Of all days in a year I look forward to January 1st more than any other. My wife long ago let any hopes of me attending a New Year’s party with her fade. Since I started fishing for trout I’ve yet to miss a January 1st opener no matter the weather and I hope I never do. I’ve been planning this years opener for several weeks, now that I think about it I guess its been longer than that. I had big plans to hike in and camp on some private land prior to the rainstorms hit the area during the last week of the season in October. Those plans got scratched and the effort that took me several weeks and included internet searches, phone calls and waiting just to finally find the right person who with some persuasion and a bit of finess agreed to let me camp on their property seemed like it might have been wasted. Fast forward a few weeks and the weather has been screaming go camp in the woods. This reignited my plans to camp on this private land and explore one of the hardest places to get to that I know of.

Tomorrow I will finish work at 7am, drive an hour home, grab my pack which is mostly ready to go and head to Ryan’s house. Ditch one vehicle and drive to a remote parking lot where we will begin the hike in. The 31st will find the two of us hiking far into an area that I rarely get to visit mainly due to the distance required to hike. I’m hopeful that by 1pm we will be at the property line we are allowed to camp on and by 2pm we will have hammocks hung and firewood prepared. The goal will be to witness and photograph the sunset from a very unique and hard to reach vantage point not far from our campsite location. After that, it will be winter camping at its best. Since it’s only one night and we won’t be carrying our packs while fishing on the 1st we have agreed that a few extra items will be worth the pack weight on the way in. These consist of Two Hearted Ale, Sirloin Steaks, Potato Foil Packs and a few other creature comforts.

January 1st will start early with a 6:40am alarm and then the hike with coffee supplies in tow back to that vantage point to watch the sun rise. I expect 7:40am when the sun crests the horizon to be a spectacular sight. By 8:30am I hope to have camp broke and rods strung to begin the first day of 2019. We will hike downstream and fish back up past camp and much further, if all goes well we will grab the packs at last light and hike out in the dark to be home close to 7pm. Last year we had a high temperature of -2F and this years predicted 13F will be a welcome change from many of my January 1sts. Good luck to those who head out on the 1st.

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