Oklahoma angler Tom Friedemann's lifetime of journaling is now a fishing book
Tom Friedemann, 72, of Jones has kept data about every fish he has caught since he was 13.
The day the fish was caught. Where it was caught. How it was caught. The bait and tackle used to catch it. Even all the weather and water conditions at the time.
He has kept an encyclopedia of information about his fishing adventures, and now he's published them in a book of fishing memoirs from his journals.
The book, "If It Were Easy, They'd Call It Catchin'," is now being sold on Amazon and should be available in local bookstores soon.
Friedemann and his lifetime of journaling were featured in The Oklahoman last year. Several people, including yours truly, encouraged him to write a book from his journals.
After retiring as chief executive officer and superintendent of the Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Friedemann has spent the last year poring over his journals and writing the book.
A self-professed "fishing nerd" as a kid growing up on a farm near Stillwater, Friedemann said he started keeping data on his fishing trips primarily to learn how to become a better angler and catch more fish. He wanted to know what worked, what didn't and under what conditions.
As he got older, his journals evolved into more of a diary, writing about how he felt and who he was fishing with, and the special moments on the water with family and friends.
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"It got from more data generation, which I still do a lot of, to just storytelling," Friedemann said. "So, the book is kind of a combination of how to and the stories that kind of derive from it that give you a lot of just aha moments."
With almost 60 years of fish stories on paper, Friedemann could fill more than one book, so he is planning to write another. He already has a title.
When his wife came home one day complaining about work being no fun, Friedemann put his hand on her shoulder and said, "Sweetheart, if it was fun they would call it fishing."
She replied, "There's your title."
Top fly fishing destinations near OKC
For almost the last 30 years, Friedemann has been almost exclusively a fly fisherman. So, I asked him to provide his five favorite fly fishing destinations within a day's drive from Oklahoma City.
No. 1: San Juan River, New Mexico
"This is the best place I know of to get the fly fisher's prized trifecta (cutthroat, rainbow and brown) in quality-sized fish," Friedemann said. "I would highly recommend using a drift boat."
No. 2: White River, Arkansas
"I landed my largest brown trout (24 inches) near the Cotter Bridge on this river and would highly recommend it as a place for trophy-sized fish. Like the San Juan, a drift boat is the best way to fish it."
No. 3: Rio Grande, New Mexico
"The John Dunn bridge area has as many trout producing pools as you have the energy to hike to. An added feature of fishing this part of the river is also having access to the Rio Hondo where it enters into the Rio Grande. The Rio Hondo has some great pocket water filled with willing, smaller browns and rainbows who love dry flies."
No. 4: Lower Mountain Fork River, southeast Oklahoma
"I particularly love fishing below the Reregulation Dam. On numerous occasions, I've caught a mixed bag of rainbows, browns, walleyes, and smallmouth bass in a single day, all on traditional trout streamers. You never know what you're going to catch in that part of the river."
No. 5: Rio Costilla, New Mexico
"This is a great fishery for catching native cutthroat trout. The road getting there is washboard all the way, so you better have good tires. A blown tire ruined one trip for me. Also, the water release can be unpredictable, but if you time it right the fishing can be incredible."
Oklahoma's nine-day deer muzzleloader season opens Oct. 24.
Archery deer season continues and on Saturday the deer muzzleloader season will open statewide.
State wildlife officials have increased the bag limit this year for anterless whitetail deer during the nine-day muzzleloader season. The total bag limit this season is four deer, but only one can be antlered. The harvest of antlerless mule deer is prohibited.
Last year, more than 70,000 deer hunters in Oklahoma participated in the muzzleloader season, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The muzzleloader seasons for bear and elk also open on Oct. 24 and run through Nov. 1.
Sporting clays tournament and Guthrie DU banquet on tap
The South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a sporting clays tournament Nov. 9 at Silverleaf Shotgun Sports near Guthrie for individual shooters and four-person teams.
For more information, contact Emmy Karns at 405-634-1436 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Guthrie Ducks Unlimited annual banquet will be Friday at the Hudson Springs Event Center in Coyle.
Doors open at 6 p.m. For information, call Chancey Watts at 405-278-1943.