Working at a lodge leaves you very little time to fish. The logistics just donít give you any personal time or a day off. You really have to view guiding as fishing vicariously. Thus, Itís not about whether I can catch the fish, but am I a good enough guide so my sports can catch the fish? Sometimes this means working with someone who has never held a fishing rod, doesnít speak English and by pantomime, getting them to catch their first rainbow on a fly on their first day out. Thatís a challenge, and when it happens, they are over the moon with excitement. I really enjoy sharing that moment with them. Now and then, you are assigned a skilled, experienced angler - someone who can really cast and can grasp your coaching. With your finger on the pulse of whatís happening on the river, you can guide an expert into some magical fishing. My favorite days? Fishing for grayling with the dry fly, and creating a hatch. Mousing along the alder brush and log jams for aggressive rainbows. Sight fishing for gorgeous Dolly Varden, feeding on eggs behind spawning sockeye. Swinging a huge black bunny streamer into a pod of 20 to 30 pound kings, using the spey rod and sink tip. Chugging a pink pollywog over a slack eddy full of resting silvers and watching one suddenly lunge from the pack and inhale the fly.
A good guide doesnít fish while guiding, but every now and then, a sport will want a break and ask me to make a few casts while they rest. Iíll take just a few casts, and then hand them back the rod. Sometimes they will get frustrated at a particularly tough fishing situation, and you will be obliged to show them it can be done. I catch a remarkable number of fish in those very few casts. Two or three times a summer, Iíll sacrifice a few hours of sleep and head out for a late evening, usually when the rainbows are taking mouse patterns well. In this way, I get my fishing. Iíve selected here a few of my favorite photographs, including some of exemplary fish either caught by myself or by some of my favorite clients. Enjoy.
How to Book Fishing
Tackle and Flies
The Driftless Region
How We Fish