Thoughts on 2017 from the Fishwest Staff

It’s time to shut her down, 2017 is almost gone, and we are ready to welcome a New Year here at the fly shop. For our final blog of the year the staff has compiled some thoughts, highlights, and maybe some goals for next year. With the passing of the holiday season here is what we would like to share:

What do you say JC?

This year has a been a whirlwind angling tour and I have had a ton of fun. 2017 was filled with a bunch of fishy adventures spanning many different species and locations in both fresh & saltwater. New friends, old friends, lost fly lines and even fishing during the beginning of a major hurricane were just a few of the major highlights. I would have to say the experience that stands out the most was fishing bluewater off the coast of San Diego California. I found the “blue desert” to be a fascinating fishery. During my short time we found a variety species like Yellowtail, Dorado, Bonito, Mako and even a gnarly hammerhead shark. As for fishing goals, they really remain the same. I am still wanting to pursue learning how to throw a two hander for anadromous fish. Other than that I want to continue having great fishing days with good people. Im looking forward to 2018 and what it brings already!

JC holding a fish he just caught

Rich and his resolution:

My 2017 fishing season treated me fairly well, considering the longer than usual runoff season we had here in Utah. I caught some great fish, got the ‘ol john boat out a few extra times compared to 2016 and had a bunch of great times with great people. I had an amazing day fishing wipers at Willard, explored a few new rivers and states off my bucket list and played with two-handers more, even grabbed a new personal best rainbow swinging streamers on said two-handers. The two-handed game is definitely what I enjoyed most this season, maybe because it’s new and fun, but it allowed me to reach parts of large rivers that I couldn’t hit before and gave me better control of my flies through my swing compared to my single handed rods.

Looking forward to 2018, I’d like to go on another steelhead trip or two, explore some of the larger rivers up north, land a pure musky and get a real taste of the salt since I’ve only fished brackish water. Not sure if I’ll accomplish all of these but if I can check off a few, I’ll consider that a great year. Another goal for 2018 is not to be involved in anymore car accidents, I’ve had bad luck when it comes to vehicles and other drivers. As I write this my second car in just as many years may have just gotten totaled buy a distracted driver and the last one was involved in a hit and run while parked. Maybe I’ll try to develop a rubber coated vehicle that would resist impacts this year, which would hopefully solve the vehicle problems I’ve experienced recently.

Close-up of fish

Morgan and his thoughts:

2017 was a funky fishing year for me given the high runoff and lack of accessible local water until around early July. A lot of the fishing I do locally involves camping and fishing Utah’s smaller creeks most of which were hardly accessible until mid summer. I had the best snowboard season of my life last year with local resorts getting close to 600″ of snow and the result of such a stellar ski season was major runoff. This kept me off my local streams and forced me to do more traveling to fish. And travel we did.

Throughout my year, I was fortunate enough to experience Bahamian Bonefishing, Missouri River dry fly fishing, Henrys Fork salmon flies, Wyoming float trips, Idaho steelheading, Louisiana Redfishing and of course Green River floats. Aside from fishing, spending time in Southern Utah exploring our National Parks and public lands was another top priority of mine.

I love packing the boat and hitting the road after work to spend a couple days camping and fishing and I did a lot of that this year. This was the first year I’ve really felt like I used my boat often. I successfully navigated Red Creek Rapid on the Green for the first time and I rowed multiple rivers I’ve never floated before. I watched as a lot of fish were caught and I’ve realized that I love getting people on fish while I row is just as much fun as fishing myself. Not all of these trips were productive but the payoff is experience on new water. In a time when some people refuse to have a bad day of fishing to explore new water, I’ll opt for the opposite. I’m happy to forgo the fish for new rivers, new camping spots and new experiences.

I hope I can continue my fly fishing travel trend into 2018. There’s so much water out here in the west that I have yet to see. The South Fork of the Snake is one I’d like to float for the first time and I’d love to see more of Montana’s river. Winter hasn’t quite shown up yet in Utah and I hope we have plenty of water in the spring but that might just mean I get out on the water a little earlier in 2018. Another top priority of mine is a longer steelhead trip, 3 days a year is not enough.

If 2018 is anything like the last year, I will spend plenty of time fishing around the world with great people.

Morgan holding a large fish that he caught

Carlin’s View:

This year I put in a lot miles exploring new water and chasing after a variety of freshwater species. I enjoyed fishing with some different anglers this season and throwing bigger flies for musky. Also a quick trip to a local reservoir where I ended up landing five different species within a couple hours was thoroughly enjoyable. Three different trout, bass, wipers, and a large sucker made for an incredible day. The highlight of my year was a trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in August. When it comes to a wilderness experience and dry fly fishing the middle fork doesn’t have much competition. One hundred miles of river in six days is always an adventure and I can’t wait to do it again.

My goal for 2018 is simple: catch other species on the fly. I’d really like to make a saltwater trip happen to chase anything like redfish, tarpon, and barracuda. Having no experience on saltwater flats it would be a nice change to enjoy some different scenery including the fish and culture. Locally I will be religiously trying to complete the pan-fish slam, it’s pretty serious business on the golf course ponds.

Floating down the Salmon River to fly fish

From the entire staff at Fishwest we hope you all had a good 2017! Thanks for reading and we look forward to working with all of you in the coming year.



Note: This post was originally published on December 30, 2017.