Honesty in Fly Fishing

  by    0   0

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of honesty in fly fishing these days. From the Instafamous taking pics of average sized trout just right to make them look huge to the girls posing for grip-n-grins in bikinis. Who knew long arms would be a marketable commodity, and if you’re in a bikini you are fishing for Likes not what’s in the water.

Guide/Client Relationship

I could easily go off the rails on this one, but the topic of honesty in fly fishing came up recently with another guide talking about the guide/client relationship. As guides our job is to produce the best possible fly fishing experience on a daily basis. Good guides do this consistently, but even the best hit bumps in the road and often the root cause is a lack of honesty.

Clients don’t often lie about their skill level, but why they would lie about that at all is a total mystery. It only takes a couple minutes once we are on the water to see the skill set I am working for the day so why lie about it at the hotel in the morning? Now there’s a chance I may have picked a float that offers scenarios above our pay grade. Once we are on the water I can’t opt out for a different stretch of river that plays better to your actual skill level.

One of the bigger issues is clients being honest about who they are as an angler. Yes, we all want to catch 20 inchers on dry flies from start to finish but that’s not a reality most days. Are you an action junkie who likes a bent rod all day or do you prefer to hunt for just a few big fish? We can cater to either, but usually not both at the same time.

2 + 2 = 5

A good example is a couple guys who told me in the morning they were DFO (dry fly only) anglers. I love fishing dries and enjoy that approach. Based on the conditions I picked a float where I thought we had the best chance of successfully fishing dry flies from ramp to ramp. The first hour was a little slow with only a couple fish and one of the anglers turns to me and asks, “Should we be fishing a dropper?” Excuse me sir, but if I knew you guys would fish droppers I would have picked an entirely different river for the day.

Honest expectations are in short supply on some days. The classic example is when an experienced angler brings their spouse or child/grandchild. In the morning they say, “I’ve been fishing for years so I’ll be fine, just take care of my wife/son/etc.” At some point they realize they’re not catching as many as when they’re in the bow with their 20 year fishing partner along. They can even get a little pouty.

For the guide the dynamics are much different in a boat with a new angler versus two experienced anglers. We love introducing new anglers to the sport, but if you want them to have a great experience then we have to focus on them and that means you are not going to catch as many or even have as many opportunities in the back. If you want your new angler to love the sport as much as you then they need to have the best day possible. If they do, you will be trading off on rising fish for years to come.

Anglers not being fully honest with their guide isn’t a deal breaker. At the end of the day the guide is still going home, having a beer, and getting ready to head out again in the morning. It just makes it a little harder for guides to deliver the type of fishing experience anglers have been day dreaming about at their office for the whole year.

Next time we will talk about honest guides…..if I can find one!


Related Posts

Salty Sunday – Keep em Wet or Not?

image of Keep Em WetI was jokingly referred to as being a little “salty” in last weeks post. After the winter we have endured I can certainly embrace that salty moniker. Since we are still not on the rivers yet, let’s keep that trend alive and tackle the growing Keep Em Wet campaign. Keep Em Wet states it “is […]

READ MORE →

Skwala Contest 2019

image of skwala contest 2019We are still stuck indoors for the most part in Missoula. February left us with our biggest dump of snow and March has started with the coldest temperatures of the winter. To fill the void I am thinking of creating a contest. Contests are all the rage on social media these days so why not […]

READ MORE →

2019 Montana Fishing Forecast

fly fishing for cuttbow troutThe holidays are behind us and our attention has turned to the upcoming fishing season. It is always a challenge to make an accurate Montana Fishing Forecast, especially at this early date. We still have a long way to go before we will be sure of our snowpack. Spring rainfall and temperatures will also have […]

READ MORE →

Summer Fishing Season in Missoula

image of summer fishing seasonSummer fishing season has finally arrived in Missoula!  A big snow year combined with a cool and wet spring resulted in high water all through May and June.  There were some great moments, but we did not see consistent dry fly fishing like we always hope for in June.   That has changed.  All the […]

READ MORE →

Spring Fishing Season

image of spring fishing seasonThe spring fishing season has finally arrived in Missoula!  Old Man Winter has relaxed his grip just enough to make fishing enjoyable again.  I am certain that we haven’t seen the end of winter yet, but we have strung together enough 40+ degree days to get things moving in the right direction. The extra daylight […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top