6. It was the year of the game changer. The VEDAVOO TL Beast sling made fishing so much easier being able to have a bugger beast jr box handy made wading smallie streams and throwing big flies a cinch. The fly of the year and my go to the game changer it took several different species of fish, so many big smallies, and personal best fish it was like having money in the bank and made a good year that much better!
5. Brookies was the name of the game this year. It was great being able to chase them on some new waters and hiking after them in beautiful streams with good friends. This year was one I found a new love for Cain! I was very lucky to be able to have a rod built by Phil Smith of Vandalia Rod Works it's truly a special Brookie Rod. Had fun breaking it in early in the year with Jonathan Paine in a duelin bamboo session. There was a lot of brookies caught and some good solid fish!
4. Had a busy year and with weather I was able to only attend one fly fishing show. I was lucky enough to be able to make the Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster PA. It was filled with some great vendors, awesome fly tiers, and big names in fly fishing. It was great to meet up with several guys including Nick Masteller of Keystone Flyfishing, Morgan Kupfer of TLTFF, and Joel LeMarco. Even had the chance to run into some big name guys like the crew from Mossy Creek , Harold Harsh, Beau Beasley, Pat Cohen, and one of the best Bob Cluser. Bob did an awesome presentation on warm water fly fishing the guy is a smallmouth legend! Throw in being able to watch Joe Humphreys on the casting pond truly an epic time. The highlight of the trip was being able to hang out in the Vedavoo booth with Scott Hunter and rep some of his truly awesome handmade in the USA Vedavoo gear! I can't say enough about his awesome packs check them out at Vedavoo.com .
3. This year on the water was a year of big fish and diversity. I set out a goal to catch 15 different WV species of fish on the fly and easily made it to that as well as catching two personal best fish. I was lucky enough to take two trophies on the Ohio River both on a game changer. Early in the season I stuck a 20 inch smallmouth then mid season I landed a slug of a 26 inch hybrid. As for the diversity a few fish I came up short on but managed 21 species of fish on the fly all from WV waters. Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, Sauger, Sucker, White Bass, Skipjack, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Common Shiner, Drab Colored Rosyside Dace, Gar, Pumkinseed, Carp, Long Eared Sunfish, Shad, and Walleye. Not a bad overall year!
2. It was a special experience getting to fish in the Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament. Eric was truly a special person and a true hero that wore the WV State Police Uniform. The conditions were tough and I got shutout but spending an evening win great WVAngler friends and telling stories about Eric is always a good time. Throw in the fact that my good buddy Jonathan Paine took the biggest fish a monster 50" inch Musky!
1. Being able to spend Father's Day on the water with my baby girl and chase some blue gill is one of the best times I had all year. Being able to share a fishing experience with a good friend, a kid or a loved one makes it that much more special on the water. Being able to see the smile on my girls face is a time I won't forget!