The guide life is fast-paced. At least the way I do it. I live almost every day on the water. From February to October. And eventually, during the off months, too. There is little time for much else during the season besides guiding. All that guiding encompasses the physical work, the mental work, the patience, the driving, the lack of sleep, the grind a guide goes through to perform, produce, and entertain. It’s a lot, it’s fast, it’s constantly changing, and leaves little room for much else when it’s guide season.
The off-season becomes important for that slow down of things. The waking up late and sleeping 10 hrs a day. The lack of movement, there’s a lot of nothing that goes on. During the season, I’m never sitting still. Always moving doing something. I take my time in the mornings and evenings, enjoying the actual time I have to just settle, hover, and enjoy it. I don’t get that during the guide season. Things get done at a lieusure pace in the off-season. I worked hard to be able to enjoy 8 weeks of things moving a little slower.
It’s important to rest the body, which I am still feeling little tweaks and strains from physically. And I do. But also resting the brain. It’s a lot to dial in trout, teaching, coaching, setting lines, rowing, managing, talking, observing, and all that fun stuff. So, resting the brain is necessary. It’s also a time to reflect on the business, see where it can improve, change things, expand, and think about different ways of sharing fishing through guiding. It’s a time to think creatively and get outside the box to keep things fresh and growing.
The off-season is also a time for me. I get to fish a lot, but I give my all to guiding, so this time of year, I take time for stuff I like. I still play a decent amount of video games, I tie flies for work and pleasure, do some reading, Netflix, and chill. It looks like a whole lot of nothing from the outside, but there’s more going on during the off-season than it appears. And I work. I’m a small business owner. I work most days for a few hrs. It’s not near as much during guide season, but this winter has been busier than usual. I’ve never had 30 days booked this early. And I live off of guiding and selling flies. I don’t do other work. This is it. Full time career choice. So it’s nice that the hard work is paying off and allowing me to live the lifestyle I set out for. The off-season has given me time to think on that part of guiding.
The slow down, the quiet, the chill. That’s the offseason for me. It’s not always easy, and sometimes others think I’m aloof, don’t care, or am lazy. But it’s not that. It’s just the time I get for me, and I take it seriously.
Skwalla Special Dates are booking up! $375 5hr 2 people float trips for March.
April dates are filling up, too, for those juicy March Brown Mayfly days. I’m only booking 150 guide trips on the Yakima this season. I’ll be gone May and June during high water.
There’s a plug for work stuff. We will also have new wading options and clinics this season!
Till next time anglers.