I’ve been through some crazy shit over the seasons. Almost drowned a few times, crashed my boat on the Naches, fell off Iron Peak and had to self arrest, hit log jams and boulders, lost things broke things, never body parts, was in an Avalanche, fell off a waterfall, and yes rolled my truck down an embankment into the St. Joe river. In the list of things that I’ve been through this accident was about a 9.7 on the Shitastic River Shenanigan Scale. It sucked and I’m still processing and healing both physically and mentally.
The shock was something I’m all to familiar with. I’ve been through it before and you never really know how your body and mind will rebound. It takes time. I still have to shake the accidnet out of my head from time to time and I’ve woke up several times during the nights feeling like I’m rolling again.
Truck is gone. I hated that truck anyway. I’ll miss my roof top for the rest of the season. Cleaning up my gear and equipment and releasing the rig today was not fun. My whole life in terms of fishing and guiding was in that rig. Shit happens anglers. What matters is how you deal with it and how you pull yourself back up.
I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the help and support. I was overwhelmed with the response. From Tyler, Sierra, and Kyle with White Pine that have bent over backwards to keep me going. To the friends and river peeps and clients who reached out…you all know who you are….thank you. Truly.
I’m a guide. And that’s what I do. Getting back to the river and doing what I do is all I have on my mind. This community of fly anglers, river rats, outdoorsy folks, and fellow trout bums have been my people for years and I cannot express my gratitude fully.
My family thanks you too. It was my wife and I’s 15th wedding anniversary the day after the accident. Also the first day of school for my kids and my youngest, Zoey, it was her first day of Kindergarten. Needless to say…I really fucked up thier day. I am lucky and thankful that I walked away from the accident and get to see my wife and kids again. Shit was a little scary there for a bit.
My body seems to have recovered. The soreness is gone. Bruising healing. My mind is still jarred. Which will take time. Riverside time heals and guiding keeps me busy and focused on more important things than near death experiences of the deer kind.
I fly home the 4th of September. For some much needed family time, haven’t seen my family since June. I’ll be driving a new guide rig up to finish the season out. I’m hoping my trailer can be repaired, a new hitch needs welded on and a new axle…which I am all too familiar with. Boat floats, needs a little love but she still gets me down river and that’s all that matters.
Life is always filled with shenanigans. My life especially. I’ve learned to be resilient and bounce back quickly. Not much keeps me down and hard work always pays off. This season has been a roller coaster of amazing and shit but I wouldn’t change it…well maybe the rolling the rig part but….
With the Fall season approaching I am super stoked. The autumn is my favorite time to fish and guide. It’s the best time of the year. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna miss it.
Book a trip, a lesson, a clinic spot, come out and see what Fishtober is all about. And support my trout bum beardy ass getting back into the swing of things in the process. With the Yakima and the St. Joe transiting to fall, and potential Grand Ronde guide days in late October and early November I’m just anxious to get back to it. The waiting for things to come together is never my strong suite and I’m more annoyed now with what happened than anything else. Money takes care of itself when you put the work in, but time…that shit cant be sped up. In 2 weeks this will just be another River Shenanigan Episode that is my guide life. Add it to the story list.
By next spring I’ll be back to that sweet camp life guiding. Until then I am humbled and ever thankful to those that have offered help and a place to stay while I finish the season.
I’ve gotta guide the Joe in the morning. I’ll see ya riverside anglers….watch out for deers.