Guiding a Guide

It’s often the case that Charity and I are on the water for days at a time from the spring thru the autumn, but we’ll look up and notice we haven’t fished together in months. So much of our free time is spent doing things with our kids. Even as we take the kids fishing we don’t get much time for just the two of us.

Yesterday was just such a day when we made arrangements for the kids to spend the day at the pool with grandparents and were able to hitch up the drift boat and head for the river. It’s been a while since Charity has done any guiding from the drift boat but she’s still more than qualified. And that’s where the issue starts.

A nice trout goes airborne

A nice trout goes airborne

I’m setting the boat up for a particular drift and she’s telling me I need to have the boat situated differently for what she’s trying to do.

Ooookkkaaaaayyyyy…. It’s not everyday someone in the front of the boat is telling me what to do. I’m trying to gently tell her she’s got it all wrong and should be casting over here, not there. Maybe she would have listened too, but she probably couldn’t hear my advice over the screaming reel.

A very nice fish for a tiny dry fly

A very nice fish for a tiny dry fly. Of course she had a great guide!

Regardless of any friction it’s always a pleasure to get to spend some quality time on the water with my wife and business partner. It’s a good time for us to take it easy, reconnect, and enjoy the river together. I treasure those times when Charity and I get some time together on the boat. We get to discuss new ideas and make some plans. And most importantly, I get the rare opportunity to fish with someone competent on the oars.

Charity Rows While Ian Fishes

I’m moving up in the world! About five feet to be exact right into the front of the boat.

If it’s tough to have your advice ignored by a successful angler, it’s at least as bad when you start to fish and hear something along the lines of “You’re going to use that?”

Of course I had the satisfaction of immediately getting a nice fish to eat, but it came off early in its first run. “Better check for a pigtail. Looks like it broke you off but it didn’t look there was enough pressure for it to pop the tippet.”

“And how about you just keep the boat steady while I tie on another?”

Charity rolled her eyes and opened the cooler for a drink while I pulled another Zelon Nymph from the fly box.

That’s one of the best things about using a guide. You get to transfer the blame for any bad knots onto them. Of course that’s assuming you didn’t tie the knot yourself.

But hey, it’s just one fish and the river’s full of them. And we both caught enough to keep it fun.



Tailwater Rainbow Trout




  1. Dave Selph says:

    Hehe! Well Ian you probably ought to just listen to her. Happy Wife, Happy Life. Glad you two got a chance to get out alone and enjoy yourselves. Here’s wishing you can do it more in the future. Great photos BTW.