Accused of Stalking…

On the hunt

 

It is a bright, sunny day and I am a meager 6’4″ guy trying to be stealthy, trying not to spook fish. It begs the question, “Is creeping around, being as quiet as I can, really make a difference in my catch ratio”?

Truth is, I don’t know… but how can it hurt. I prefer more of a quiet fishing experience, no yelling, no Yee Ha’s or Yoo Hoo’s, just quiet action. I know that it is exciting to share with everyone around you that you have a massive, potential state record trout on the end of your line if, in fact, it is true. But take it from me, don’t do that. What’s the point? To cause envy? Jealousy? To be the P. Diddy of the river? More like Kanye West really, arrogant without reason.

I subscribe to the soft little voice in my head that say’s “I know this is awesome, I want to do that again” school of thought. It’s simple. It makes me happy and keeps me from a) looking like a dick and b) being called out if, in fact, it is NOT the record breaking. Nothing is really worse than being the guy who called “fish” for no reason.

So, be quiet, be sneaky and be humble. Only good things will come from this technique.

 

High Sticking Dogma

Glenn Tenkara

There is a new kid on the block that seems to be shaking up what we “dyed in the wool” fly fishermen hold sacred. It has us questioning our technique, our skill, our pride of years of practice of becoming seasoned anglers. This “Kid”, this trend, is called Tenkara.

Tenkara is not a kid at all; in fact, it is very old. It is a fishing technique that originated in Japan hundreds or millions of years ago, when a pole, a short line and a lure were all you needed to catch a fish. A fishermen back in the day would take this basic combination tool to their streams, catch and keep some fish, and live happily ever after.

Now let’s fast forward a bit. Fishing has become a sport. Fish are caught for the enjoyment of the chase and the fight, and then they are put back in the river for the next fishermen to catch. The equipment has evolved as well. We now have micro-technology rods with specific line speeds and weights, made with exotic woods and sterling silver. Reels that have more engineering involved than the first lunar module and fly lines that float and sink at our will. And a selection of flies for sale that the shear number available surpasses the actual number of living insects. Amazing. Evolution is grand.

Tenkara is here to put a bit of perspective back into our primal needs. It is here, I think, to stay. John Gierach is behind it, Yvon Chouinard is an advocate, and guess what, I think I will follow suite.*

*By no means completely

If you have taken anytime to read some of my other blog posts, you will understand why I would gravitate towards Tenkara. It sums up my deepest personal values in a compact, retractable, graphite package. Please let me explain.

I have spent my entire fishing career pondering exactly why I love fly fishing. As you would expect, there are countless reasons: the hunt, the riddle, the fish, the surroundings, the peace and quiet, mastering my skills, showing up my friends, the stories, and simply, being part of an exclusive club. After a hiatus away from the river, it became clear that there was something I was missing. It was the religion of fly fishing I enjoyed, the Zen of the process I loved, the unity between me and my environment that keeps me coming back. Then, enter Tenkara.

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A few years back, Daniel Galhardo of TenkaraUSA set up shop ( I will provide the link to his site to explain his history). My good friend Frank, a fishing and motorcycling buddy of mine, who, also in fact, seems to be in the forefront of undiscovered cool, introduced me to this new style of Japanese fishing. The equipment is simple – it is a smallish telescoping rod, some nylon line, a bit of tippet and a Tenkara fly, which is a sparse wet fly. There is no reel and no ferrels. Think Huckleberry Finn meets the 20th century.

I was intrigued. I asked Frank if he would let me use his Tenkara rods/pole/graphite sticks or whatever you want to call it, and go fishing. He excitedly said yes and made plans to meet at my shop. Frank shows up right on time carrying what appears to be a short metal tube that looked more like an extra long holder for a “Churchill” cigar, one small flybox and a 3-inch custom looking spool wrapped in multi-colored filament, and that’s it.

Image from TenkaraUSA

I have all of my gear which is a 5-weight rod and reel, and a fully stocked vest as well as a lanyard…just in case. I placed my rod in the back of his truck, carefully feeding it through the back window to protect the tip. He stuck his Tenkara rod in his back pocket. I have a similar feeling when I go skiing with my snowboarder friends; I carry my boots, poles, and skis. They wear their boots and toss their board in the truck. Very easy, unincombered, and very Zen.

