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Fishtober

The summer is coming to an end…finally. It seems like every summer some crazy shit happens. Then the fall settles in and things go back to a more normal pace. I love the fall fishing and the Yakima River is at it’s best in the autumn.

I’m down a trailer still. Which I’m hoping to have remedied soon. May end up borrowing a reserve trailer until I can fix mine. Boat has new parts and pieces waiting to be installed. I haven’t tied any late season flies but what else is new.

I’m here in Spokane waiting until Wednesday to fly home and see my family and to pick up my new rig. I’ll be driving back up the 8th. Grabbing my shit and heading over to the Yak. I love the Joe. Its proven to be a slightly difficult place to work even though the fishing is worth it. Big thing about the Joe…it needs days stacked in a row or blocks to be a cost effective for me to guide.

I’ll be very happy to be back on the homewater for a spell. The Yakima in the fall is some of the best fishing there is and I’ve spent seasons learning it better than most. It provides anglers with some of the best and most memorable dry fly fishing experiences there are. Big wild trout on big silly dries.

It’s been a busy year. There has been some hardships, frustrations, growing pains, and amazing moments shared riverside with clients. Trying to keep the positive highlighted over the negative can be a struggle. I tend to get burnt out on the little things that get in the way or cause problems of just running the river. As the season gets to its end my patience for that stuff wanes considerably. I just wanna be riverside. And things that keep me from that tend to get me pretty irate. I’ve worked hard to get to where I’m at and when shit goes south it can get the better of you sometimes.

Its been a year of growing too. Working for another outfitter on new water and in a new state has had its challenges. It’s part of the process. It’s also allowing me to figure out how working for others and with others can be and if it’s something I want to continue to pursue. So far yes…and I want to look into more Outfitters for more work as I chase 270 days of guide work. I’ve given up working for Outfitters in Washington State save for one. Every experience I’ve had working for or with the list of Outfitters in WA for fly fishing has been a shit show, save for the little shop in Roslyn. That’s just my opinion and my experience. I’ve done this long enough now and do alright on my own that I say no to trips a lot more than yes when it comes to guiding outside my own business.

Expanding to other waters and other Outfitters I knew was going to bring a boat load of new things to work through. Again part of the process of expanding and growing a business. This late in the season I’m to a point now where I just wanna get back into a routine of guide work. When we hit Fishtober anything that is gonna get in the way of the guide work and rivertime is getting pushed aside. That’s because this work is seasonal…there is a time constraint. And wasted time this late in the season costs money. So I focus on where I can succeed the most for the rest of the season. About 60 days for me as I dont do steelhead. Although I might…but that’s a big might.

I’ve ran this business for a few years now, and have two other businesses behind me that failed. This one is going well and is successful and on track with business plans. I know when it’s time to cut losses, revamp, reflect, and make changes. I made several changes this season, added new water, fine tuning the camp life routine, building the business more and getting 60% new clientele over the past 100 plus trips. I’m seeing repeat business sky rocket this season over the course of the year. But I am losing money in fuel. Losing money due to shennanagins big and small. Losing money on lack of days due to splitting time between two rivers, and that split time takes away from one river or the other. I haven’t been on the Yak in weeks…that’s a concern for me. Even though 13 seasons of fishing it I have it dialed in, without being riverside everyday, live streaming, and promoting my business regularly…I’m losing money. With the fall approaching it’s time to dig in and push through to the end where things will be the most successful for me.

At the end of the day anglers…this is a business not a lifestyle and if I’m not making money then what am I doing? I dont need to be a guide to be a trout bum fishy person. I guide because I love the work, am really good at it, and have set out to make it a career. At this stage in my life this is what I’ve picked to do so I’m gonna put everything I can into it. I’ve got things I could fall back on…but Tamarack’s Guide Service has done everything I have set out to do with it. It is on track, hitting our milestones, our goals, expanding, growing, and turning a profit. I am constantly fine tuning the operation with Hannah, my wife and business partner. Running cost analysis reports while on the road via speaker phone, ordering gear, coordinating a new rig, business loans, tax payments, savings, depreciation on equipment, all the things that have jack shit to do with fishing…all that is done behind the scenes between floats and fishing and social media posts. And I couldn’t have done any of this without my wife’s intuition, patience, financial know how, and understanding of how this business works. I trust her opinion on all things above all…but especially her insight and perspective on business. No major decision gets made without her counsel. With all this down time we have had a lot of time to talk and reflect on the season so far, the expanding to another river, the hardships, the good stuff, and how the business is faring this season. Identifying where improvements can he made, cutting losses, tightening overhead, keeping the scope of our business from creeping, and making sure we arent over reaching. Doing to much to fast can be disastrous and cost a lot of money. The situation I find myself in presently is due to over reaching. So we evaluate, downsize, and refocus.

With all that my focus is now on the Yakima River. The St. Joe is an amazing place to fish and guide. I may be back up the Joe this fall for myself. But I’ve never missed a fall season on the Yak. It’s where I want to be and where I want to work. It is my homewater.

The craneflies are already starting. The water is dropping, the temperatures are cooling and rodeo weekend is done today…I dont work labor day weekend anymore. I’ll have a new rig, a loaner trailer until mine gets fixed, and a slightly dented boat that still gets the job done like she always has.

Come out this fall. I invite you. The best way to help out since the accident is to come fishing. I love to guide and love to share the river with others. It’s all I want to get back to. The business side of this has taken up enough time this year…let’s just get back to fishing.

See ya riverside anglers.

Tamarack.

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