Its Fishtober Anglers.
The trout are on big caddis, streamer fishing is ramping up, the small dry game is just getting started, oh man….its just so juicy out here right now.
The fishing has been stellar, save for the off day or two over the past 2 weeks. I’ve fished everyday since I got back and it’s been pretty fucken sweet.
The big fish are starting to roll up, we’ve been getting into some good number days, and it’s been 80 percent dries, and the rest streamers or droppers.
I’ve had lots of trips this season. Somewhere over 100 now. I’ve kinda lost track. I’ve done most on the Yak. I did 14 or so trips on the St. Joe this season. So the expanding outward this season was not as lucrative as hoped but a great experience and something il continue to pursue. But the Yak, shes always good to me. Stingy sometimes…but good.
I had a great trip today. Good numbers, a really big one landed, like 2 foot of trout almost. Stuck it out till dark, was the last boat off, happy clients, fat tip, and a nice little down time at the local pub with friends talking trout afterward.
I’ve been living that ‘guide life’ for a few seasons now. When the work is there…the lifestyle follows. I’ve run inti fellow anglers, clients, and guides all chasin that lifestyle. The trout bum, fish all the time, live the river life kinda gig. I live it every day for 200 days or so a year. And the off season is just that, offseason, with offseason homework, tying, and working on new business expansions to other water and new places. It’s a full time gig. And when it truly is…then you’re living the guide life. Because at the end of the day that’s what being a guide is…its work. More than just being on time, making a nice lunch, and putting anglers on trout. There is more to it, so much more. I’ve met plenty of people in this industry and community that want the life but not the work. I fish every day…I’ve fished over 150 days this season, guided most of them. With all the shennanagins, fish, clients, car wrecks, boat fixes, fly purchases, cost analysis reports, social media shit, running invoices, emails, repairing gear, and working new angles for more guide days. That’s all I’m after…more guide days. 200 plus is the goal. Because I’m a guide, I’m best on river guiding. So any time that isn’t spent trying to chase more guide days is just fishing and I’ve done plenty of that over the past decade or so.
Lifestyle, culture, that boys club stuff, or whatever you call it…it revolves around the work. I’ve never really been a fan of it. I’m not usually the guide that hangs out to chat at the access points, I’m not out at the pub every night, I don’t typically hang with clients outside of work or guides really. I like to do my thing, unplug, then do it again. As many days as I can. My kinda gig is winding down fireside solo, outdoors. Ir maybe with a friend or two talking trout, life and other stuff. Or I talk to my wife for an hour or 3 on the phone. But mostly just trying to come down from the day, eat, relax, sleep, and do it again the next day until they run out.
My work is on a time constraint. Only so many days to work when you factor in things like weather, flows, hatches, economy, and a myriad of other things that can have an effect on trips coming in. Every trip I take these days is one I am personally chasin down through blogs, social media, or all the other things I do. Days off are spent fishing, dialing things in, checking the bugs the fish, sending emails, getting photos, reading up on new stuff and things, its constant work interrupted by fish. That’s the lifestyle. Some can hack it others try, others wannabe, and others learn to get there over time.
Doing the way I do it is different. Guiding other places and being around so many other boats this season has really showed me that. I also have a chunk of clients that have fished all over the place with all sorts of guides and I continue to hear about my uniqueness. I’m not in this to be the best, or the busiest, or famous on social media, or get sponsors, endorsements, free shit, or be an ambassador for some company trying to sell more stuff. I’ve got enough to do selling my own thing. I’m in this because I love the work. Of all the things I’ve done…I love this work. Everything about it from shit ass trailers not working, free range boulders, crazy shuttle drivers, moose, bears, camp bees, forest fires, droughts, crap conditions, rig killing deer, to big trout getting off, to big smiles on clients faces, tired back muscles, worn out eyes, burnt out brains, from the rough days to the amazing days all the ones in between even the ones when you roll your shit into the river. It’s all about the work…because that is the guide life. Not all that other off river shit…its all about that river time. If you don’t got it then you ain’t living it.
At least that’s how I feel about it. After this season, which has been busy, had some shit-tastic shit happen, but been really busy. When you get to this point in the season and you’re chasin those last 30 trips or so…if you can look back and feel good about it as a guide, a business owner, and an angler…learned some things, improve some things, and have a better plan for the next season…then ya…the guide life has been good.
See ya riverside anglers