Jan 1, 2010

Out with the mold

2009 was a pretty good year for me.  It was the first full season I focused on a the new challenge of fly fishing, John was probably wondering how long I would keep his kayak and it was the first full year I focused on growing my blog.  What will 2010 bring me?  It's hard to say but I think it will involve more kayaking, more fly fishing and perhaps a new challenge (more on that later).

In an effort to close out the year, I'm going to run through some of the highlights.  Perhaps you found this blog mid-year and never bothered looking back.  If that's the case, I've boiled it down to a thick syrup for you.  Below you will find what I found interesting while cruising the year's posts, click on the link in each description to see my original writing.

Jan 5th, 2009 - My first post of the year showcased my first carved popper and step-by-step pictures to help you make one too!

Jan 8th, 2009 - I stumbled upon what would soon become one of this blog's biggest draws and my absolute favorite bass fly.  Googlers seeking guidance on how to tie Clouser Mad Toms were in such abundance, I later followed up with an instructional video.

Feb 11th, 2009 - In a case of unintended foreshadowing I expounded on the benefits of small fishing boats.  At the time I had yet to experience my first kayak fishing trip, looking back it was just a matter of time.

Mar 17th, 2009 - My desire to try kayak fishing was coming to a head thanks to Dave and his incessant need to send cool videos

Mar 23rd, 2009 - This was a day of extreme ups and downs.  After spending the day not getting called to serve on a jury, I went out and caught my first bass on the fly.  After the adrenaline wore off, I was successful in hooking a 190lb hog.

Apr 15th, 2009 - Tax day proved to be good to me.  I managed to catch the fish that would become my heaviest bass of the year - on a Clouser Mad Tom no less.  I also started experimenting with video, something I intended to do more of but didn't really follow through with.  Maybe next year.

Apr 18th, 2009 - My love for the Mad Tom was solidified as I discovered it can also catch crappie.  Three days after catching my heaviest bass of the year, I landed my biggest crappie of the year.  I was also able to confirm the weight of the previous bass.

May 9th, 2009 - The Illinois High School Association held the first ever state finals for competitive high school fishing.  The first day was called early due to weather and West Frankfort claimed the title on day two.

May 20th, 2009 - My engineering professors would be so proud.  I used a free body diagram to lay waste to Dave during a heated office debate regarding fly tying strategies.  Not my proudest moment, but fun none the less.

May 29th, 2009 - I borrowed John's kayaks for "a day" of fishing.

June 8th, 2009 - I returned to work after being on a one week lay off. Lets say I made the most of the time off.

June 14th, 2009 -My life as a professional plug carver and fly tier started with a lopsided trade.  To date these were the only flies for which I have received compensation...still waiting to be discovered I guess.

June 25th, 2009 - I received a free coaster for my "almost free" beer.

July 6th, 2009 - I set out with a single goal: to catch a pickerel.  I succeeded by catching the fish that currently graces the Lunkerhunt logo you see at the top of this page.  I even gave driving directions to where you too can catch a pickerel.

July 7th, 2009 - I provided my thoughts about fish consumption advisories. Blinky agrees.

July 8th, 2009 - With Dottie's passing, we could only bide time until another monster was caught.  In July the bass fishing world was abuzz with news of a monster in Japan.

July 18th, 2009- I pilot Dave's Hobie Mirage kayak and my desire for a kayak has intensified to the point I make an appeal to the reader.

July 27th, 2009 - In yet another kayak oriented post, I once again proved engineering can be useful in the fishing world.

Aug 5th, 2009 - My first try at true fly fishing can best be summed up by the following exerpt: "I spent about four hours standing in one spot, trying to catch just one of those damn fish."

Aug 19th, 2009 - The third annual widow maker weekend came to a close. This year the trip nearly created a widow but we all returned safe and mostly unharmed.

Aug 27th, 2009 - I dug through the parents' photo albums in search of old pictures featuring yours truely fishing.  Check out those tube socks!

Sep 21st, 2009 - Dave learned the key to having a good fishing trip is to remember your rod.

Oct 14th, 2009 - I recapped my last kayaking trip of the year in John's kayak that I borrowed for "a day" of fishing back in May.  Thanks John!

Nov 15th, 2009 - Scott and I went on my most miserable outing of the year.  We were cold, wind blown and got a little wet.  In the comments section Tami Curtis Jennings wagered it wouldn't be my last outing of the year...I can now officially inform you Tami that you lost that bet.

Dec 21st, 2009 - My last post of the year.  The battle against asian carp came to a head when Michigan filed suit to close the connection between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River.  We'll see where this goes...the Surpreme Court should review the suit on Jan 8th I believe.

Those are my note worthy posts of 2009.  In 2010 I'll try and bring more of this and less of the dribble that filled the spaces between.


  1. You know Clif, I think all of us in our blogging community have had a good year. We've experimented like you've done. Some results were good, some bombed. But all in all, it's the experience that counts. 2009 was a good year, 2010 should be even greater.

    Tight Lines.


  2. I have enjoyed reading your blog and your fishing trial and errors over the past year. Hope 2010 is a good year for your expansion in what your fishing interests are.

    Happy hook ups!

  3. Thanks for the year in review. I'm newer to your blog and feel as if I'm all caught up! Looking forward to following you in 2010, I've also added you to my blogroll.

  4. Shoreman, So did I bomb or do good this year?

    Mel, you say that like you're not sure what my "fishing interests" are. I guess you'll have to keep coming back to find out.

    Troutragous, thanks for showing up and finding a spot on my roll. I'm sure we'll be in touch.


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