless memories on the water in 2016!