It has been a long season. I’ve been on river since the end of February. Roughly 200 days of fishing and or guiding. Just over half will be guide days this year which is considerably better than last season.
The spring was a bust again. But what else is new. It was my last spring on the Yakima. I will not be back until Mid April or Mothers Day next season.
I dabbled in working a new river and state with a new outfitter. Learned a few things, both about my guiding and my business that really solidified this fly fishing guiding as a career for me. This was big for me as I’ve been on the Yak doing my thing for 5 seasons and it’s been going really well. Comparing that with other operations elsewhere and meeting new clients was very beneficial professionally and personally to me. Working for another outfitter had its tribulations but that is part of this gig. That doesn’t outshine the good, working with great people, guiding amazing water, and working towards something bigger and better as I chase more guide days and this guide life.
Shit goes south sometimes. After this season I know that better than most…fucken deer. But ones ability to rise up with the help of others and determination and hard work is not only a part of this gig but life in general. I’ve weathered much worse over the years so when hardships come…I find my way through. You find the line through the rapid, commit to it, and see how you come out the bottom…sometimes you get through perfect, every oar stroke on que. Other times you smack a rock, or go sideways and dump the boat…shit happens. How you come out of it is the most important thing.
I was taken aback by the support from my clients, my friends, river peeps, colleagues, fellow guides, and this community of fly anglers that I am a part of. I cannot thank all that helped and offered help enough. There are too many people to name but I will list a few.
To Tyler, Sierra, and Kyle at Whitepine, I have met a lot of people in this industry, you are all some of the best. The opportunity to guide the Joe, all the stuff and things you’ve done and accomplished and bringing me along for some of the ride…it was the adventure I had been craving. The help post accident can never truly be repaid and I look forward to the next river bend and adventure that lies around it.
To Shay and her family. Offering your home, your time, and your energy was something that I greatly needed and wholly appreciate. I would not have been able to finish the season and chase my passion without you.
To Ross and Thalledah. You know. I love you both. From Ross being one of my first clients, to the two of you becoming my closest friends, watching you both become amazing anglers, and becoming amazing people together both riverside and off…I thank you and am glad you are part of my life.
Troy. One of the truest trout bums I know. You are one of the most gracious and giving people I’ve met. Your organic love for angling is contagious. You have a big heart and freely give it to those around you. I will cherish the riverside time we had this season and look forward to many more days chasin fish.
Fuck dude it’s been a fun one. I gave you one hell of an anniversary present this summer. There is no other soul that understands mine like yours. None of this happens without you and everything you do behind the scenes. You give me the life I’ve always wanted and as the season closes I cannot wait to be with you and the children. This guide life has two parts…and the more important part is just getting started.
There are so many others to thank, I could write for days. I thank all of you.
This Fishtober has been DECENT! The goal was 20 more trips from Sept 10th to the end and I exceeded that. After a rough summer a good fishtober is always welcome. This business has its ups and downs, when you can look back at the season and feel positive about it and feel like the negative taught and matured you, made you better, it’s been a good season.
I have been angling for a while now, guiding too. Burnout has become a real factor even after 200 plus days I want more. A few weeks off and in wanna be back in it. The burnout isn’t from the work or the people. It’s looking at the same water and same fish all the time. Expanding to new rivers and species is the cure for burnout. I love the Yakima, but I want more. After this year I definitely crave more and new. I crave adventure, and in this gig sometimes that’s new, technical, challenging water, sometimes its business logistics and people, but it’s all part of the adventure and work of being a guide. If I didn’t absolutely love it…I wouldn’t have come back after the accident. Adventures never go according to plan, neither does business, fishing, marriage, kids, or life in general. It’s part of the gig.
As the end draws near…the older, more seasoned angler and guide in me has learned a thing or two. Living life, my life happens to be a guide life, is about truly living it, being out there in it, experiencing it, the hardships as well as the amazing…without one the other has little substance.
Life changes you, grows you, molds you, how you come out is what it’s all about. Can’t take anything with you, just what you leave behind. Leave some good shit behind, share some trout, laugh about the bad, flirt with mortality every once in a while to keep things spicy, and find passion in what you do and who you share it with. Love…and go fishing anglers.