There it was…. in my horrible penmanship…. the entry from July 30,1999. It reads: “Colorado River, 30 or so Browns on #22 Red Midge. Size ranged between 10 inches and 18 inches. Fished the Midge deep with a couple of split shots.”
So, my journal refreshed my memory as to what I was doing 16 years on July 30th. My big regret is that I entered nothing about the weather, the amount of water coming down the river, were there any flies in the air or in the water and what time of the day seemed most productive. I also regret that I didn’t enter more about the friend that I was fishing with. Maybe there were some elk I saw on the trip to the river.
A fishing journal should be fun to keep and not become labors to complete. My journal is not a fancy one; but is simply a large spiral notebook. I now enter whatever comes to mind including what wildlife I may have seen on the road to the river. Little details about fishing buddies also make interesting trivia to talk about in future years.
I have a wonderful friend, Ernie, who was a long time TV anchorman in Denver. One day, Ernie and I were fishing the Colorado River; and, Ernie catches a very large Brown. Once he has it free of the fly, I urge him to hoist it up so we can get a picture of this beast. Ernie brings it up and the fish flips out of his hands. When he attempts to catch it in the air, Ernie falls backward into the river! We continue to chortle over that event 16 years later.
There are a number of preprinted fishing journals out there. Most have enough entries to complete that a person would never fish. You would be too busy filling out the pages. I don’t disagree that water/air temps, water clarity, tippet size, wind, etc., etc. may be of future value; but, be sure to enter the little tidbits about your friends, the good shore lunch you ate and how interesting it was to watch the two muskrats on the far bank.
My journal goes back about 20 years. Gad! I wish I had started it 50 years ago. So, all you young guys in particular, don’t wait. Down the road you will love to read up on your previous adventures. By the way, I still have the picture of my buddy Ernie soaking wet after he went in the drink.
Featured image from inblue on Etsy