“Building a case”   3 comments

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!

Things are really crankin’ on this end.  In the final stages of the next book forces me to be busy fixing and replying to my publisher/editor.  That’s a fair amount of work, but they’re pleasant folks that are going to make me better.  I’ve also been guiding a bunch, putting on several hundred miles a week, tying bugs at all hours, and trying to keep up with family life.  It’s easy to let time slip by and miss out on some very important details.

I’ve mentioned this before, but this is the first year for me on the Eagle River with Minturn Anglers.  I had never even stepped a wading boot in that river prior to re-compassing my guide career this year.  Combine a new river with a busy schedule, and it’s easy to miss details.  Ah, but I haven’t.  Most that know me knows that the original Fly Fishers Playbook was written using notes from 5 solid years of journal entries after guide trips.  Honestly, I got away from that a bit the last few years (except for the juicy stuff), because I was pretty used to the South Plattes’ moods. Well, I’m back to journaling out of need not habit.

Back in February, I talked of historical, seasonal and conditional habits of rivers, specifically bug life (it’s in the archives).  As I muddle through this first year on the Eagle, I’ve found the need to identify several bug, river, and weather conditions so I can be ahead of the game next year.  It will take at least 2 years of trip journaling for me to start to feel comfy that I’m figuring out that river stem. I’ve talked of rejuvenation from the job move, and this just confirms it.  I love this stuff.

My suggestion is to grab yourself a pen and paper and do some journaling after your fishing trips.  The benefits are real, as you begin to build a case on the river.  Patterns start to develop that aren’t readily apparent and you’ll put more fish in the bag.  Here’s an entry from yesterday:











I always tell folks to design and build their own personalized “Playbook”.  Simply journaling trips is a great start.  Soon you’ll be building a pile of information about the rivers you fish, their bugs, their fish, their weather, and their little idiosyncrasies that you need to know if you want to get everything out of every cast on those rivers.

Til next time, Fear No Water!



3 responses to ““Building a case”

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  1. Duane,

    I couldn’t find an email address on your site, so hopefully you don’t mind me leaving this as a comment.

    I recently read this blog post about keep a fishing journal… a “playbook.” I live in the Ozarks near the White River and have been keeping a journal for some time now.

    I wanted to share a project I have been working on: http://myoutdoorjournals.com/

    I’m not looking for any plugs or media, I would just love to hear your feedback. I work as a freelance designer, and this fly fishing journal has been a dream of mine for some time. I’m close to taking them to production and would love to get your thoughts.

    Once I get a full site built, I want to have a resource section with articles and blogs about journaling. I’d love to have your article listed.

    Thanks again,

    • Hey Chase. Sorry just getting around to getting into comments and questions. Obviously, I think a journal should be a part of any “playbook”, whether it’s for fishing, hunting, biking, whatever. A well designed journal is even better. I’ll take a look at the link. Thanks for getting to me.

      • Ok, I really like it. However, I really think it will make you a better fisher of any discipline. I suggest you emphasize that in your marketing as much as anything. But that’s just me. My playbook (journals) not only gave me great insight to fly fishing, they became the basis for my books. Nowadays, my favorite part of my old journals is filtering through them looking at comments. Stuff that happened has become, as you know, more important than the fish. You’ve got it, but they’re dual purpose.

        I do a lot of public speaking, and would be glad to pimp your journal. I can also put your link on my blog. How can I get my hands on one?

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