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Ramblin’ Notes

I like the quiet when I’m at camp, especially after a good day riverside. Even though today wasn’t a typical trip for me. The only time it’s quiet is wicked early in the morning. Plus RV’s are never quiet, I’ve come to find over the past few weeks. Another reason I’m glad I didn’t do the whole RV thing.

I came into the homewater last night, late. All the campgrounds that were close were full and rowdy. So I found a nice little spot along the road. Popped open the tent, and had myself a sleep. Woke up with the sun, ate breakfast, showered, folded up the tent, and went and did my trip today.

It was super hot, 92 after 10:30. Bristol was closed this morning due to railway work so we had to call an audible and do state to green. Wicked long float but it worked out because the flows are ripping and it’s a little tougher to slow the hog down in the summer. Fish are on hoppers and flashy nymphs underneath. All tucked up along the bank or super deep in the bottom. We had fish every hour today. Slow hours but fish every hour. My clients only fish a few times every few years so there was some guide work at the beginning. But by the afternoon and into the heat things went pretty good. Landed a bunch, missed more, the four really big trout all ate dries before 10 am. And we missed ‘em all. They are usually what hit at the start of the trip, wake ya up a bit, and typically anglers aren’t ready…no matter how many times I warn them.

Three of those fish were called too. Fly drifts into the perfect spot, I let the client know something is about to happen, I see the fish, say set right when the client needs too…swing and a miss. I also got really excited and my clients weren’t as into it as I was. So we chilled out, I fished the clients hard at a few spots, but it turned into a more relaxed day, with a few moments of intense fishing, with more leisure fishing in between. Fish were cooperative though so it worked out awesomely.

There are trips that turn into those kind of days, even though as a guide, I know if we would have fished a little harder, could have been a big number day. But even after explaining that and coercing my clients into it at a few spots…we caught some fish, had a nice chill day, and left some fish for the other anglers. I get a lot of trips like that when I work for outfitters or I get new clients. I come with a warning label. And I tell people it’s totally okay to tell me to be quiet and let you fish, and it does happen every once and a while. I try and make sure I break up the day with periods of chill quiet fishing time.

But I do get stoked, I’m younger, full of lots of energy, former adrenaline junkie, and I’m full of juicy trouty information that I like to share, I get loud, I talk to fish, my boat, and myself a lot. I tend to curse, and I row all over the river doing it. I’m not the guide for everyone, but at the end of the day, clients are happy with a smile, handshake, and a fat wad of 20’s handed over in gratitude isn’t bad either. Everyone had a damn good time fishing…isn’t that what it’s all about?

It’s all about what the client wants…with a few greedy moments for a guide who likes to catch fish and see clients enjoy it. You did book a fishing trip after all. I sometimes don’t get to make as much noise as normal, or talk to fish as much, but for me, it reminds me that there are lots of ways to enjoy the river. And I go for super quiet chill days too. Especially in the fall. And sometimes that’s what a client is looking for.

There are lots of ways to kick it riverside. The floaters and tubers, rafters and beer drinkers, serious anglers, competing guides, chill river peeps, and all the other people who enjoy river time, are out here enjoying the outdoors, most people are respectful and friendly, and we all share that common enjoyment of being on a river. I see all these people and it’s just cool. It shows you how much people really do need to spend time outdoors in nature in some shape or form. It’s primal, part of us…there is that something that happens when you are out here…in it. Especially as much as me.

It’s not always about catching fish.

But after the trip, and a long hot day. I needed to get all that stopped up energy out…and cool off. I also wanted to get a campsite because shit is crazy busy up here. So I headed up into the Cle Elum Watershed above the lake and snorkeled the Cle Elum for an hour. Hit the shoot a few times, chilled out in the rapid, hung out with some fish, confused a few onlookers, and just swam and enjoyed the current.

I’ll fish in the morning. Maybe up high. Need to catch some trout.

Tamarack

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