Fly Fishing for me is rooted in a deep passion and connection to the river and trout. I have spent my adult life learning the art of tying and casting to wild trout. Outside of guiding fly fishing is a lifelong pursuit of mine and I live a life that revolves around fly fishing and chasing trout. When I am not working, I am riverside fishing, snorkeling, or sharing the river with my family. I spend more time on river than off throughout the year and have learned that I am better at my job when I am out as much as possible constantly fine tuning my skills and learning the intricacies of the river and trout of my homewater. I am a teacher, I have learned everything I can and am constantly learning more in order to be a better guide and angler. My passion an knowledge are always present when fishing. I am a firm believer that when riverside, no matter how the catching is…fishing should always be fun. Otherwise what’s the point? I have an energy filled personality with a lot of knowledge and a love of sharing it with others.
Philosophy on Guiding
I was always encouraged by a close mentor of mine that if I wanted to guide I should do it on my own. Independent and more personal. Guides from my mentors prime were a different breed than many are today. At least in his opinion. He always told me a guide didn’t need a shop if he knew his shit and had a good head on him. He also told me a good fly shop will always welcome guides. A fly shops primary job is to sell anglers flies, material, and gear. It was also a meeting place for anglers to swap stories, exchange lies and get information about the river.
I was also told that if I wanted to guide I had to put my time in and become an actual expert on the river. A guide can’t be a guide unless he knows his quarry. A fly fishing angler and guide has a long list of quarries to educate oneself on.
Over the past 12 years I have developed my skills both with trout and with people to facilitate a knowledge filled and incredibly fun day on the river. Guiding is about connecting people to the river and trout through fly fishing and having a good time.
Guiding for me is first and foremost about sharing. Secondly a guide should be a Steward of the river and act as such. As TU Endorsed Guide, I spend as much time as I can on conservation and take an active leadership role in my local chapters work on the rivers. Thirdly, a professional, lighthearted, and fun attitude is paramount. Its fishing, it’s not always going to be easy, but it should always be fun. Finally, guiding is about moments. I guide because I love to witness that moment when a person becomes connected with a trout. I relive my moments every time another person experiences one.
Sharing fly fishing through guiding is how I pay the bills, but its also my life, I work throughout the season always honing those skills and sharing the experience of fly fishing with hundreds of people. I’ve built my business on making those connections with people and offer a trip that is unparalleled in service and knowledge here on the Yakima River. As a small independent guide I am able to tailor my trips to the client, I am free to fish any section of river and have the flexibility to ensure that days on the river with me are fun and filled with memorable fish. I’ve built my business on a model that is all about fishing with me multiple years in a row but also multiple times a season. I offer discounts to repeat clients, and have garnered a large customer base through offering a better trip from the price, to the service, to the way I chase the trout in this river with clients. You will be hard pressed to find a better experience here on the Yakima River.
There is my sales pitch. Support the little guy, support the local independent guide that spends as much time fishing as he does guiding. The trout bum with the big beard and a head full of trouty knowledge that is gonna get more excited about the trout you trick than you do. I hope you give me the opportunity to show you what fly fishing on the Yakima River is really all about
2 thoughts on “Philosophy”
Hey Nate, Your Railroad St. neighbor here, reading away on all of your great insights on life and the wily trout. It was so awesome to meet and spend some quality time talking over a coupla brews. You have so much knowledge of the area and some real creative ideas for the future of the area that our heads were spinning with possible plans. We are stuck in Seattle this weekend (Super-Capitalism Bowl and all that entails), but will be up there working next weekend and hope to see the Hog driving around. Let me know how to join the local TU chapter, and I need to book a trip with you for my son and I. He is a junior over at WSU and I need to see when he has a time slot. See ya soon. Michael Wade (my friends call me Wado- so call me Wado if you like)
Really like your fly fishing enthusiasm and conservation for trout habitat. My dad introduced me and my brother to spin fishing for trout when we were kids long ago, then when I was about 14 I decided to branch out into fly fishing, it seemed to be calling me with it’s solitary ways and appreciation of nature, and to think all caught on a tiny hand tied imitation of their real diet. I bought a cheap fly rod and flimsy fly tying kit from our local hardware/outdoor store, from there it was total water bliss and adventure throughout my youth. The fly fishing way really matched the rugged outdoors image I saw on the fishing shows I was watching at the time. My older brother told me “you’ll become a snob fisherman” as he saw me slowly turn more to my fly rod instead of our traditional gear, even if I caught less or smaller I just was hooked on it, poetry in motion, communion with the trout, more tethered by fly line to the fish I loved, at least for me. Guess what, my brother soon got hooked on fly fishing soon after I took it up and over the years he has taken it far beyond me, I now consult with him when I want to learn more about fly fishing. I’ve had to lay off of fishing for years at a time during my mid life, but with my brother recently retiring and moving back to Washington to live by the Yak, it’s “fish on” again. It’s probably a matter of time before you run into my bro on the river, maybe me too as I travel up to those waters to fish with him. Thanks again for your inspiring trout perspective and words on your website.