Editor’s Note: Though I posted this entry, it was Duane’s writing. He is a fishy guide who pays careful attention to detail.
7-11-2014–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 know that I always complete 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 Platte’s moods. Well, I’m back to journaling out of need, not habit.
Ingredients of a Good Journal
Historical, seasonal and conditional habits of rivers, specifically bug life, run in somewhat predictable cycles. 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.
How to Journal
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!