Looking back on 2018

Kirby's Katch
By: Kirby Desha
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A belated Happy New Year to all!


Like everyone else, was caught up in the holiday rush and finally found the time to get in some writing.


While I have been able to squeeze in some fishing when the weather and my schedule permit, January is usually a time when I try to regroup and look back on the past year.


As I’ve mentioned before, keeping a fishing calendar is a very useful tool. Most avid anglers do this, although mine is very basic compared to a few guys I know. Still, I keep track of when, where and what I was targeting. I usually have a least a few photos on my phone too, so that can time-stamp the trip and remind me of the conditions.  


So having set that up, here’s what was happening for me in 2018.


The year started off with lots of trout trips up to Collins Lake; five trips in January, including participation in a private tournament. Fishing was slow that day, the most memorable moment was watching guys slipping on the ice-covered dock as they tried to launch.


In February, I branched out and added a few trips to Lake Oroville to hunt the king salmon that were missing in 2017, and I mixed in a few trips to Camp Far West for some bassin’. Apparently, I also tried for some (really) early kokanee action at Bullards Bar.


March was fairly light, as I had several out-of-town business trips and my boat was getting some maintenance work (I strongly recommend getting any kind of boat repairs done early in the year, before the recreational boaters jam the shops).  


Now, in April, I had some eye surgery and basically missed the whole month, except for two early trips to Collins and Bullards again for some kokanee.


In May and June, I was back on track with five more trips to Collins, Bullards and Oroville. The koke season at Bullards was crazy hot this year, as was the king salmon fishing at Oroville; limits every time.


In July, I kept on top of the kokes and made a business trip to Ashland, where I was able to squeeze in some fly fishing on the Rogue River. Unfortunately, the fire season was starting in earnest around that time and the air quality was terrible.  


By August, the fires were getting out of control and I started heading up to Stampede, where the kokanee action was simply incredible – best ever.


September saw a shift back to the valley, as the fall run of king salmon started heating up in the Sacramento area. I also had a fantastic day chasing stripers in the Delta with my daughters.


Other notable outings included a trip with my father-in-law outside the Golden Gate for some salmon and rockfish, and a few days fly fishing on the spectacular North Umpqua River.


November and December saw things drifting back to the usual patterns; trout and bass at Collins.


Total: 51 outings. Target species: trout, bass, kokanee, salmon, rockfish, and striped bass. Results: Another outstanding year on the water!