It is hard to believe that we are already two months into 2014. Where does the time go? I feel as though it speeds up the older I get, which isn't a good thing. I had intended to do my end of the year post in January... Better late than never I suppose.
Looking back on my end of 2012 post, it's funny to me how I complained about my lack of fishing. If only I knew what 2013 had in store for me then, I would have been out fishing like a mad man. I have to say that for me, 2013 wasn't all bad. Sure I was injured at work in July, lost the use of my right, dominant, hand and missed the entire warm water fishing season here in Maryland plus half of the Year of the Bluegill, but I also had some great stuff happen. In fact 2013 was a year of firsts for both J&M Flies and myself. I got my first true custom built rods from Shane Gray, Phil Butterfield, Zeb Tonkavich and Mark Steffen. I used a guide for the first time. I met new friends and finally put a face to the man behind The Fiberglass Manifesto. I caught my biggest smallie and largemouth on a fly rod (on glass to boot) and chased carp for the first time. As for J&M Flies, we gave our first interview (Franken Fly), released the Comrade Popper in a limited edition run, started sales of size 4 pencil and size 4 TCS poppers, brought back the Purple Night Stalker with a face lift and created the yet unnamed white popper with black spots and red eyes. We also sold to more fly shops than the previous year and had a general all around increase in interest in our flies. This (unfortunately) led to a backlog in orders which only increased after my injury. It did provide us with some insight and allowed for changes in how we operate.
My goal for 2013 was to spend more time on the water fishing. I doubt if that goal is any different from any other fisherman out there. It is what we love to do and what we want to do more of. Sadly for me it wasn't to be. I did, however, take a look back at my notes just to see how I did. Here is a breakdown of what I caught:
Red eyed Rocks-11
Not a stellar performance by any means but at least I got out to do some fishing. So far 2014 isn't looking promising for me in the fishing department. I'm not sure how I will handle sitting out another warm water season. A big thank you to our family, friends, fans, followers, supporters and customers, without you we would not exist. We'd like to make plans for 2014 but right now we are just hoping to get caught up on orders! :)