Some people think fishing guides are nothing but a bunch of beer swigging, pot smoking, river pimping, snoose chewing, foul-mouthed, worthless bums. They care more about their Labrador retriever than their girlfriend or wife. They don’t vote or pay taxes. They don’t take showers, they don’t shave, they urinate and defecate in the bushes. They are a lazy bunch with no goals, no ambition, no future. Hey…nobody’s perfect.
A couple of fishing guides discussing their future.
To help decide what to look for in a fishing guide I have come up with the following guidelines:
1. VEHICLE. What the guide drives is very important. The vehicle should be a pick-up truck with or without a camper shell, preferably beat up and dented…with empty beer cans scattered in the back. The inside should be littered with old fly boxes, dirty clothes and outdoor magazines. The seats should be covered with dog hair. Beware the fishing guide who drives a brand new, squeaky clean, expensive vehicle. This is a bad sign. This proves he cares more about his truck than his dog.
fishing guide down on his luck
2. CLOTHING. Fishing guides should look like they just crawled out from under a rock. Shirts should be torn and tattered. Shoes should be flip-flops or worn out moccasins…barefoot is even better. Hats, caps or visors should be riddled with holes and have flys with rusty hooks and well-chewed hackles stuck all over them. Beware of the well-dressed fishing guide with the fancy cowboy hat and the monogrammed, well-tailored shirt with the embroidered logo. He probably spends too much time looking at himself in the mirror.
Two fishing guides on the front porch of their residence.
3. PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. A good fishing guide should look scroungy. This proves he or she is thinking mostly about fishing and not about looks. Hair should be long and tangled…a rastafarian, Bob Marley “do” is ok. Buzz cuts are acceptable…nose rings and pierced eybrows are not. A nasty looking beard or moustache is a must. Dirty fingernails and a general un-washed appearance with the faint odor of Budweiser are a good sign. A few teeth should be crooked, tobacco-stained or missing. Beware the clean shaven, well-groomed fishing guide with the preppie haircut. He probably spends too much time texting his mommy.
4. LANGUAGE. Listen closely to your guide. Most of the conversation will be about fishing, but some guides get carried away. They try to show off and tell you how smart or important they are…how they just starred in a fishing video with George Clooney or spent a week in the woods with Angelina Jolie. Don’t believe them…they are just insecure and lacking in self-esteem. Other guides will let their minds wander and start talking about old girlfriends, their college days, their stints in rehab or their multiple divorces. Just ignore them and change the subject by asking, “do you think we should try another fly?…this one ain’t workin’ so well”. That usually snaps them back into reality.
All in all, fishing guides are pretty good people. If you can just learn to accept some strange behavior you can have a really good time.