Those of you who follow Fly Talk know that we give fly fishing-themed predictions for the years ahead.

We said 2012 would be the “Year of the Carp.” And in many regards, it turned out to be a breakthrough year for carp fishing with flies. A recent poll of fly shops for Angling Trade magazine shops showed that over 80 percent are now moving product specifically intended for carp, and only four percent of shop owners consider carp fishing a fad.

We made 2013 the “Year of the Native Trout.” Many readers made a point to go target native fish in native waters last year, which was a good thing. Dr. Robert Behnke did more than anyone to help us understand the diversity of native trout species, and he sadly passed away last year. We should all do more to understand and appreciate native fish every year in his honor.

We’ve decided to say that 2014 will be “The Year of the Lake.”

We believe lake fishing for trout, bluegills or bass with flies is one of the most under-appreciated facets of this sport, and yet it is also one of the most important.

Why flat water?

For starters, too many anglers focus on rivers, and as such, they are loving them to death. Spread out. Fish some lakes, and a lot of the river issues will take care of themselves.

Lake fishing is the best place to start. Make a point to take a young person fly fishing on a lake this year. Catch a few bluegills. Have a great time. And you will ignite a passion that can last a lifetime.

Lake fishing is also one of the best scenarios for upping your game, even if you consider yourself an expert. Presentations must be subtle. Casts must often be long. Stealth is paramount. If you get really good on lakes, there’s no river you cannot master.

So for solitude, starters, and skills, make a point to do a bit more lake fishing this year, and you’ll be happy you did.

By the way, for those of you in the Denver area, I am going to be at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition for two presentations only: I will be talking about carp at the Fly Fishing Theater on Thursday Jan. 16 at 1:30 p.m.; I’ll be talking about Stillwater Fly Fishing for Huge Trout on Friday Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m.

I’d be happy to visit with you, answer any questions, and help get your “Year of the Lake” plans off to a good start.