This post is from contributing author, Pat Burke.
It has been a great year. I think the biggest change for me in 2014 was moving away from fishing by myself and embracing the camaraderie of sharing a day on the water with someone else. The best part about it for me was it wasn’t always with a passionate fisherman. Sure I spent countless hours on the water with our troutbitten friends – Dom, Sawyer, Grobe, Foell, Troy, and Sloop John B. However, I also got to spend a day on the water with my wife for our anniversary, I did a float with my mom, I spent memorable days with two long time friends in the military who don’t get many days on the river, and I got to continue introducing the sport of fly fishing to my boys.
I chose to fish the last day of 2014 on my favorite river. The weather was brutally cold. Almost too cold early on. Ice in the guides and a leader freezing solid made fishing difficult at best. It didn’t really bother me much because my heart wasn’t totally into the fishing side of things today. I spent most of my time walking and enjoying the quiet.
When I did fish, it was very good. I gave up quickly on tightlining. The ice build up on the leader was adding weight and pulling my rig unnaturally downstream. I spent most of my time fishing a suspension rig. Some guys like to call them indicators, but I’m not too proud to tell it like it is. I holed up and fished bobbers. The great thing about it is if you are using the correct rig for the water type you are fishing, the fish could give two shits whether you’re throwing perfect ninety foot casts, tightlining, spey casting and swinging flies, or fishing the inferior bobber.
I wrapped up early and went home to spend the day with my family. Every New Years we go down to State College for the First Night celebration. While viewing the ice sculptures I came across a unique find. A giant brown trout ice sculpture! Disregard the fact that it looks like a goldfish 😉 You’re just going to have to trust me that it was a brown trout. That deserves a big thumbs up. Happy New Years everyone.