So we take a drive up the Frying Pan looking for some good water to try out this new technique. Frank is pretty easy about where we go and was open to my suggestions being that is what I do for a living. We stop near the 7 mile marker where there is a great mix of pocket water and good runs, it was perfect.

Frank brought two of his new fangled rods, each of different lengths and flex. He hands me the “soft” one then proceeds to give me a short tutorial on how to set this thing up. It is a series of simple slipknots from the tip to the fly. The Tenkara flies are sparse; a hook, some thread, a forward facing hackle, again, simple. When I looked at them, it all started to make much more sense.

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He had a process that he liked to follow. Keep the rod retracted and tie on the end of the line, then slowly extend the rod as you carefully unwind the line from the spool. Deliberate, thoughtful. Then we chose a fly and tied it on in my traditional way, a modified clinch knot. We put on zero weight, you fish these flies more like a wet fly, not so much as a Dry or a Nymph.

We hit the river and away we went. The way you fish this rod is as if you are high-sticking pocket water. Sharp, laser-focused casts with emphasis on the action of the fly and less focus on line control. Up to this point, there were very few differences between Tenkara and fly fishing, but this is one of them. There is no “ten to two” motion, more like “ten to noon” motion but curt, prompt, decisive.

At first, I wasn’t really loving this. It seemed rudimentary. I felt amateur, like a kid with a long stick and a leader on it hoping something possibly will take my “bait”. Then, suddendly (and finally) I had a strike. My focus changed. My thoughts went from the rod and awkward process to wondering why I got a fish to take that fly. On my next cast, I stuck him; instinct set in and I reached for the reel, but there was no reel to be found. Calmly panicked, I lifted the fully engaged, beautifully bent rod above my head tin attempt to lead the fish to calmer water. I maneuvered the rainbow to the nearest eddy, carefully grabbed the line and brought him to my net. Grabbing the line this way is taboo in my world as a guide but I apparently common in the Tenkara world. Funny thing is, this is the part I fully enjoyed. It made me realize that I need to take ALL variables into account: where I stand, what I am going to do when I get a fish, looking long term at the short term process and recognizing problems and solutions before you need them. I couldn’t just horse him in or let him run into my backing, I had to antisipate where and what he was going to do with only 12 feet of line attached. I had to think of my positioning and my next ten steps. Nothing is more Zen, becoming exclusive with your environment, simple process for a complicated task. Pretty cool.

Small Rainbow

I will say this, I will not give up any of my rods and gorgeous reels and replace them with Tenkara rigs, but I will for sure have them as part of my routine as a refreshing change of pace. One thing is for sure, you will find me on any day that the hatch is going strong with a single short line and a long rod pulling fish off the top looking as if I had reached Nirvana. It is that cool.

Be sure to look me up at Taylor Creek Flyshop if you are in the Roaring Fork Valley if you are interested in learning Tenkara and enjoy another level of river philosophy.

Glenn

Fishing Ethics

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The topic of ethics can be a very touchy subject. Depending on whom you are discussing it with, it has always come down to the “Who made you king of the world?” or “Is this right or wrong for the greater good?”

I think about the challenge of ethics often, probably more than I really should or need to. In my life timeI have had many debates and arguments, discussions and disagreements about all kinds of ethical issues. Be it agreeable to others or not, I enjoy the various points of view and the passion this topic evokes. Whether or not you have a strong opinion on a ‘standard of conduct’, or you really don’t care either way about how people “feel”, it comes down to the breadth and depth of how important ethics play in our lives and everyday social behavior.

Ethics can touch us in every part of our lives. There are business ethics, legal ethics and life ethics. People try to live by The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. All in all, good advice.

As fly fishermen, there is a code, an ethic model that we all SHOULD follow….How to be respectful to the fish, the environment and other fellow fishermen. Again, this is solely my take

DOW Fishing Ethics

I have featured a photo of a sign that is posted prominantly on the first big ‘pull out’ on the Frying Pan river, in my beautiful stomping grounds outside of Basalt, Colorado.

Giving thought to the message that the DOW is hopefully conveying, I expanded this list with my translations that can be brought from the river to your everyday life.

Fishing Ethics Brought to Life

*Use barbless hooks and a landing net  Transl: Choose your words carefully, don’t be hurtful and handle with care.

*Land fish as quickly as possible. Don’t play it to exhaustion  Transl: Be concise, be clear and do not labor your point. Brevity is the soul of wit…

*Keep the fish in the water as much as possible when handling and removing the fly or lure Transl: Understand that everyone will always thrive in their own environment when difficulty becomes present.

