There are times as a guide where I need to check out and get lost in trout fishing and the experiences that come with it. As a guide I am facilitating those experiences, as an angler I have the opportunity to have them happen naturally to me. No pressure from guiding or performing, just fishing.
The Joe is a place for that to happen for me. This trip was special in many ways. I needed a break, I needed to unplug, heal through those experiences, and lose myself in what I live for. And I was fortunate enough to make this St. Joe trip with a fellow guide and friend to share in those experiences and moments.
Over 4 days I got lost in fishing. There was a lot of fish, a lot of rowing, conversation, camp life, and exhaustive fishing that by the end made me tired of it and ready to come back to my homewater. Exactly what I was after.
I could get into all the fish and scenery, but this trip was more about me selfishly, and not about promoting myself, my angling or guiding, or anything like that. I barely took pictures. We saw Moose, an amazing moonrise one night, some of the prettiest water a river can have, gorgeous wild cutthroat and one illusive young bull trout that graced us with her presence. An amazing trip.
I witnessed a golden stonefly hatch like no other above Avery, hundreds of golden stoneflies oviposting as the sun took its long set one evening. I had the pleasure of rowing and fishing a section of river I’ve always wanted to but haven’t gotten the chance until this trip, it did not disappoint. I had the privilege of sharing the trip with someone who appreciates and has a deep seated respect and passion for fly fishing that rivals my own. All the expectations of a fly fishing trip were met and then some this time on the St. Joe and I am all the richer and recharged because of it.
Headhunting wild trout slurping on spinner falls, big streamer takes, amazing dry fly eats, fast water runs and boulder gardens, riffles for days, and bugs that were plentiful. An angling partner that could row me in water I’ve always wanted to fish from a boat, and days where 50 plus fish were seen at the end of my line. I am truly blessed with a life filled with amazing moments in the places trout call home.
And while my non guiding river time is one of the most precious things to me and I am very selct with who, where, and how I fish on my days off. My company this trip could not have been better. Like minded trouty people on a wild trout river for 4 days is an adventure in itself. The conversations, the shenanigans, the breakdown of water and trout, the different perspectives, and a connection over water, rivers, and wild fish is something all us anglers strive to find.
Sometimes things just need to be experienced in real time and that’s what they are. Trying to recreate those moments in words are almost impossible. They are to real, too deep, to connected to describe. They must be felt, seen, heard, smelled, the very essence of experience and adventure. As a guide we offer a taste of those things facilitated through expertise, knowledge, and professionalism, but it is nothing compared to the raw natural experience that can be found just between a person or two and the river.
I am in work mode so blogging isn’t my focus at the moment but a quick blurp about my trip and why it isn’t blasted all over social media seemed appropriate. This trip was for me, and it’s not a secret, clients can ask and I will talk, but its a trip too deep and filled with rich experiences that aren’t really best shared over text or blog or posts. Its a face to face, people to people kind of thing. Stuff to talk about on the river.
It was a special trip to me to say the least and one I will never forget and will always be comparing others too. My time on the Joe was exactly everything I could have hoped for and that right there is all that really needs to be said. Those who know the Joe will understand. Those that have had similar experiences on thier own fishing trips also know. Sometimes it’s just getting lost in fishing and that’s okay.
Recharged for the rest of the season I am happy and excited to be back on the Yak and back to guiding. Work is there but there can always be more. And with 3 and half months of the season left its time to grind and get after it. Plus the fishing here is excellent.
So thats the Joe. Sometimes you just need to check out and chase fish and be a trout bum for a few days with another trout bum. Not easy to explain, but some of us get it.
See ya riverside anglers,
One thought on “The Joe”
The pictures don’t do the area justice – I’m sure – I can only imagine what that looked like in person, and your writing helps paint a full picture as well. Nicely done, and glad to hear you had a good trip.