Secondly I am truly thankful for the fly fishing goals I've been able to achieve this year. This year I set a few goals to start the year and wasn't sure if I would ever reach them. Not only did I reach these goals but I was truly blessed and was able to fly past them. I love the whole diversity of fish on a fly rod, and can't help look up to people like Jeff Currier that has taken more species on a fly than probably anyone ever. I started this year with a goal of 15 WV species on the fly and figured I may have a chance to come near that but thought it'd be a tough battle to achieve that number. The cold water side of things got the first attention with lots of brookies, bows, and bowns caught. The warm water which it seems I spent more time on this year was amazing catching everything from hybrids, to smallies, suckers, saugers and carp on the fly. With the whole month of December left I've truly been humbled to be able to land 21 different species from WV waters. I've caught fish that were citations, and personal best, and finally just got my first walleye. We always look at the ones that got away as I will be haunted after a fish fish was lost and a few tough trips but can't help being beyond thankful to have been able to reach these goals.
Thirdly I've been very fortunate to have been able to share the water with some great friends and family. I've always said the experience is sometimes more rewarding then the fishing. There were some awesome times on Brookie streams, floats in musky waters with crazy follows, farm pond bluegill, and small stream smallie fishing. Thankful I was able to have one of my best fishing moments ever in taking my daughter out in Father's Day and chasing blue gills. Times with friends on the water is always one of the best times!
Lastly I'm thankful to be able to use some great gear that makes a day on the water so much better. Thanks to the amazing building skills of Phil Smith of Vandalia Rodworks I was able to chase some brookies with a beautiful cane rod. My friend Scott Hunter always goes above and beyond in making some exceptional packs. I was thankful to get a quick delivery of his TL bugger beast pack that holds everything I need for any type of fishing. Goat head sole spikes that help keep a clumsy guy standing on two feet in some seriously slippery stram bottoms. To go along with those spikes Chota wading boots which for a person that can be hard on gear have been more durable than anything I've ever tried. Awesome companies like Cheeky that makes a seriously smooth reel in their Mojo 425 that I put to the test a few times. Thankful for Risen Fly and their awesome reels and one of the best guys out there in Ryan Gouldsbarry to do business with. I can't forget Cliff Boxes as they hold any fly I need and can put in a box!
Truly am thankful to by our lord and savior to be given the health and life to enjoy these amazing things he has created. And so many special places in WV to fish! Faith, family, and fly fishing leaving you thankful indeed!