My first attempt at a fishing "short".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Cast...

My name is Sky Jones and I love to fish.  From my beginnings watching a bobber on the stock tanks of our ranch in west Texas, to chasing rainbow trout in New Zealand, there is nothing I enjoy more than being on the water with a rod and reel in my hand.  I now reside in paradise (Bozeman, MT), right smack-dab in the middle of some of the best fishing in the world.  The Yellowstone, Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson Rivers are in my backyard and that's just the way I like it.  This is where I belong.

I started fly fishing in San Juan County, New Mexico as a kid, taught by my step-dad, Cutter.  These early lessons developed my love for fishing in general, but more specifically, catching fish on the fly.  Years later, that love was one of the main reasons why I chose the University of Montana for law school and Bozeman, Montana as the place where I choose to make a life.

Last year I began tying flies, studying the native aquatic organisms in this area, and learning new fishing techniques.  In essence, I decided to get serious about fly fishing...but not TOO serious of course.  For instance, I had rarely nymph fished, and I had no idea what a caddis larva looked like, so, I decided to learn.  My "Hatch Guide For Western Streams" is now well worn and I try to learn something new each and every time I get on the river.

I was joined last summer on many of my fishing trips on the banks of the Gallatin River by my good friend Ada Montague.  It was there that I pitched to her the idea of "a fish a day".  She agreed that I should pursue it and even bought me a small journal to start making entries.  So, here's the general idea:

I want to catch a fish for every day of the year.  No, not consecutively.  I have a job which I rather enjoy and would hope not to lose it.  I just want to mark off every day on the calendar.  All 366.  366?  Yes, that includes leap day, and you can bet I'll be fishing next February 29th.  So, say I catch a fish on May 18th, I make a journal entry for that day and mark it off on the calendar.  Right now I'm guessing that it's going to take me 7 years, that is, unless I win the lottery and can fish every single day, which is exactly what I would do.  I began making journal entries and marking off days last July and at this point I'm at 46 days.  I look at that and think that I'm well on my way, but at closer examination, it's only 12.5%.  And those are mostly from the easiest times of the year to catch fish around here.  When winter gets his grip on this place it can be a little tough.  However, I don't constrain myself to only catching fish on the fly.  Perhaps someday I'll get all 366 on the fly, but this year I landed a 4 lb. largemouth bass in Texas on December 23rd, and I will count it.  However, there are a few ground rules that I have imposed on this mission.

1.  The fish has to be brought to hand.  If I hook a fish and fight it right up to my feet and I don't touch it with my hand before it gets free, no fish.
2.  I have to document the catch within 3 days of catching it.  This is to ensure accuracy and the integrity of what I'm trying to do.  I don't want to try and remember what day it was when I caught one two weeks ago and risk getting it wrong.
3.  I document the species, size, method, location, and any other pertinent information such as who I was with, what the water and weather were like, etc.

So, I'll try to figure out a way to get a calendar on this thing and post my entries by date.  But the blog itself won't just consist of the pursuit of 366.  I've learned a thing or two the hard way, from fishing companions, sheer luck, and my imagination, so I'll be passing along a few of the tips and tricks that I've picked up that have helped me become a more efficient (e-fish-ent), productive, and successful angler.  Feel free to chip in where you like.  Enjoy.



  1. Great Idea Sky! I wish I had your ambition....good luck, tight lines! If you ever need someone to tag along, let me know.

  2. This is just wonderful....I have watched you fish, washed out the mud, rocks and fish smell and sent you back out there in the world to do it all over again. I could not be more proud of that little guy with the Snoopy fishing pole. Wow, how time flies? Bethe

  3. I like it. Keep it up! I will be a regualr visitor.