Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

Moodna Creek

Well 2013 is nearly over.....and in many ways not soon enough. 2013 has had it's fair share of trials, tribulations and stress. Like previous years, it could have been better but it also could have been far worse. The most important thing is that my wife and children are happy and healthy.  Though 2013 was very busy I still had a number of times to get out on the water and reconnect with the outdoors.....which is something I think ALL OF US need to do from time to time.

One of my favorite  and more respectable browns from earlier this year
I had the chance to fish some new streams across the Hudson Valley and Long Island. I caught some beautiful trout in some spectacular settings. My local warm water pond yielded some impressive largemouth bass.  Though I would say my salt water endeavors with a tenkara for snappers (bluefish) were little disappointing.  Their numbers just didn't seem to be as high as in previous years.  But hey, that's what makes each year unique.  Spending a lot of time outdoors one can't help but notice the cyclic changes of the seasons and develop the ability to predict seasonal occurrences.....most of the time.

My best flies for 2013
 Some fellow anglers have asked me about my best producing flies.  I have found that they have changed a little from year to year but in 2013 the flies pictured above accounted form the great majority of my fresh water catches that were brought to hand.  As in 2012, The Killer Bug and my Royal Sakasa Kebari were my best flies.  Wooly Buggers are an outstanding pattern and in some locations are they are my go to fly. However, this past year has me firmly believing that I will not step foot on the water without one additional pattern....the Killer Kebari (in a light and dark version).  Though I tie my version of Chris Stewart's creation a little differently, they accounted for a fair number of large rainbows and browns. I don't believe I was skunked more than once or twice the whole season.  If I had these flies at least one of them worked for a fish or two.

In addition to some great fishing I had the good fortune to be invited to contribute to a couple of new fishing publications focused on tenkara. I am grateful to David Dirks, Daniel Galhardo and Anthony Naples for considering me to be part of a list of respected and talented tenkara anglers.  Several years ago when I placed my first order for a tenkara rod and decided to start tying flies for my own use and enjoyment I never thought I would have been adding my own input to fly fishing literature and tying literally thousands of flies for fellow anglers.  All of it has been pretty cool to say the least.

2013 has been such as busy year and finding time for the fun things has at times been difficult.  Earlier this year I had even contemplated closing down this blog.  It takes time to keep a blog going....something I never seem to have enough of. But blogging has been a nice outlet in more ways than one.  I have seen a number of great blogs come and go (more likely just fade away).  I never wanted mine to just fade away but when I feel ready to stop typing I will try to bring this story to a fitting conclusion.  In the meantime, I find that there are a number of bloggers out there who I feel I can call friends (even though we have never met).  I really enjoy reading their blogs and if I were stop blogging I would miss them too much.  With my wrap up finished I would like to wish all fellow bloggers, anglers, fly tiers, family and friends a very Happy & Healthy New Year.  May 2014 find you enjoying a quite stream with a trout in hand and a smile on your face as often as possible.


  1. Same to you and your family Mark!

  2. Hey buddy tight lines and best fishes in 14.
    I do wish you and yours a wonderful New Year.

  3. Thanks Brk Trt....the same to you and yours. Keep up the great blogging!

  4. Happy New Year, Kiwi. Hopefully 2014 will be a year of less stress and more fish.

  5. Thanks Chris....I hope you are right. Hope you and yours have a very Happy and Healthy New Year too.

  6. I noticed a couple of traditional wet flies among your favorites. Do you think the forward hackle on the sakasa kebari offers any advantage over them?

    1. Most definitely. Sometimes with a traditional wet fly the hackle will lay flat against body of the fly. This does not happen often with a sakasa kebari. Hackle fibers that are free to move in the current will better simulate "life" than ones that lie flat. Something that's live means food to a trout.