*Wet your hands before handling fish Transl: Understand that others should always be handled or treated with care, physically and emotionally.

*Remove the hook gently, trying not to squeeze the fish or put your fingers in its gills. If it is deeply hooked, cut the line. The hook will corrode or dislodge within a few days Transl: People will always get hurt. Take time, listen and help if you can. Remember that sometimes the best help is time and patience.

*Release fish after it has retained its equilibrium in quiet water Transl: Be thoughtful, be caring and not in haste. People and fish benefit greatly from a compassionate attention to detail.

Everyday I’m on the river, I pass that sign and wonder if the Department of Wildlife knew that they have also laid out a pretty decent list of ethics and philosophy for living a pretty decent life.

Next weeks blog will take on the gigantic task of how a Zen Buddhist justifies my love of catching fish.

The 9 Essentials That Every Fly Fisherman Should Know

My 9

It’s early in the morning and you are getting ready for a day out on the river.  Do you have EVERYTHING you need for a successful day of fly fishing?

As a guide, it is important that I have everything that YOU might possibly need as well as everything I need. It is tantamount, as an experienced guide, not to get caught looking for something you need or worse, not having it and appearing completely unprepared.

Here is a bit of insight about my daily routine and my daily checklist for a great day of chasing trout without worry, stress and looking like a pro. This short list of nine are important to me but please, feel free to email, comment or add to this list. I would love to share your best tips in a future blog.

1. Polarized sunglasses:  It is in my honest opinion that polarized sunglasses are THE most important item that any serious fisherman should own. I love SMITH Optics, I won’t guide without them, because:

a) They give you an incredible advantage of seeing the fish if you know how to look for them,

b) They provide a much safer way to wade and to see the river bottom and any other obstacles and,

c) They enable you to see the fly on the water when a delicate little ‘sipper’ takes that #20 midge.

2. Great wading boot, or at least OK waders:  Buy the best you can afford but think about how much wear or “time in the saddle” you’re going to give them. I have always been a dedicated SIMMS guy. I think they understand what professional Fly Fishing guides need and that can only benefit the recreational fisherman with great R&D and history.

One thing to assess, if throwing stacks of 100’s at something, you’re  “just going to get wet”. I will stress buying really good boots and medium priced waders. Cheap boots fall apart and can be dangerous. Always think safety.

3. A decent rod:  You might notice that I didn’t mention a rod and reel – that’s coming up.  What you do want is a rod that feels right to you. When you’re shopping  for rods, do not start with price. First thing you should do is go to a shop that sells real Fly Fishing gear, not fishing gear and baby cloths and iPods. The only other thing that is acceptable in the store, other than flies, is other fly fishing related goods, and maybe a mug.

I have Sage and ‘Winston rods. These are the rods that I feel best casting, but there are many out there I haven’t casted that I am sure I would fall in love with, I will have to wait until the next fly fishing show or a generous Rep to show up at the shop!

Anywho, ask to cast a bunch of rods in the weight that is appropriate for the fish you’re chasing; #0-#5 are great weights to start with. Be sure to cast these rods with reels and line.  Don’t just stand in the shop and shake it around, it looks cool but doesn’t tell you anything. Choose the one that you connect with, I can almost promise that it will not be the one your friend suggested you get. Now you can look at the price. If it is too much, the shop guy will lean you into a good second choice. If you choose one that feels right and you can also afford, BUY IT. I, still to this day, fish with a old Sage RPL 2 piece that I love.

4. A good to great reel:  This is sometimes a sticky wicket. I own great reels, I own not so great reels. I own them both by choice. Personally I find it hard to spend $600 on a 2 weight reel, but no problem with that much on a 9 weight reel. One is to “put the fish on” and the other is simply to hold line. My thought is this, get a reel that has a warranty, looks great and balances well with your rod. I will leave it up to you to choose between practicality, a piece of jewelry, or both.

5. A REAL fly box:   Be sure to have a box that is easy to open and more importantly, stays closed. Do not keep the bugs you just purchase in one of those plastic specimen cups with a snap on lid….so rookie. This is the best way to lose the $30 or more worth of flies and look stupid doing it.  Also, the box should fit in whatever pocket you keep it in… securely.

Again, nothing is worse than bending over to net a fish you have been working for an hour and watch your fly box float down stream.

