Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ugly casts catch fish too

ain't that the truth.

a week and a half of guiding under the belt. first week i had some familiar faces on the water - folks i took fishing last summer. the fishing was very good, lots of action subsurface and even a few takes on top. for six clients last week, i was able to net a fish on their last cast of the trip. nice!

we see a lot of rookies here on the ranch. sometimes it is hard to get them to hook fish and then even harder to get those fish to my net. what it is. ugly casts catch fish too and when i've got a client by my side and we're in the middle of a run, we will eventually get a good drift that will a fish will eat.

the first half of this week has been a slightly different story. we have a group of kids, aged 8 - 16, in for 3 full days of fishing. we had these kids last summer and they're great boys, but beginning anglers. it's been windy for a while and that doesn't help. i had one of my worst, catching wise, trips to date on sunday, where my only fish of the day was a 6" brookie on the last cast of the trip. yesterday afternoon's trip saw two fish in the net. this is frustrating and stressful because these kids just want to catch fish. and they don't hesitate to let me know that fact. and then as soon as the trip's over and all the guides rendez-vous with the boys back at the lodge, the first questions out of every boy's mouth is "how many did you get?" "i got X fish and they were Y inches!" i wish i could've written down some quotes from the creek the last few days.

"man this is frustrating."
"i NEED to catch a fish."
"so-and-so got so-many fish yesterday and i haven't caught one yet!

and then there's the never ending stream of questions.

"do you see one?"
"are you putting on a dry fly?"
"do fish eat actual flies?"
"how far can you cast?"
"how many fish do you catch?"
"can you take me to a good spot?"
"is this a good spot?"
"do you see one?"
"can we use a stonefly?"
"how big was that fish?"
"do you see one?"
"i would've had 6 fish if i hadn't lost those four."
"wait wait one more cast!"

and so on. i actually counted because i was curious and in one afternoon's trip i lost exactly 15 flies. with three kids of near-beginner status who all are so eager and excited to fish, it's easy to be convinced to let two go ahead and fish a hole by themselves while i stay with one. inevitably the other two return to my side in a matter of minutes either with no flies, a huge tangle or both. but, deep breath, that's guiding. i'm outside in a trout stream all day and that's a good thing.

netting fish for the most excited clients of the season is pretty good too.

meanwhile, good casts catch fish as well. the rio grande is fishing pretty good. been floating a fair amount and hitting some fish with big salmonflies, sized 2 or 4. les landed a 5 pound rainbow on a salmonfly on friday. very solid. we forgot the camera so we had a feeling we might see a big fish that day.

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