Anxious isn’t a strong enough word.

I can’t sit still. It’s bad, and I’m gonna just be open and honest here anglers. Shit isn’t good.  I’m exhausted with answering the question, “How are you doing?”  Not fucken good.  I’m not trying to be an ass or anything but that’s the answer and it will be for a while.

Rivers are blown, it won’t stop raining, everything from my beard to my feet, tent to my boat is soaked.  It’s like I’m on the peninsula. I hate the OP anglers. I fished the lake, figured it out, got bored, caught a few, ended up with the shanks in my hook set and missed too many fish because my mind isn’t in it. Plus it would not stop fucking raining!I don’t need to fish…I need to guide.

And yes I need to get back to work before anyone asks any question about it. I’m only good at one fucking thing in this world and that’s guiding. I made myself into a good one, one of the best if you ask around, hated and loved by many.  I know this about myself, I’ve earned it through hard work and growing a good guide program with my business. So yes I want to get back to it.  It’s literally…all I’ve got fucking left.

I’ll heal, and that takes time. So I’m going to and need to be allowed to heal my way. That way is through sharing trout, river, the craft of fly fishing, knowledge, and running my boat down river shooting that shit into my veins 2 anglers at a time.  I need to be in that rythym, that groove, where river, anglers, guide, boat, and trout all vibing and clicking into place. I need to have the opportunity to make it happen, to be the cause of it, to feel its effect.

I need to slip into that place where I don’t see the river but I see the flow, the seams, the depths, the changes, the way the fly moves, the time of the drift, knowing when the fish is going to eat, calling it, counting it down, plugging anglers into it with me. I need it or I’m going to fucking explode.

How do you help?  You let me do my job. Give me a challenge, let me teach, let me learn, let me listen, observe, and dive in. I’ve tried a lot of things in my adult life, guiding is it.  There’s no questions about it for myself, I am a fly fishing guide…that’s it. And I don’t care what species, if it will eat a fly I will chase it, learn it, and teach it. I’ve chased damn near every cold freshwater species and most cold saltwater species, knocked a few warm freshwater species off the list and I will not spend another winter here.  There are saltwater species down south that are calling. I am answering. So I need to work because gas ain’t cheap and a new saltwater skiff is gonna need a good chunk of cash.

So I chase bass, and Muskie, trout in lakes, carp in puddles, and fucken what have you until the damn river drops. Then I’m gonna fish the absolute fuck out of the river and yes we’re gonna fish the Teanaway too.  It’ll be tough for me at first but that water is mine…and I mean that.  It’s mine. I’ve spent more time up there than most if not all. Because I’m the one up there so I’d see you and I don’t. I’ve spent years working, and waiting for that river to be what it is today.  Since I first laid fly fishing eyes on it in 2004, to when I watched it wither and die in 2015, to now when it’s healthy and working like it should.  Nothing and I mean nothing, will keep me from that water. And that’s more to say to myself than anyone reading this.

Will I always guide the Yakima?  The short answer is yes.  All season long moving forward…probably not.  Washington isn’t the best place for a guide with the Yakima River being basically the last place to actually chase river fish in the state that’s worth a damn. I’ve guided other places, and can’t seem to break into more days here.  It will be my last full time season on the Yakima. I will be chasing work down south. After guide offers during this past winter in other states and turning them down because I was planning a different life for myself…those offers won’t be sidelined next time and I will seek them out moving forward.

You want to help? Know an outfitter that could use a guide like me?  Send them my way or vice versa. That will help.  The Yakima cannot sustain or satiate my desire to guide and chase fish. And burnout is a real thing. I’ve done 56 days already this season.  And June is a bust so we’ve got July August, September, and October to get it done.  There’s roughly 140 to 160 guideable days left of the season and I want them all. 200 days is probably out but we can get fucking close. That’s how you can help.

Those that have guided with me for years know how I am. This has been coming. After covid and everything else, it’s time.

Am I okay?  No, but that will change. Let it be and let me guide. If not on this blasted river then on my stomping grounds in the Basin for bass and other fish.  Or in Montana, or Idaho, Canada, Alaska, Mexico, Iceland, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, I don’t fucking care just let me guide.

That’s where I’m at.  My off river life is off river and non-existent right now. There is only water. I can’t sit still because of it. There’s no river to fish so all I am is anxious.  And anxious isn’t a strong enough word. Stir crazy doesn’t even begin to describe it. I am lost. And I need water under me to have a bearing.

Am I as angry as the river torrent?  Yes.  Sad and melancholy like the skies.  Yes.  Furious and aflame like my campfires. Yes. I sleep less, and wake with the sun, can’t stay down, my body wants me up, my arms and back want to feel the weight and pull of my oars. My legs want to burn against the current. My eyes want to be tired and overworked, fingers numb and pricked by hooks, knuckles beaten and bloody, palms calloused and rough, skin scorched, my voice hoarse, my sanity lost in fly fishing. I want my cast dialed in and perfect, no matter the rod, presentations precise, timing immaculate, I want to be in the groove, the funk, plugged in, dialed up, got the chops, getting it, sending it, roping ’em, tagging, bagging, cashing checks. Lost in the absolute fuck of fly fishing. That is all I know and all I want to do.

Anxious isn’t a strong enough word. I need to be in that place so I don’t go anywhere else. Put me there, put myself there, get there.

I ramble anglers. On to the next place to chase fish and fall into that groove.

Tamarack

See ya on the water anglers,

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