6. A great set of snippers:  Nail clippers don’t cut it. Buy a good set designed to cut “mono”, then buy another.

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7. Everything else:  Be sure to always have enough tippet. It is best to double up with floatant, weights, leaders, and hemostats. This will ensure that you will not to be caught with your pants down when the fish are rising and you’re not digging through your pockets looking for that 6X tippet and all you can find 3X. Get my drift?

8. Light weight rain jacket:  A must have that should never leave your car, unless you are wearing it on the river, in a rain storm.

9. Gas:  Always fill your transportation with gas. You don’t want to be worrying about running out of fuel when you should be running up the river to get the evening hatch.

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This is the basic list that I pretty much follow everyday that I get in the car and head out. I hope it is helpful and at least gives you a base of good preparation.

Next week will be my list of things you absolutely don’t need but think you do need.

Kirk and Trico- “Quiet Companion” photo of the week

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Here is Kirk Webb’s submission for my Sunday “Fly-fishermen and their quiet companion” photo contest. Kirk is a true man of skill and talent, he has taught a dog a many new trick. As one of the “Big Men on campus” at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt he is truly the best in knowing what’s happening on the river.

Be sure to send me your favorite photos of you and your dog to be featured here on my blog. Hashtag and/or tag @artofflyfishing or #artofflyfishing on Instagram or Twitter or sent them vis email glennandtheartofflyfishing@gmail.com

 

 

Hey Hot Shot-That Ego Is Amazing!

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Just the other day I received this comment on my blog l posted last week about staying humble and in check:

S.B. penned:

“Ah well said…but I was hoping you might touch upon the truly self absorbed, hot shots….the ones that often work in a shop…the trout bum. All the obnoxious traits above are trumped by the bum”

I will do just that Mr B. Some of them shop rats are dicks, but most all of them are not. I will have to agree that the ones that act “Holier than thou” do leave a really bad taste in a persons mouth.

First off, I need to make a few quick points:

A) In any sporting industry be it skiing, snowboarding, skate-shops, and the mother of them all- surf shops, there is always the “chip on the shoulder” guy that believes there is no one better than him in his world. (You never see this in a hockey store; it’s the only sport where ego gets a punch in the face).

The fact is, there will always be those guys that feel it necessary to misrepresent their love and skill of their chosen sport with a pedestal built of arrogance, What sport doesn’t?

B) Some shops actually condone this behavior. It either stems from the owner that by nature is grumpy to the bone and it trickles down to his small and unpleasant staff or it’s just a bad shop. By the way, I love those shops, it can be so much fun just to ask stupid questions to get a rise and wait for what might spill out of their mouths. It can be priceless.  But if you chose to do that, remember, many life long fly fishermen are hunters, more than likely they are locked and loaded. 

Here is the truth. It is a shame that you had to experience this type of shop guy, it is in everyones best interest not to be that ” asshole” behind the counter. It is bad for the customers, it is bad for the guides and it is just plain bad for business. I have new clients that come from other shops to fish with us because they could not stand the fact that they were paying a lot of money for a trip and the owner was just disrespectful, and a good guide lost his client because of that owner. Totally uncool.

In my experience from both sides of this, as customer and guide, you can do a few different things:

1) Don’t buy anything, leave and go to another shop in town that is more than happy to see you. Simple as that.

2) Call him out. “Dude really? You’re awfully cocky for a 10 year old…” I have found that a bit of quick wit and carefully placed sarcasm can be a very powerful tool when have to defuse an unnecessary ego fueled situation. Word of caution, don’t pin ego with ego. Your goal is just to punctuate his attitude, to make him realize how stupid he sounds.

3) If you’re going into the shop for a fishing trip, I suggest talking to everyone in there and stick with the one that engages you in return. We ALL walk into a room and form our opinions of everyone in there way before anyone is introduced. I do it, you do it, everyone does it, it is human nature.

My only comment I would have to make is that a “trout bum” is a person that is so enamored with the sport that they are willing to live “that” lifestyle; they are OK with being broke, always chasing trout and working in a fly shop. The guys that bug you are just punks with rods or a shop owners without a business plan.

I hope this answers your question.

 

 

 

 

Hand-Held History

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I am a sucker for #oldschool stuff, be it #motorcycles, #watches or fly fishing gear. I know that this reel is far from the best, but it served its purpose for someone very well. Look at the wear of the finish and the dirt on the handle from this persons thumb and fingers.

