Congrats ! You have gotten far in a guiding career by working hard and being a good person to be around on a fishing trip.However chances are the reason why you are reading this Blog Post is because Mid Life may have hit you hard. Let face it,The past 20-30 years have been a blur and perhaps now you are starting to feel it…. in more ways than one.
You’ve noticed you can no longer drink like you use to, late nights hanging out at the bar get you feeling really crappy the next day, rowing back up stream to do Merry go rounds up at the dam takes a little longer, you feel uncomfortable wearing Flat Brims,You call your clients Sir instead of Bro or Dude,after a windy day you are “hurtin” from back rowing a lot and finally the “Bobber Game” is getting really friggin old.You might feel stuck ! as it’s too late in life to go back to school and become a Doctor or a Lawyer.What to do ? Plough forward of course.Here is a few things that might help.
By now you (should) have an established clientele that respects you and your fish sense, use that to your advantage by getting them to fish how you would fish on a day off.I’m sure that’s not going down the middle of the river chasing bobbers and caching cookie cutter rainbows…No.Hopefully its throwing streamers and setting up for Dry Fly fish,targeting the “big Boys”.I find myself wanting to pick up clients either early or late, depending on what going on hatch wise.By doing so I’m either ahead or behind other boats, its an easy sell and it seems most clients are into that because most Fly-Fish via the same way you would.This also offers you ample opportunity to showcase your instructional skills by teaching your clients other methods (other than nymphing) on how to get the job done.
Aleve works wonders, the mild anti inflammatory is great for soar joints and muscles.Embrace it ! You’re older clients that you have throwing streamers might be a tad sore, they will be in awe of your mid life sensitivity when you magically pull the bottle of Aleve out from your gear bag or from your under Rower’s Seat.If you are feeling a wee bit sore pop one yourself.
Hang with The Young Guns
New Guides bring a wealth of intel and enthusiasm to the table, they are up on all the latest tactics and flies. Hang out and buy a few beers for these up and coming guides and most importantly listen ! They are on it and like all things fly-fishing chances are you will learn some things to improve your game.Become their Mentor and share your knowledge, its rewarding and you are helping out the overall guide community because of it.
Fish “new” Rivers
Be a Fly-Fishing Guide Commando by getting off your home river and fishing other stuff.Why ? The change forces you to power up and bring that wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm that might be simmering on the back burner up the front burner and to the boiling point.If other rivers are not an option, then maybe scope out potential boat ramps that will change your floats up so you it feels fresh to you and perhaps Shock and Awe your clients with your crazy tactics and enthusiasm for change.
Get out of Your Boat and go for a walk
Its pretty easy to sit in a boat all day and go with the flow.But I find I get cramped up and need to get out and go for a walk.Rather than rowing your boat up an inside bend, get out and walk it up,It’s great exercise and gets your blood flowing.I also like to spend time out of the boat working runs, side channels or risers.This is a great opportunity to show off your intstuctional skills to your clients.As the fishing season gets closer to Bird Hunting Season these little walks gain more importance.
Go Fishing !
Whether you are an older or younger guide go fishing on your days off. Why ? It keeps you enthused about the sport…period.
Hopefully these points help you get thru the remaining years of your guiding career.Enjoy the ride.
As I get ready for the up and coming fishing season my Fly-Rod inventory consists of a lot of 5 weight rods,all 9 footers. I guess you can never have enough of them, they are rods used the most in the boat by both clients and myself when I get to fish.A 5 Weight Fly -Rod can get it done.
From streamer fishing on small rivers to technical Spring Creek dry Fly fishing.For most its the “go to Hopper or Dry Fly Boat rod.It’s easy to see why 5 weights are one of the most popular freshwater Fly-Rod Models out there.The versitality says it all !
All my 5 weight Reels are loaded with weight forward floating lines,no specialty gimmick lines and no sink tips.If Im fishing streamers with a 5weight its on small rivers and usually with Clouser Style flies which get down quickly and deep enough for what I want to do.
Most Anglers have a 5 wt or two kicking around,If you don’t go get one ! You will enjoy it.
Down here in Arizona the days (like everywhere ) are longer, nights are shorter and temperatures are downright balmy.It’s almost Bass fishing time ! I’ll get at it next week.
The Northern Rockies are experiencing classic late winter -early spring conditions,warm one day then snowing the next.Snow Pack is slightly below average so there should be a “runoff.
I’ll get at Trout Fishing starting in Late May on Montana’s Missouri River, the weather is stable then and so is the dry fly fishing.
From there it’s up to Alberta and British Columbia,taking advantage of some great post runoff Fly-Fishing for dumb fish that are looking for Golden Stones.Traditionally this will start in and around the last week of June,I’ll play it safe and go with the 1st week of July.
My favorite river to fish at this time is Alberta’s Legendary Bow River which tends to offer up some monster browns and rainbows while fishing big foam dries and streamers.Other Rivers in Southern Alberta are also shaping up at this time.The Waterton River can be really good and is extremely scenic.This “power float” entails floating for 16 miles and again casting streamers of big dries into holding water.It’s either really good or bad … either way it’ worth the price of admission.
As July Progresses The Elk River starts to really turn on.Hatches of Green Drakes and Golden Stoneflies dominate, big dry flies fool the river’s Cutties ..making for some very cool eats.Streamer enthusiasts will also be rewarded by catching some big Bull Trout.
It’s shaping up to be another incredible season.There is a lot of time between “now and then” I’ll get my boat washed out and start tying flies.
Here are a few pics from 2018.Once again I am grateful to be able to enjoy a variety of Landscapes while either Fly-Fishing or Bird Hunting.Bot hare fantastic sports that provide the participants a means of escape from the day to day grind.I sincerely hope you enjoy them and I wish you the best in 2019.Cheers !
My new go to camera for quick “snaps” is my iPhone 8+ as mentioned in a previous Blog Post its easy to see why.Here are some recent pics taken with my iPhone …enjoy !