Blane Chocklett Muskie School | June 29-30, 2024 | $1095
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My New Years Resolution

I don’t think I’ve ever made a new years resolution. I usually try to make resolutions as they occur to me, instead of saving them all for the end of the year. The New Year provides a delineation between past and future useful for self analysis, but it never really moved me to make a resolution. This year however, I am making a New Years resolution.
Making a New Years resolution is a big deal for me. This day, today, January 1, 2010 marks the end of living the dream. 12 years ago I received my first fly rod, a 9’ sage DS2 five weight, for Christmas. I still have it, though now I have many other fly rods as well. Five or so months later I received waders for my eleventh birthday and I was hooked. Quickly I resolved to become a fly-fishing guide, and, after a little research I decided the best place in the world to guide is Alaska. It took me six years, but just after my 17th birthday I was on a plane to Anchorage where I would meet my new boss, Kirk Gay, the owner of Valhalla Lodge.
I was living the dream, fishing every day in the Bristol Bay region. That summer I saw my first truly monster rainbow, caught my first grayling, pike and lake trout; my fly-fishing world was redefined. During the school year I would fish the Puget Sound almost every day after school, and steelhead or trout fish on the weekends. Every summer I was back in Alaska with the bears and monster rainbows.
When I graduated from high school I selected a college based on proximity to fly fishing and skiing. It turns out that you can’t graduate from college and fish or ski every day of the school year. I had to cut back on my fishing, but I still managed to catch some very nice brown trout and backpack into some of the most remote trout fishing secrets in the West.
I graduated from college and spent four months helping a friend open a fly fishing lodge on the mouth of the Kvichak River. We spent the day building and painting, and at night discovered that 30” rainbows will smack a slider like you wouldn’t believe.
This fall I decided it was time to settle down, get a career, and use that college degree. Now I work as a chemist at the Infectious Disease Research Institute. I live on First Hill. It’s weird admitting that I am a young urban professional after so many years of defining myself as a trout bum. Finding out that my boss was not okay with you leaving work early to catch some anadromous fish was a disillusioning experience. I’ve had to come up with other ways to satisfy my addiction. I spend hours editing photos and reading blogs and magazines but it just isn’t the same.
So this year I’m making a New Years resolution. I resolve to get out on the water more. Tomorrow I’m gonna go see if the sea run cutts still remember me. Hope to see you all out there.

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