What stories would this reel tell? How about the angler? Where in the world has this reel been? To me, Fly fishing should always more than one’s fish count.
#flyfishermen #flyfishing #trout #travel #stories #reels

So You’re A Hot Shot. Top 5 Tips To Fly Fishing Humility

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True humility is intelligent self respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves. It makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be.
Ralph W. Sockman

Malcolm Gladwell makes his living pointing out the powers of innate observation with statements akin to “something doesn’t feel right”  or that it takes a person 10,000 hours of doing something to truly be qualified as an expert. All this is good. But in my experience, sometimes a little knowledge can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Why I say this is really very simple. Becoming arrogant about a talent seems to trump, being quietly humble.

Think of Dennis Rodman or Mathew McConaughey . Mr. McConaughey’s inspiration during his heartfelt acceptance speech is to meet his hero and his hero’s expectations. The problem is, his hero is himself   ten years from now. Whats up with that? (Here is the link to his now famous Oscar speech.)

Dear Mr. Rodman is a different case study and far from being low key. What he is, is just a train wreck of delusional bad judgement.  One sure-fire way of understanding a persons character is simply accessing the company he keeps. How’s the weather in North Korea Dennis?

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Now let’s look the other direction towards Dirk Nowitsky and Lupita Nyong’o. If you don’t know who these two are, Google it and you will realize that they both have changed the landscape in their fields of expertise without making a ton of noise. If you are a Dallas Maverick fan, Mark Cuban excluded, you know the character that Dirk brings to the game. I think all pro sports should learn from Dirk’s example. Lupita is just a class act through and through.

So what does this have to do with fly fishing, which I love so much? This style of fishing is wrought with humility. It is the key factor on which it was built. Know matter how “Extreme” the TV wants to make it with fast editing, cocky guides and house music, it is still about the solitude of the river and the environment; nothing more.

So I wanted to share with you five simple tips on becoming an expert angler with all the goods, as opposed to becoming an A-hole fly fishermen with just a bit too much information to be dangerous.

These are some of the things you see in the shop or on the river. The lack of general awareness that certain type of people bring to our beautiful sport and it’s hollowed waters.  I made very broad brush strokes, but here we go:

Do not become:

1) The “Amortizer

This is the guy that books a trip and then divides the cost of the trip with the amount of fish he caught. For example, “that’s one fish, $420. That’s two fish, $210 each”  and so on. This kills me and I have seen it more than once. I’m talking to you, CFO’s.

What an experienced Angler does here is recognizes what they want from their day. New spots, new techniques, a great lunch, and catching a really difficult fish. Maybe the tables could turn and the client gets charged  per every fish caught. Imagine that. It could be a very expensive day on a mid August Green Drake hatch.

2) The “Gierachian”

These are the people who have read everything John Gierach has written and believe they have a good handle on what fly fishing is all about. I love his stories. He is an amazing writer, but he says nothing about how you need to hold the rod up when you’re drifting a dry in fast water, or which float ant works wonders on a comparadun.

What humble veterans do is read Trout Bum on the plane and then ponder the structure of his own story following his weekend trip to “Pan”.

3) The “Complainer”

This one can be touchy but needs to be said – the guide is doing their best to put you on fish and hopefully big ones to boot.

What the guide can’t do is completely control which fish is going to eat your fly. So if you end up saying “That one wasn’t big enough”, then that’s blatantly not the right thing to say.  It screams “Squid”!

What a confident sportsmen does is reflects back to the days when they weren’t catching anything, taking a good look around and thinking, “What a beautiful day”. Then he thanks the fish for taking their fly.

4) The “Exaggerator” 

Never walk into the shop and blurt out a number. It is irreverent, boastful, and worst of all. And you don’t know if it’s the biggest number or the smallest number. Are you willing to gamble that? Let’s say you got twenty to the net – your best day ever and you could not be happier. Then you go back to the shop and somebody walks in and says they caught 50 (chances are they’re lying ..remember John Gierach’s book All Fishermen are Liars?). You might start to question the best day you have ever had, Why do that?

What my mentor and best guide I ever had the pleasure of working with, John High, would say as he walked back into the shop was simple, “Yep, we caught one”, period. And we all knew it was a gigantic number.

5) The “Exhibitionist” 

DO NOT under any circumstance take your shirt off on the river. This is just bad form. Chances are you are not tan, and if you are it is more than likely the most epic Farmer’s tan. You are not buff, most fly fishermen aren’t, and you’re using cut bait. Get my drift.

