Outdoor year hit and miss

Being stuck in the house for almost a week now due to inclement weather, I have had plenty of time to reflect on what went on in the world of outdoor adventures over the past year. I think the hit and miss salmon season is probably what sticks out most in my mind.

Although I read a bunch of reports about the poor salmon show this year, the season did give plenty of anglers a chance to hone their skills. With lower than normal numbers of salmon returning, we were forced to develop more productive techniques that will benefit us in the future.

We will have a chance to put some of these techniques into practice next month in areas 8-1 and 8-2, but you will have to wait to hit area 7 until Feb. 1.

Like many other anglers, I will be out there as well refining my techniques.

Being an odd year in 2009, the humpy run is highly anticipated with big expectations among Puget Sound anglers for yet another good season.

I have not seen projected return numbers, but I hope the run is better than the last two.

The last two runs seemed to come and go faster than most of us could recall. I often wondered if the fish were making their runs at night like a covert operation to avoid anglers.

Ling season was what most people would consider a decent year.

I know this is probably my most anticipated season and I often find myself constantly studying the maps and trying to find that hidden gem that no one else has discovered. I would say I put much more preparation time into the ling season than any other.

Halibut was another average year, but I think more anglers are out there trying to put a barn door in the boat than in years past. I am sure that once April comes around we will see a few more boats out on the water as well.

Hunting wasn’t all that bad this year, either.

With this winter’s weather along with the winters of the past few years, I am guessing that the deer hunting is going to be a bit more difficult and finding a legal buck is going to be tougher.

Although duck hunting is still in full swing, this season appears to a bit better than it was last year.

The colder weather was a big plus and helped keep the birds moving through the area.

Whatever you like to get out there and do, I am sure you have quite a few memories that stand out. Some are good ones some not so good. Either way, you are sure to have something to look forward to in 2009.

As we end 2008 with a blanket of snow, anglers are still out there as the winter steelhead season is starting to pick up.

Both the Skagit and Cascade Rivers are running low and clear right now and that is great news.

It won’t be long until the weather warms up just enough to start melting the snow and the rivers will rise and become cloudy. Now is the time to get out there for the steelhead if you can.

Once the weather permits you to get out to the Skagit River, I also recommend going out and seeing the annual congregation of Bald Eagles.

Until next year, I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you outdoors.

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