To go with the athletic talent and raw determination, Perin can point to one other factor that made Randolph, his ace guide, such a great steelhead fisherman—and it might have been the most significant factor of all, certainly the hardest to explain. Randolph was, quite simply, as fishy as they get. His instincts, so in tune with the waters and the fish, were so sharp that the people who know fishing, and knew Randolph—people like Perin—struggle to describe him any other way. "Joe was just fishy." Randolph was fishy everywhere he fished, but nowhere was he fishier than on the Deschutes. He knew every rock, seam, and crevice. He knew where the steelhead held and what they'd bite. He lived for that river.