I’m in the thick of it now. Around 80 guide days done. More on the schedule and still days to book. Since May the fishing has been stellar on the Yakima. The guide season has been more than I could have planned for. With two rivers and my skills tested, my mind challenged as well as my patience, and some amazing fishing and people to share it all with.
Its busy. So busy I’m turning down trips this season because I’m full. The late season is filling up sooner and faster than I anticipated. Thankful is the word that comes to mind.
It’s a ramble. I got done with three intense days on the St. Joe. Intense fishing, rowing, and clients. I wont get into the clients. At the end of the day you give every client the best experience you know how, and you put them on fish. There is no shortage of good times or fish in my boat.
The Joe is a neat place. Never have I had to read water 80 yards down river, while setting up anglers on the water to fish, while also prepping myself, the boat, and them for the water coming up. Constant real time reading and guiding. The Joe is new to me, I dont know it from memory like all 75 miles of the Yakima. I can recall almost every boulder, log, drop off, turn, seam, every fishy spot, at every possible flows and what food sources are there, how the fish relate to them, and how to drift a fly to them. I know the Yakima. But the Joe, mmmm that shit is fresh. Like a new ski line in fresh pow. This place is a constant test and challenge and I welcome it.
I test myself on the Yak constantly. Today I ran a 4 hr half day float over 8 miles of river, with multiple other boats, and we produced lots of trout on a single dry fly pattern. I hit the water where I knew the fish would eat that type of fly and drift and we just fished that water hard for the drift and did really well. I only stopped the boat once to take a break and to fix knots a few times. I rarely do the run and gun style trip, but when I do I like to test myself that I can still produce fish that way on a tougher fishery. It doesnt always work the way I like but years of watching conditions and really dialing in a fishery makes me confident that we can put ourselves into it and hit the take out with a successful fish filled day.
The Joe is the opposite. Not knowing what is around the bend, how the fish are holding, or moving, and to present the fly whether it be nymph dry or streamer. There is nothing better to test ones guide skills than by doing it cold and new water with new clients. There is something really intoxicating about it and I’ve never had the desire and push for that challenge like I do here on the Joe.
It’s making me a better angler and guide. I can feel it, and so can my clients. Always improving and evaluated, fine tuning and adapting. Like the trout I chase.
I cant sit still and with a hard summer headed to the Yakima and the Joe giving me some days I’m still wanting more. Even though I’m exhausted I want more. I’ll be back on the Yak in August it’s looking like. Gonna run that lower river for smallies. Hit the basin for bass and musky. I’ll be posting dates and availability for chasin other fish with a fly. With trout days filling the layers season I dont wanna stop like I have the past few Augusts. So I’m gonna chase more fish and more guide days anywhere I can. I want days on the water with clients making money and memories. Challenge and test myself more. And put anglers on more and different fish and share that experience with them.
There are only 3 months of trout season left. I wanna guide and fish every single one of them before I hibernate for the winter with my family. I’m here to guide and fish.
The days bleed together, the trips and clients are a blur of fish and smiles, and the boat and I couldn’t be happier to be rambling and rolling down rivers and lakes chasin trout and fish living that fly angler guide life.
See ya riverside anglers.