On this first day of 2011, I've taken the time to clean up the old blog site. Changed a few colors In hopes I can keep your interest and spiffed up the look. With remorse, I've also removed some of the sites on the blogroll that haven't posted in 3 months or more. If I've removed you in error, please let me know so I can put it back.
I was over on Mikes site (Troutrageous) and he had posted New Year's resolutions. I did an article for the local paper last week and it had some of my resolutions for this year, so I though I'd just re-print it here in case you didn't see it. So here goes.
It's the end of the year - time to make some resolutions for the new year to come. I've always believed that New Year's resolutions can be negative or positive. They can deal with things you've done this year that you don't want to repeat next year, or with things that you want to accomplish in the coming year.
Where do I stand with these, you ask? This past year has been a good year in the fishing department, with the exception of scoring that elusive steelhead. I have some friends who go after steelhead and catch one or more every time. On the other hand, I have been pursuing them for two years and have yet to catch one. They call steelhead "the fish of 10,000 casts." Well, I passed 10,000 a long time ago, but I think the method I've been employing has been the wrong one.
So, resolution No. 1 is: change my tactics for fishing steelhead and catch one.
Resolution No. 2 is: go back to fish in Heenan Lake. You can only fish this lake from the Friday before Labor Day until the last Sunday in October. I've talked with the guys at the local fly shop and have been given the key to this lake (well, maybe). Now, all I have to do is wait until the Friday before Labor Day.
Resolution No. 3 is to catch a trout larger than my personal best. I know that 4 lb., 12 oz. isn't a particularly large trout, and I know there are bigger ones out there, but that's my personal best and a record to be broken in 2011.
This brings me to the smaller resolutions for next year. One thing I plan to do is visit the Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton on Feb. 25, 26 and 27. I've been to the Outdoor show at Cal Expo on several occasions, but it seems to be the same, year after year.
Resolution No. 4 is: attend the Fly Fishing Show. One of the things I want to take a look at is called Tenkara, which is a form of Japanese fly fishing, using only a rod, no reel. I have several friends who are already into Tenkara and, since I fly fish, they've been bugging me to move to the next level.
There are also some nearby lakes that I plan to fish this coming year. They may not be in Amador County, but they are close by. One that has been on my list this year, and I didn't make it to, is Lake Alpine up on Highway 4, East of Angels Camp. Steve, the guy that delivers UPS to our house, has trying to get me up to this lake all year. I'll have to make it resolution No. 5 to fish this lake. In this resolution, I'll also have to include a few of the other lakes in Alpine or Calaveras County - maybe try New Melones again.
The flip side of my New Year's resolutions begins with negative resolution No. 1: not fishing Lake Tabeaud again. Lake Tabeaud offers free fishing, and it's close to where I live - in the Pine Grove area. The lake is stocked by the California Department Fish & Game once or twice a year. It has two ways to access it, one off Tabeaud Road at the day use area and another around the back of the lake, by the inlet tube.My problem with Lake Tabeaud begins with the fact that I've fished this lake a dozen times and only caught one fish. I caught it by bottom-bouncing a night crawler at the inlet. The sides of the lake are very muddy, even in the summer, and, as muddy as it is, it can be hazardous. Several times, I've slipped while fishing this lake and have come close to major bodily damage. I've often thought that the way to walk around this lake is with football cleats. I've talked to float-tubers, as well as bank fishermen and the catch has always been slow. Even though this lake is stocked, to me it's not worth the time or the danger.
Negative resolution No. 2 is: drive down dirt roads more carefully, so I don't get rocks jammed between the skid plate and the transfer case on my truck. Such occurrences cause people to pull their hair out - I don't have that problem, since I don't have any hair - or to use four-letter expletives during explanations to the better half of why it costs so much to have rocks removed so the transmission on the truck isn't destroyed. Those kind of things.
So, what's on your New Year's resolution list for 2011? Let me start out easy, a new fishing rod? After all, how many fishing rods does a fisherman need? The answer is "one more." Maybe a float tube is something you want to get this year? Don't forget flippers. Maybe those Simms waders you've been wanting all year. You'll need them for the float tube and for creek and river wading. Oh, and that new bass boat? That would be cool.
Here are a few statistics on New Year's resolutions.
1. Forty to 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year.
2. Of these resolutions, the maintenance figures are: past the first week, 75 percent; past two weeks, 71 percent; after one month, 64 percent; and, after six months, 46 percent.
3. While a lot of people who make New Year's resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't make resolutions.
So let's make those resolutions. We, as local fishermen and fisherwomen, want to see if we can push that up higher than 46 percent. I know I should be able to complete the five resolutions I listed above. How about you?
For 2011, I wish tight lines and full creels for all of you.