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.