Ever wonder what the guide is thinking when he's wearing a far away look and slight smile? Sometimes he's celebrating a good day on the water. Othertimes, he's
just dreaming of that cool brew when the day is wrapped up. Here are a few thoughts which might prompt the latter.
Why can't they cast? This lament, like many others, is often thought, though rarely heard. If the client's SUV has "Just Married" on the back window and gear gifts from the Orvis bridal registry, she deserves credit for being a good sport. Much more if she's willing to try. It's harder to overlook the guy who has clearly spent all of his resources acquiring top gear and none on instruction. Frequently, this guy has low skills, high expectations, and no compliance with the guide's instructions.
This leads to Why do they hire a guide? Accepting the client's position at face value, the way to cast is the way he's always done it for 30 years, there can't be any fish "there," and three hip flasks for a half-day float won't impair his abilities.
Don't help me launch the boat - especially when I'm still in the truck. There's no telling how many pre-mature launches too much "help" has caused.
Why didn't they mention the full-body cast before the a.m. pick up? Being surprised by diarrhea, oxygen tanks, lethal allergies, wheelchair requirements or total insanity, can dramatically alter the angling prospects.
Who (besides this guy) would pack his gear in six plastic grocery bags and expect to keep the rain out, much less locate anything? Disorganization and clutter steal fishing time. Cold, wet gear can cause a miserable day or short life. Inadequate sun protection can result in a close second. If you have any doubts about proper preparation or technical clothing, ask your guide. Your more likely to find toe tags on board than a closet full of clothing your size.
Why was the only decent hook-set in my ear? "Rip their lips off!" long, backward yanks may seem necessary to drive in gigantic, heavily-barbed treble hooks with
conventional tackle. The fly's small, single, chemically sharpened hook practically sets itself with a gentle "slip strike." Admittedly, very large fish and flies demand a little more aggressive
"strike," by the hand, not the rod tip.
A slip strike basically involves retrieving a few inches of line under one finger of the rod-holding hand. The fish won't get the point until the slack's out of the line. Line management and having the rod tip down toward the water make all the difference. Once set, the tip is elevated to cushion stress on the tippet.
The advantages -- If the fish misses, the fly is still available to it. The line's in position to re-cast. You won't jerk the fly into the trees, your eyes, or the guide's ear. Guides appreciate ear tips almost as much as cash tips.