It's good to have goals. Humankind is the only creature on this planet to have the ability to set them, so we'd better get to it. We're often afraid to set goals for ourselves, other than on January first, and usually we don't act on them, which means they were nothing more than well meant whimsy. I have a few goals for my lifetime and for this year. I think I'll just cover this year for now. Let me see....
Fish five different UP streams this year.
Find and fish new water close to home.
Kayak the Carp river in the UP from its headwaters in Trout Lake all the way to the mouth.
Catch a 25" brown on a streamer.
Land a 15" brookie on a fly during the day. I keep losing them.
Strip streamers for pike and muskie- I'm surrounded by trophy lakes, so why not?
Catch a carp on a fly.
Get some quality long range glass for my camera so I can better highlight the wildlife I'm surrounded by.
Finally go fish the Nipigon River, after 8 years of musing and fruitless planning.
Break the spey barrier.
Finally go hit those Sturgeon Bay smallmouth with some leeches.
Surf cast Lake Michigan for salmonids.
Attend the OBN Rendezvous.
Now, there are goals, and there are goals. Some are relatively easy to reach, such as surf-casting for salmonids- Lake Michigan is 15 minutes from my front door and I know a few good spots, so why haven't I done it yet? I'm working on some light weight, long distance shiner and smelt patterns. Carp? I'll go to The Northern Angler's carp derby May 21. Look for the shirt.
Other goals require some cooperation on the part of fish- land a 25 inch brown? I hooked up or had several chase last year in that size range, but no love. Likewise on the brookies; I lost several 15-16 inch fish last year. Why can't I ever seem to land them things?
Some goals are dreams spoken out loud- fishing Nipigon, or getting into spey. Nipigon has been a long-term goal and spey is something I've known that I'll get into since I first watched someone demonstrating it on Youtube six years ago. It's time for that Nipigon trip to finally happen- I'm tired of waiting, tired of other things coming up, getting in the way. In case you couldn't tell, I'm a brook trout fiend, and Nipigon is brook trout Valhalla- the home of brook trout so big and mean they wear the horned helmets. Home of the world record 14 POUND brook trout. To this day they still average over 20 inches and 3-5 pounds, with 7-9 pounders available in a steady week of fishing. Nipigon is only about an 8 hour drive from my house, so if the right elements come together, all I have to do is load the truck and go. Sounds like a plan.
The OBN Rendezvous? That will require some planning and a whole lot of elements coming together- I'm self-employed for one, and so I don't get paid until the job is done, meaning that if weather and work flow go against me it ain't happening. If I'm going that far I'd want to be sure I can visit my friends in Denver and outside Telluride, which would take some coordination.
That's not too difficult of a list, and if I connect on 80% of it I'll be happy. To me, the main thing is to have an outline and a plan, work to make sure that some of it happens, but not be so focused on it that my outdoor activities lose the spontanaity that I love. So here's to some good goals. I'd better get cracking.