Our Favorite Time of Year

Michael Sims here, CoFounder and President of H+G.  Our team recently celebrated Thanksgiving with our families, and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you as well.  If you're reading this, you're truly a friend and fan of our brand, and for that we are forever grateful.  

This is probably my favorite time of year.  Of course I say that with every season change, but something about the depths of fall really gets my juices flowing.  Here in the Carolinas, the temperatures are usually too mild for our DNRs to do much trout stocking before November.  I know they put a few fish in the rivers in October, but things don't really get going until November.  So come Thanksgiving, I take my boys and we head to some mountain streams in search of some good spots (with no crowds). 

This year was a special year.  The day after Thanksgiving I was able to get my oldest son his 1st brown trout on the fly. The following day my younger son landed his first rainbow and brown trout, and he almost had the slam with a huge brookie but he let the line go slack for a moment and my barbless hook popped right out.  The fish was as good as landed though--I was just too slow wading over to him and wasn't able to get the net under it.  But we had two great days in the river over Thanksgiving weekend.

Some of you probably know I love to hunt quail.  I walked my grandmother's fields with my older brother when I was probably 6 years old, and we could hear bob whites calling all over.  We had about 100 acres of pasture with black angus cows and 2 horses.  We had barbed wire fences surrounding it, with cedars and tall grass lining the fences.  Back then the birds were so thick you could kick them up without a dog.  I have such a sense of nostalgia when I think about those days, sitting on the porch with her in the late afternoons and just listening.  Those days are gone now.  We have some non-profits like Quail Forever that are trying to bring them back, but it's a tall task.  We have supported those guys with their fundraising event at SEWE the last 2 years, and we certainly hope they make some headway.

Some of you probably read my blog about quail hunting in Tucson last November.  That was such a cool experience.  Well, my buddy Bruce who lived out there in Tucson has recently moved back to the midlands here in SC, and with him came his German Shorthair named Turbo.  We've had a blast hunting his pointer with my English Springer named Wayne. 

We typically hunt with our friends at Upland Wing Preserve in Fairfield County, and I highly recommend you give those guys a shout.  They have great dogs and fantastic guides--just really good people.  But if you have your own dogs they'll set you up for unguided hunts.  So for the past few weeks we've been picking and choosing some cooler mornings to run our dogs at Upland Wing on some unguided hunts.  As many of you know, my buddy Justin Hodge is also our photographer and media guy. He came up this week to take some photos and we have some really cool images from this hunt that he captured.  We'll put a few here for you to check out.  

Lastly, the holidays are quickly approaching and my team here at Hook + Gaff just wants to thank you all for your support and wish you a Merry Christmas.  If there is anything we can help with, please let us know.  We have new Field Watches coming out soon, and they are available for pre-order on the website right now. 

And if you get a chance to hunt with friends, or take your kids fishing over the next few weeks, make it happen.  There are some things you'll remember in 20 years, and some things you won't.  You'll remember and cherish fishing and hunting with those you love, and you and I both know, that's time well spent....

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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