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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2008, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Observations of a fishing guide

Well said Fly master. You have a great guide perspective.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Observations of a fishing guide

I guided the White river system in Arkansas for over 26 years. I found that the less a client knew the fewer bad habits I had to contend with. I think the greatest trips I had were from clients wanting to learn and admitted that they didn't already know it all regardless of their age and experience. I found that the more I taught my clients the more often I guided them. I found that as a guide that I could learn something myself if I watched my client or the fish or the bugs. I had quided almost ten years when a 12 year old boy taught me that a sowbug carried its egg sack with its front pair of legs. I had a 30 year old man that was mentally handicapped, with the mind of a 10 year old teach me the true meaning of conservation. I found the more I respected my clients and were interested in them, the more they were interested in me. I realized that if everyone was a great fly fisherman they didn't need a guide. I found that those clients that weren't the best fly fisherman were my best clients. I know that different people learn at different rates and those that learned the quickest forgot the most and those that learned the slowest forgot the least, but both individuals needed and wanted a professional guide.

Here is my favorite client of my guiding career. A guy asked me to guide his sister for half a day and him and his wife the rest of the day. I said that would be okay. He said there was a hitch - his sister was blind. I thought a minute and told him that I would love to guide his sister. He said there is another hitch - she is in a wheelchair. I quickly replied that was okay, I still want to guide her. He said there is one problem - she is 85 years old. I said that was no problem and that I still would guide her.

The next morning they arrived at the boat launch and we got her in my boat. I took her downstream to the best fishing spot I knew of. I asked her if she could cast. She said that she fly fished alot before she went blind at the age of 23 but she thought she could still cast a little. I told her great, if you can cast a little I will position the boat with my anchor and move it from one side to the other by pushing it so she could catch a trout.

At noon she was tired and her morning was over. When we lifted the wheelchair out of my boat and got her on the launch ramp she said that she wanted to tip me. I began to cry and asked her not to tip me because it was a privilege to guide her and I was going to guide her for free because it was such a rewarding trip. She paid me no mind and reached in her bra and pulled out a small change purse. She opened it and handed me a $100 bill. I started to cry and asked her to please not make me take the tip. And then she gave me the greatest compliment of my 26 year guiding career. I will never forget these words. She said (and I am quoting her)," Young man, I never caught 24 trout in one morning when I could see and you are going to take this tip because this was the best trout fishing trip I have ever had in my life."

I guided her once a year for three more years...then she died. Edith was the perfect client. I would give anything to guide her again.

As for Stan... quit now before you starve to death.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:31 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Observations of a fishing guide

Fox, this is a remarkable story. Frankly, it was more inspiring than anything I heard in church this morning. It's clear that you are a guide of the highest order. In fact, while I've never fished in the Arkansas area, I'd be inclined to do so just to have the opportunity to have you guide me.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Observations of a fishing guide

Fly2Fish,
I quit guiding over two years ago. Now I just fish with friends...aren't you glad you are a friend? I get to fish this way too.
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