Fly Fishing Guides...A breed apart!
Guides are an eclectic mix of fishing enthusiasts. The world of fly fishing can be very small, and those who choose it as a profession have a common thread that connects them all. They clearly have a deep love and passion for the art of fly fishing. It is similar to someone selecting to be an educator in our school systems. However a fishing guide has a freedom that we don’t allow to our teachers. This freedom allows guides to find the way to teach that best suits there greatest strengths.
There are guide schools out there and they will tell you the only absolutely necessary precursor to becoming a fly fishing guide is an in-depth knowledge and love of the sport of fly fishing. This is completely false. You need an extremely high level of people skills. Anyone who has ever taken someone fly fishing for money will suffer from Post Traumatic Guide-Related Stress Flashbacks. You need an ability to let it go. Luckily for guides its easy because they spend so much time meditating. If you know any fishing guides, you've seen the starry eyed look as they stare at the water. Yep, that's their meditation time.
The best fishing guides have endured many things in there lives. They have found a way to do what they love even if just for a short time of the year. They are true artists in every sense of the word. Like any artist they have to dedicate there lives to what they love. Just like a great chef who has travelled the word learning techniques and sampling fine cuisines, or a wood carver who dedicates all his time to perfection. Being a successful fishing guide requires the same mindset that an accomplished artist achieves. Many people who have utilized a fishing guide have not realized the correlation between these unique activities. Fly Fishing guides dedicate their lives to the environment, our natural resources, and the preservation of the species that supports their lifestyle.
The greatest lesson I ever learned on the river is also a lesson in life. When you are fly fishing you should never focus on the fish you are after, you should focus on the surroundings they lie in. This is the common thread that all fly fishing guides have. If everyone could accomplish the same situational awareness in general life as their fly fishing guide has, the world would be a better place to live.