Last July, while backing my float boat into the river at a tight ramp, I made the mistake of focusing only on my side-view mirrors and not watching my front end. Next thing I know, there’s a nice little paint scrape on the bumper thanks to a tree stump (below). It’s one of those truck wounds that’s not so bad I feel the need to dump buckets of money to fix it, and it’s not so terrible that it bothers me every day. But over the weekend a buddy of mine saw it and said, “wow, you should really take better care of your truck.” I probably should. At the same time, I look at a truck as another tool that is going to get somewhat messed up if you’re using it properly. Take the trucks of fishing guides, for example.


I fish with a ton of guides, and over the years I have made an observation that so far has held 100% true. The trucks of the guides that catch the most fish feature one or more of the following:

A cracked or chipped windshield

An illuminated “Check Engine” light

Floor mats that reek of old, dried coffee

Flies hooked directly into the ceiling liner

A trailer ball and hitch receiver with some degree of rust

One door that no longer opens from the inside

You might think I’m joking, but take notice of your guide’s ride next time you hire one. If he/she picks you up in a flashy, new Escalade or tells says you can’t eat/drink/smoke/chew in the truck, consider bolting and hiring someone else. If the truck features any criteria from the list above, you’re probably going to catch lots of fish. As for my truck, I’ll leave the scrape for now. Maybe it’ll help me catch the same amount of fish as a full-time guide.