In the recent issue of The Fly Fish Journal there is an article written by Jim Hepworth where he says that “guides tend to make lazy, spoiled, indolent fly fishers, needy and dependent, especially in a crisis, and flyfishing is nothing but one crisis after another. In that sense, even for those who can afford them, guides can be downright dangerous.”
Well, while I agree with much of what Jim says, my fellow guides and I aren’t lazy.
Here is why:
It’s Saturday morning January 1st. We are having a cold snap here in Western Washington, the high is going to be in the upper 20’s and I had three bottles of Champagne last night bringing in 2011. Now I’m twenty minutes from meeting Charlie and Ted (fellow EWA guides) to fish the Skykomish for early run winter steelhead. As I cross the West Seattle bridge there isn’t another car on the road. I stopped atop the bridge to snap a few pictures of the moon coming up over Mt. Rainer. I can feel my heart beat in my Temples.
Charlie and Ted are right on time, we load our gear into my car and head out. The day never get’s above freezing, we never see a fish, we fish till dark, and it is great!
Mr. Hepworth goes on to say that “A guide will spot your fish, select your fly, help you to your casting position, teach you to cast, tell you when to “set” the hook, how to play the fish, net the fish for you, and the snap your photo. In return all you need to do is hand over a big wad of sweaty bills.”
And then, on days off we fish, in the freezing cold with frozen feet, casting to nothing. So, Jim, I don’t think all guides are lazy, spoiled, or indolent, especially the ones that I know, but yes, fly fishing can be one crisis after the next and fly fishing guides can be dangerous.
Here is to a fantastic year on the river and the sound. We look forward to fishing with you!