The Currentseams Best of 2021: #10-#8

Every year, I go through the same angst-ridden process. What will I write about for my top ten year-end wrap-up? Did I even do anything that’s worthy? Maybe it’s due to residual holiday stress. Maybe it’s simply mind clutter. Or maybe I’m just a dork. Because it always turns out that once I make a list, I have so many things to write about that it seems impossible to whittle it down to ten.

2021 was another challenging year. The pandemic robbed us of so many precious in-person moments, from shows to club meetings. Rivers and oceans continued to see an unprecedented number of anglers, and I can’t say that that has improved the angling experience. Climate change continued to wreak havoc on our weather patterns; it seems we were either flooded or baked or parched. Even tailwaters like the Farmington were not immune to the ravages of the new normal.

But, enough of what’s not so good! Let’s have some fun. Ready? Here we go…

#10 Tuesday Night Zooms/Tying Zooms. Pandemic be damned — we can still safely connect via Zoom. These sessions often drew well over 50 people. It’s always cool to be able to see faces and hear voices, even if it’s over the internet. I’m grateful for the gifts some of you sent to show your appreciation — thank you for your generosity. And thank you again to everyone who attended my virtual fly tying classes.

The product of a virtual wet fly tying classes. I also had the opportunity this year to perform one of my favorite tying demos of all time. It was a private virtual gig for a gentlemen in an assisted living home that specialized in early memory-loss issues. He was a former angler and fly tier, and I promised that I would fish with the flies I ted and send him pictures of those fish. I kept that promise, and his caretakers said he was thrilled to see those shots. Wow!

#9 Big Winter Browns. You may not always connect, but when you do, there’s a chance that what you hook on that streamer is going to be good. I still don’t Euro nymph, but I did spend some time tying and learning to fish long-leader jigged mini-streamers. It’s an effective tactic for close-in work. Here’s the proof.

A substantial spawned-out hen. I still relish the sight of those stunning haloed spots on her flank and her golden belly. Photo by Toby Lapinski.

#8 Writing and Finding New Audiences. For years, magazines have been in a sad decline. It’s shame, because when it comes to reading pleasure, there’s nothing more enjoyable for me than the printed word on a paper page. But, this is the modern way. Some print pubs continue to hang on, if not do rather nicely. Others have shifted to electronic formats. Whatever the medium, I’m grateful for the opportunity to write and be read. You could have found me this year in The Fisherman, On The Water, Field & Stream Online, Surfcaster’s Journal, and American Fly Fishing. And, of course, right here at currentseams.com.

You can read my story “Sensei Elmer & The 50-Fish Nights” in this issue of Surfcaster’s Journal, but you’ll need to subscribe or buy the issue. Please support publications that you enjoy reading.

3 comments on “The Currentseams Best of 2021: #10-#8

  1. baldeagle73 says:

    Steve, Thanks for mentioning the Sensei Elmer story, which was wonderful. I subscribe to Surfcasters Journal, but somehow missed reading that issue. Do we need to guess who Sensei Elmer is????
    Looking forward to more great posts in ’22.
    Thanks!!

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