A Day In The Life Of A Fishing Guide, Act 1, Scene 327:
*Angler stands at river’s edge, excitedly hops from one foot to the other while the guide ties on what will be the first of fifty flies for the day*
Angler: “Gee, I wish I had your job.”
Guide: “Why’s that?”
Angler: “Well, you get paid to go fishing every day.”
*Guide reaches into boat for large club*
At this point in the conversation, I usually try to change the subject. As a guide, you fulfill many roles – relationship counselor, psychotherapist, babysitter, scapegoat, purveyor of wit, wisdom and one-liners – but rarely does personally catching fish make the job description. Rather you facilitate the interaction, row your ass off against the current for ten or fifteen miles, call strikes, untangle clusters, attempt to decipher Mother Nature and hope that at the end of the day the fish were reading from the same page and the tip fairy is out and about.
But every once in a while, you strike gold.
“Hayden, this is Fred. Fred is going to Alaska this summer, and wants to brush up on his rowing skills. You job is to fish, and fine tune his technique.”
So it was this particular day. My chance to not give a damn about body count, or when and where the hatch was coming off, or what the water temperature was, and do what I like to do – throw a dry fly hard against the bank and see what happens. And get paid for it. If that isn’t worth getting out of bed for, I don’t know what is.
By the end of the day, Fred was one tired puppy. Mind you, so was I. So tired, in fact, I broke down my rod and sat out the last mile or so of the float, content to watch the scenery go by, reflect on some of the fish caught, and look forward to a couple of cans of liquid Advil when I got back home. While my shoulders can handle the strain of pulling on oars for eight hours, casting a fly rod for that long is another matter. Frankly, I don’t know how some guys do it.