New kayak fly fishing adventures and quests for 2018

My 2018 started on a positive note with a successful kayak fly fishing outing and the start of a the KayakFlyAngler Species Challenge 2018 - seeing how many species I can catch with a fly rod from the kayak.

The idea was hatched on the way to Henry Hagg Lake, one of my favorite local fishing spots. I had spent much of the previous year fishing the ocean with Don or kayak fishing for salmon with gear. The KFA Species Challenge is a way to focus my energy on kayak fly fishing.

In many ways, Hagg Lake was a perfect location to begin the challenge since it was here that I proved I could turn the Mirage drive around and pedal backwards. I even caught a fish that day under difficult water conditions.

After launching from the ramp that first morning of 2018, I chose to go right and fish the Sain Creek inlet. I usually catch fewer fish there but they are typically larger than the fish in the Scoggins Creek inlet.

I rigged up my two fly rods, turned the Mirage Drive around and started trolling with two flies at the end of each rod. There were no bites on the first pass and the second pass looked the same. As I neared the end of the second pass, the rod with full sinking line bent towards the water. I grabbed it and was hooked into my first fish of 2018.

When I finally got it to the net, I was admiring a silvery 15 inch rainbow trout. I had just accomplished my first goal of 2018.

Throughout the fight I made a point to talk into the camera and provide details about what was happening. After I released the fish, I also talked about the flies and showed them to the camera. Unlike some earlier videos, I intend to provide many more details in this series.

The details are important to keep viewers interested and something I have not done consistently. The KFA 2018 challenge will also include maps and information about rods, gear and weather conditions.

During the challenge, I hope to catch and film the following species on the fly from the kayak:

  • Rainbow trout
  • Cutthroat trout
  • Carp
  • Seabass
  • Lingcod
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • Steelhead
  • King or Coho salmon
  • Sturgeon

The last three will be the most challenging, and adding seabass and lingcod requires completing my first open ocean kayak trip. There are several other species I may add to the list as well including Musky, golden trout, tiger trout and Atlantic salmon.

I anticipate employment changes in 2018 as I finish my career exploration and return to corporate life. In the past months, I completed classes and seminars, read books and articles, did consulting work for a magazine and talked to professionals in different fields and companies.

I have also focused more time updating the blog, creating films, posting to the social media feeds, photographing critters in the back yard, creating a live video feed called "Squirreltimepdx", and giving talks about kayak fly fishing at the Royal Treatment Fly Shop and Clackamas Fly Fishers. I recently was asked to offer a kayak fly fishing seminar at the Oregon Fly Tyers Expo and I am working on the details. And, I am working on kayak fly fishing article for an outdoor magazine.

As I tune up my LinkedIn profile and resume, my goal is to join an organization, preferably an outdoor company or nonprofit, where I can use my broad skillset to improve customer engagement, productivity and sales, much like what I did before the reorganization.

I am also getting more involved with Quest for 100K, an initiative to realize 100K spring chinook returning annually to the Willamette River. I attended the Quest for 100K initiative kick-off sponsored by Association of Northwest Steelheaders in early January. 

I encourage you to learn more about this initiative as it rolls out during the next several years. It will certainly be exciting since the majority of Oregonians live in and around this watershed.

This year looks like it will be busy. I hope by December 31, 2018, I have a meaningful job, several new videos, Instagram, Twitter and blog posts featuring new species, a happy family, and world peace. I can dream right!

Go Farther. Catch More.

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