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It is in the best interest for all of us to remain noble, understated and humble. We have chosen one of the most difficult and expensive way to catch fish, so we should present ourselves in similar fashion. Accept our rewards in silence, gloat to ourselves and celebrate our successes over an ice cold beer with good friends who are willing to listen to your lies.

 

 

The Outsider

Smokin fly

(This is a repost of an article that had written a bit ago for the Taylor Creek blog. I posted it here but. it was posted in the most horrible layout and unreadable font…but I fixed that. Please enjoy)

When you live in a small-town resort area, your perspective over time can become a bit skewed.

I made a living for nearly twenty years doing what most people dream about; spending my days on a beautiful river casting feathers, threads and hook to a waiting trout. But alas, no longer.  As with all things, life changes can be good or bad.

My path and life changes (always when a girl becomes involved) have recently led me to the beautiful city of San Francisco, far, far away from the hustle-bustle of Basalt, Colorado and the magnificent Roaring Fork Valley: The same Valley where a roundabout caused a wild uproar with the long time residents, many of whom are still upset that Highway 82 is four lane highway with God forbid, stop lights. Coincidently, these are same residents that welcomed Whole Foods like a favorite aunt coming home from a five year stint in a hippy commune. I love that.  That is the charm of living in a small town.

As a local, you just come to understand and accept, -almost expect- a somewhat closed mindedness of our type.  Of course I mean that in the most complimentary of ways. We forget what the pressures of city living is like: the traffic, all the in-our-opinion, the speed of life, and the idea or belief of how work is supposed to work.

First, let’s define work. In a city, work is a way to provide for your family. You keep your head down and grind it out to save for that two week vacation that will include your obligatory 1-3 days of fly fishing, all the while making sure that there is something else for the family to do. The difference in a valley like ours, is that you do the work that you want to do, avoid the work that you don’t want to do and fish before dinner, or more accurately, fish through dinner. That is really the way it is.

Now, my tables have turned.  I am now a city dweller, thinking and longing for the river. My perspective has now changed drastically. As a professional fly-fishing guide, your biggest concerns are as follows; is the water clear, what is the flow, what is the weather going to do today, is my client a gun or a squid?  It’s true.  Just like you would prejudge your guide, “he looks nothing like Brad Pitt” or “this is nothing like the the movie“. One of my personal favorites that was said to me from a client the moment we shook hands was, “I’ve read about a 24″ brown trout that John Gierach caught behind Two Rocks on the Fryingpan. I want to catch it”. We as guides sometimes make judgments too, but they are soft judgments that we never stick firmly to, as I have been surprised more often than not.

I have now become a pedestrian, living miles, not yards, away from the river, mentally planning my next trip to get out and wet a line. This is a new perspective for me. It has given me a much needed, new point of view of what an out-of-town client really comes to expect and what to leave with; serenity. I now get it. I am willing to pay, willing to travel, willing to spend my day with someone that is living a life that people dream of. I absolutely loved being a guide. I looked forward to hearing the stories about lifestyles that I never wanted to live; the grind, the tow, the stress, all things that make an urbanite tick. I am now one of them.

As of today, I have a couple hundred bucks saved up to make a trip back to the Valley and actually do what I used to get paid handsomely to do for years. What I have learned since leaving my amazing home in the mountains is to simply appreciate every day, and to be light handed on the judgment thing and to remember that everyone has their own story

When I tell people what I have done in my life, as I’m sitting at a craft beer bar in the Bay Area, they are captivated and awestruck by how I have lived my life up to this point. When I ask about their path, I often find that they are a major player in a well known social media company that I can only describe in 140 characters or less, that they are just 24 years old and have more money and toys than God. Somewhat amazingly, I never have envy. I have lived a life that they could only dream of living.

The river is part of me. I miss the sound and feeling of the current pushing against my legs in waders. I miss the rain at 4 o’clock everyday and the “pop” of a caddis busting through the surface. I now know what it’s like to be in the hype of a big city and looking for a fly shop just to check out what’s going on; it’s woven into me. I will always make trips back to the waters that I love, now fully understanding just how special they really are. And I will never take it for granted and realize that I too, will be “lightly judged” by the new guides, not know my history, my story, until we are out on the water and quietly proving that I’m a gun and not calamari.

[ I am now as I write this note, moving back to my native Colorado to Guide once again in the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley. Let’s go fish’n]