I’ll give the cliche blog post here on Thanksgiving Day. I am thankful for my family. My wife and children are something I talk about a lot in the boat, and if you’ve done an upper river float with me you may have met them during shuttles or at the end the day. Without them I wouldn’t be a guide.
I get asked what drives me all the time? What gives me all the energy I seem to have in unlimited supply? It all comes back to my lady and those little turds we’ve created. There’s are a few things that keep me going but my family is by far the biggest determining factor.
I have struggled with depression, unemployment, being overweight and homelessness, and through it all my lady has been there for me, dealing with me, pushing me, keeping me sane. My kids have grown up somehow, without knowing the struggles I had growing up, despite not having a home and being nomadic for a time. Through it all they have been amazing while their mother and I have done our best to make a life for them; our kids are strong, well mannered, and happy…and for someone like me who looks back on his life and doesn’t see a lot of happiness it’s one of the most important things I can provide for my family…happiness. Which means I have to be happy to. It’s an all or nothing kind of thing in our house. We are all part of this lifestyle or none of us are.
Our lifestyle is pretty laid back but it’s a team effort. Every trip I run I go through my routine prepping. Every trip my family also has a routine. My wife, gets up before I do and gets the kids up for school. Around the time she has the youngest settled, she starts making my lunches for the day. I haven’t made a lunch for my clients in 3 years because Hannah is up every morning making sure I don’t have to worry about it while I get ready for the work day. She makes this entire operation possible.
When she’s done with that and I leave her for the day she makes sure that our house and kids are in order while I’m out chasin trout with clients. Not an easy job. When our kids get home from school she makes sure their homework is done, she keeps them fed, and on the long days of the summer when I’m not off until dark:30 she puts the kids to bed and ready to do it again the next day.
When I get home she’s there ready to hear all about the day. Hannah probably knows more about fishing through association than anyone I know. We don’t get to fish together during this time in our lives as we’ve got adult stuff to take care of instead of just being trout bums. We do look forward to our late 40’s when our kids will be gone and we can enjoy each other and the pursuit of fish with fly and rod together more.
We planned it that way. Get kids out of the way when we were young and energetic, and we will enjoy our careers and lives together as we work into our middle and older age. In all reality the only reason my ass gets outta bed each morning and gets that boat in the water is because 3 years ago my wife told me to do it. She told me to chase trout when I was at my lowest because she knew what it would do to me, since we were 17 Hannah has always known me better than anyone, she’s truthfully always right, especially when it comes to important life stuff. She’s the best partner both off and on water and I’d rather spend every day with her fishing than any one else.
I don’t work without her, and my kids. They are what drives me, gives me motivation, and gives me energy. They are the behind the scenes but make no mistake this operation only happens with them. When you pay me and tip me that money goes right to them. It’s a true family run business meaning the family makes it run. Someday I hope t guide alongside one or all my children, and I look forward to the days when I get to spend my time riverside with my kids and lady. I’m thankful for them, everyday not just today.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. My whole family is thankful to those who take trips with me and help us make this fly angler life possible. Thank you…now…is it trout season yet?