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My vow: same fish, new rivers

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POSTED December 28, 2011 12:23 a.m.

Well, are we all ready? Are we standing on top of a grassy hill, fishing rods, hunting rifles, mountain bikes, ab-rollers, recycling bins and piggy banks raised above our collective heads, calling out “Freedom” like William Wallace, ready to attack the new year like “warrior poets”?

Hope so.

By this time next year we will surely be fulfilled in ways we only dreamed about, or thought only applied to Chuck Norris and The Most Interesting Man in the World. Yes, thanks to promises we’ll make this weekend, in twelve short months we’ll all look back on our old stagnant lives and wonder how we survived - like trying to talk to girls before Facebook or getting them to like you before Axe products.

Since 2011 has essentially ended I have tabulated the numbers and calculated a somewhat ambiguous fishing plan, or resolution, that allows for wiggle room this coming year.

I can’t say that it is a clear-cut “I want to fish more in 2012”, because liking something is no excuse to abandon financial prudence, but I do want to broaden my range a bit after looking back on my fishing log.

I fished nine fewer days in 2011 (74) than 2010 (83). If ‘the ocean’ can count as a body of water like that ditch in a field Barnes and I fished for carp, I fished 16 pieces of water in 2011. I didn’t differentiate between the middle and north fork of the Stanislaus though they are separate rivers, they do have the same name and some days I hit one or more rivers.

The most frequented water was the Thorne River in Alaska. I spent at least a part of 19 days on its shores and wading in its current. The Klawock and Stanislaus rivers were close behind at 14 apiece. Rounding out the significantly visited flows were the Upper Sacramento River and Neck Lake back home. I saw each of those ten days last year. I spent a few days here and there on the rest including striper fishing with my fly rod on the San Joaquin in which I caught an old trophy-sized wash cloth.

It certainly does seem like I fished a lot, but at the same time, I always feel like I am sitting at the table I build not fishing. Sadly there are a ton of rivers to which I say, “never fished it”, even though it is reasonably close. I want to fix that this year. Not so I can brag to others, but so I can get that feeling when I slowly sink my boots into water surrounded by nature I have not seen.

As Donald Miller wrote, “If you don’t get to a beautiful place every couple years, you get to thinking everything is urban, as though when God made creation He just made some medium-sized buildings, a bowling alley and a burger place.”

So this year I want my fishing to feel even more right and I want to make sure that this space in the paper is filled with relevant, solid copy. So don’t be shy about emailing me feedback. I’ve been called worse, and as long as the fish still like me, I’ll get over it.

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