Fishing has been stellar. Landing fish always has room for improvement. This year I’ve worked a good chunk. Not my busiest season, not the slowest, and the fall is still to come.
I’m currently on a rougher week and a half of work where I’m bouncing back and forth between the Joe and the Yak. A 280 mile trek one way. Like 4 hrs cuz I drive 60 with the boat. I also just dont drive fast. Everyone is a fucken hurry these days and I dont understand it.
I’ve run 1500 road miles on freeways, back dirt roads, washboard and potholed to hell, down steep rock filled embankments, and put over 50 miles of rowing in there as well. I think I’ve slept a total of 25-30 hrs in the last 5-6 days. My body is racked, my mind is mush, my patience is waning, and my sassy-ness riverside is coming out.
I want more. A day of downtime is needed, and there are always shenanigans, issues, and frustrations that arise with this gig. There is always stress and frustration when working for others too. Something I haven’t had to factor into my guiding for a few seasons as I have been running my own gig.
I’m a very trouty person. The more I guide, fish, and meet, and work with others in this community and industry the more I realize that all the time, passion, and energy I have put into learning and advancing as an angler have paid off. My experience over the past 5 seasons also shows the more I do this. I will be honest…it feels good…to know that I’m really good at my job. The successes and memorable moments are so numerous it’s a blur of awesome. I’ve reached that groovy mode of everything else fading away and I’m just guiding. Sure theres all the stuff off river that comes up… but when I sit in that boat, grab those oars, and feel that river under me as I glide my boat through its currents….its all just faint background noise. Just get me in the boat and let me do my thang. The money will come in, the clients always seem to keep coming back for more. Just get me and my boat in the river and the rest takes care of itself.
The haters are quiet, or I’m too busy and having too much fun to notice. I swing back to the Yak, run it like I always do, it gives me what I expect consistenly… even on the tougher days. It’s just groovy.
The Joe is different, harder, more rugged, hard on gear, and me, the boat. But those fish, and that water…fuck its decent. I may not guide it for long. This career will take me to lots of different places and I enjoy the nomad river lifestyle. Where there is fish to be tricked with a fly, and clients that want to experience them…I will ramble to it.
With every new river, species, or place and people, there are challenges, pains, stresses, and there are amazing moments, incredible people, and beautiful fish that connect us all through a fly and a rod. At the end of the day…I just wanna be riverside tricking trout with anglers and flies. All the other stuff just seems to get in the way.
I like things smooth, efficient, and quick. More time for fishing that way. I’ve built a very well functioning business with the Yakima. It takes care of itself for the most part. I put hours in and trips get booked. Managing my business while also working for another has been a challenge. Definitely made me better, also making me smarter. Always learning and adapting, fine tuning. This gig in all aspects is 80% people, whether its clients, co workers, bosses, fellow river guides, or social media….its a lot of people with some fish peppered in. Sometimes I dont do people well. Those are the days when you dont see a photo post or a live stream. Days where I’m lost in a current somewhere. I’m due up for a few of those kinda days.
Most days I just wanna take people fishing. Getting paid for it is a bonus and a necessity with my family…but I just wanna take people fishing really. I’ve fished a lot, and there are times that fishing strikes my fancy. But it doesn’t present the same kind of challenge that guiding or taking others fishing does.
With 90 days or so left of the trout season. I just wanna take more people fishing. Wherever that may be. I don’t wanna sit still, or have a lot of down time, thats what the winter is for. It’s called trout season for a reason. Its seasonal. So get after it while its here.
I’m ready for the fall. With the summer just past halfway I’m ready for the chill riverside life of the autumn. I also prefer the fishing in the fall. The summer in August is always a crapshoot and even though it’s called trout season sometimes trout need a break. With water temps starting to creep closer to 65 I’m just not interested in pressuring trout. With both rivers I work on facing warm water temps this season I’ll be switching to bass and muskie for a few weeks. Let the fish chill so they are ready and healthy for the fall. Go fuck with some, bass, muskie, and carp while it’s hot. Get your redneck on, and catch some different fish. It’s time to do more of that and put anglers and clients onto warmwater species when trout need less pressure. So we adapt just like the trout.
So I will see ya out there…