Guide Primer

There Comes a Time in Every Guide’s Life A Primer


On the river, things make sense. Even if fish aren’t biting, and clients are upset fish aren’t biting, and the ice in the cooler somehow shifted, and the sandwiches are soggy. There is even sense to make as someone’s backhoe scrapes riverbed, displacing bugs and fish, mudding the river for weeks, only to have rocks fill the artificial hole back in during the next ice flow or flood year.  

And when a few days go by, then weeks turn into a month, and the water doesn’t beckon, and you think the water should beckon, but the water doesn’t; as you sit in the last of fall’s lazy sunlight looking into the long backbone of a harsh winter knowing all fishing will involve sideways sleet and snow, dark days and long, endless dusks when your body is a beacon of heat moving through a world of rock and ice, even then there is sense. 

But why are you running back and forth between clients? Why are you running? Why did you just give a barbaric yawp and splash the water with a cupped hand when a fish finally came to the net? Why are you running again? Why was the tip so small? Why was the tip so big? What tip? Why are you arguing with your client? Why does your client feel like a best friend?…

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