Saturday, May 21, 2016

Comfort Zone

Entering my fourth year as a hobby guide, i got to return to (what I think I'll be dubbing "the fun desk" for the summer) the center of my boat and run a few guide trips this past weekend.  I realize my fishing and guiding is becoming more cliche by the minute, and to say "I just enjoy being out there" and "wow, where has the time gone" couldn't be more accurate.  Even though it's only sometimes these days, the familiar acts of cleaning the boat and rigging rods and connecting with friends at fly shops is all very comforting, especially after a winter that wouldn't stop.

Of all the things I miss about guiding every day of course sitting in my boat instead of an office is high on the list, but much more than that is getting to spend time with my friends I guided.  Throughout the season there were so many groups that I looked forward to seeing, catching up on life back home, and catching some fish.  Watching anglers improve every year, and reminiscing about how things started made up a good portion of my summer.  When i was still guiding full time I started every season with my friends Larry and Betsy, on the Big Hole.  Some starts were better than others (reference:  leaving my gear bag at home) but it was always a ton of fun and always the start of trout season.  As luck would have it I was able to float with them to start of season 14, and although fishing was very average, it felt great to be on familiar water continuing our relationship that was built in a drift boat.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


My friends I respect the most see a picture of a big fish and immediately ask "what did it eat?"
Fishing the salt is something that is very new to me, especially when compared to my experience in freshwater.  Growing up fishing mountain streams and lakes, I learned the history of much of what I was doing.  The patterns were classics and the fishing was simple.  As I moved on to steelhead, I searched out the history of the patterns I was fishing, the style of lines I was fishing, and knowledge about what I was doing from any available source.

The ability to restart and experience change is one of the most exciting aspects of fishing to me.  No matter how much fishing you do, there is always something new somewhere you can be doing.  That is one of the most alluring aspects of saltwater fishing to me.  As I began to tie for my most recent trip, I started to look up patterns.  Past years I've just tied what looked good to me from pictures from friends, and came up with replications that worked fine, and looked good enough.  This year my flies had a purpose.  The tying techniques I used were deliberate, and the end result were flies that not only looked better (although still for fishing not a fly shop bin) but were tied in a way that gave me a connection, and a confidence that patterns in years past did not possess.