It’s been a while. The guide season was busy, the end of it wasn’t that great, mostly due to the drought. But that’s not what this blog is about.
The offseason is different for everyone. Some guides hit up steelhead or salmon, some head south, others go and do something non fishing related, others just take the time off.
I took time off. My wonderful lady is working to keep her sanity, being at home all guide season with three kids is a full time gig. Now its my turn. I didn’t get to see my kids as much as I would like this summer, I was busy doing the other Dad stuff…working. But now I get to be home. I plan to head down south for a month or two to guide and keep my sanity nest winter, so this offseason I get to be at home with the kids and do Dad Stuff.
I have an almost 2 year old that takes up most hours of most of my days. A little minion of energy, she never shuts up when she’s awake, never sits still, and gets into everything. The plus side is she sleeps hard and let dad stay up late and sleep in late. This is my third toddler and turning 30 this February along with my more laid back attitude, has made me a wiser and more capable dad, ask my lady. I spend most of the day picking up toys and socks, she likes socks. Changing diapers and the dreaded potty training. Lots of Sesame Street and Octonauts, kissing boos, and handing out milk and bananas. Its Dad Stuff, and its awesome when all you do is spend time on the river away from it. I only get glimpses of those moments when I’m focused on the river and trout. My older kids are doing the school stuff, almost ready for holiday break. Which will hopefully be spent skiing and snowshoeing in the mountains with them, playing video games, watching the new star wars after a marathon of the first 6, and just being a family during the winter. Shut in, warm, enjoying the time on the couch and in the snow before the craziness of chasing trout, running shuttles, tying flies, and all that fun guide stuff.
The guide life envelops my entire family. Many of my clients meet my lady and kids when they pick us up for shuttles. This is our family business. Some day one of my kids may have a driftboat of their own, running trips like dad. They get to see me do what I love everyday. They look forward to guide season as much as I do. My lady is already looking forward to the guide season. The money is better, and the drought made our winter surplus not as cushy. Part of the reason I will be headed south next winter. Plus, getting a job that pays decent in a little mountain town in this country is getting harder and harder. The higher income level of a guide paired with the simple and small lifestyle my family and I adhere to makes living quite perfect for us. We have the same humps to get over like every other family, but the lifestyle we live makes stress levels much lower. Many know that my family and I have been through some heavy crap. Life just knocks ya down some times. River blows out. We pulled ourselves back up and are getting back to our own normal lives one oar stoke at a time. I get to spend all winter contemplating how far we have come, and how to prepare for next trout season.
Well, I will sometime in January, right now I am enjoying watching Netflix, playing with kids, and avoiding household chores like laundry and dishes. I have a pretty sweet gig when it is guide season. My life is filled with lots of energy. Fly fishing is quite an experience. But every day can become the same in the pursuit of trout. Good guides know how to avoid burnout, I take time at home to remember that my toddler saying a new word every day is also quite an experience. Its all about the moments. The trick is to make sure that life is filled with more positive ones than negative. Something my family and I have worked very hard at, through fly fishing and living a more trout bummy lifestyle.
We will get back to some actual fishing stuff here in the next week. Streamer season is right around the corner.