Trying to come up with orginal topics these days is a real pain the butt. The internet spreads things around much like sick clients from the city spreading their version of the common cold to those of us in the sticks. It goes viral….quickly. Much of my writing comes from real life experiences either from growing up on the Mississippi River, to living life in a small western town or from guiding year around in Yellowstone Country and Montana. Angling, for me, is my escape from it all. Fishing alone on a river is when I recharge the internal battery of life. Some folks may think I am selfish to want to fish alone, but no, it is just something I need. When combining fishing with work – guiding – it sometimes feels like a job. It is afterall, a job. Anglers pay me and the guides who work with me for our knowledge of the rivers we live on. I feel more like a steward of the river, than a guide to the trout. My trips are not just about the bodycount that some guides live by. It is not all about catching fish, cause if it was, I would be forgetting what my father taught me about the outdoors. That when out of doors, life changes all the time and you either pay attention, learn and love it or hate it and never return. Teaching this valuable lesson can be tough. But I feel that it is my job.
Guides, in general, must think out of the box. If they don’t, they wont last long in this business. Mother Nature throws curve balls at us and since we are used to thinking for ourselves, we usually knock it out of the park. Usually. Changing flies is more a crowd pleaser for those in the boat. Trueth be told, I have snipped off a fly and retied a brand new one on the angler’s rig. Said fly worked just fine, the guy just needed some renewed faith in a “new” fly. It’s the drift, not the fly…..most of the time anyway. Rarely does an angler in my boat inspect the fly so closely that he or she recogizes that I just tied on the same bug.
Yes, guiding can be stressful. Expectations are only hard to manage when they haven’t been managed from the getgo. Some think that a job is suppossed to suck and be stressful. This why they make the big bucks and retire…..whatever. I don’t ever see myself retiring from fishing or guiding. Maybe it’s because I might just have to fish till I die to make it, or maybe it’s because I truely love what I do. You only live once and why not enjoy the entire ordeal. I want to live along the way, not at the end of it. Now, not to say that living in the city sucks. My cousin, Rob, lives in downtown Chicago and loves every minute of it. He wouldn’t have it any other way. Living that close to a thriving metropolis makes him happy, therefore I am happy for him. He comes to visit me and we enjoy our time on the river. He gets it. He catches trout because he could care less of they eat his fly. He enjoys the entire day. Ramp to Ramp.