My overall "gut feeling" on 2011 was that it was a fairly average year, nothing special. But realizing the numbers and variety of fish caught this year (especially on fly-fishing gear)...it actually was a pretty darn good year!
Here's a few items I found interesting:
-I made 150 fishing trips (in 126 days).
-Fished at total of 270.65 hours
-I caught 2107 fish.
-I caught 19 Freshwater Species, and 17 of those species were caught on fly-fishing gear (the only species NOT caught on fly gear this year was Freshwater Drum and Yellow Bass)
-I added 6 new species to my "fly rod life-list", including Walleye, N. Pike, Y. Perch, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, and Redear Sunfish. This definitely exceeded my expectations!
-79+% of my fishing trips were Fly-Fishing trips.
-I fished 23 different waters this year (22 in Iowa).
-My top 3 months for catching fish (quantity-wise) were May, June & October (in that order). I caught over 300 fish in each of those months.
-I caught over 100 each of 7 species. In order from most to least of those: Bluegills, Crappies, "Sunfish" (lumped Hybrid Sunfish and Green Sunfish together), Walleye, Largemouth Bass, and a tie between Rainbow Trout and White Bass (ARE YOU KIDDING???? This is IOWA!)
-This was my 2nd WORST year ever for White Bass. 2009 was my worst year for those. I attribute this largely to the fact the local reservoir had excessively high waters again through much of the Summer, thus making fish unreachable from shore. And the numbers of white bass in the river below the reservoir have been low following several years of major flooding. I think most of the fish simply got swept downstream during the floods, and their numbers haven't had a chance to rebound yet.
-Each of the last 2 years I caught more crappies than bluegills, but that trend did not continue this year.
-I fished with at least 18 other anglers throughout the year.
I'd like to finish off with what I consider some of my most "memorable" catches for 2011:
|41.5" Northern Pike|
|10" Yellow Perch on Fly Rod|
|Walleye on Fly Rod...not the biggest one, unfortunately the biggest one flipped off on the dock and back into the water!|
|27" Channel Catfish on Fly Rod|
|Jumbo Green Sunfish on Fly Rod|
|One of my first Brook Trout on Fly Rod|
|Nice Common Carp on Fly Rod|
|Another 27" Channel Catfish|
|Another nice Channel Catfish on Fly Rod|
|15" White Bass|
|Decent Smallmouth Bass|
|14" Crappie on Fly Rod|
|Another 27" Channel Catfish on Fly Rod|
|16 3/4" White Bass|
|Smallmouth Bass on Fly Rod|
|18" Wiper on Fly Rod|
|2nd ever Fly Rod Brown Trout|
|9" Hybrid Sunfish|
|Another Jumbo Green Sunfish... in spawning colors|