I’m done. I’m toast. At least for 2007. As a guide, you go out on river trips, and in May it’s all smiles, but by Halloween it’s dead-over. I’ve seen enough. They’re killing me …

The top five sins against the river guide that will ensure heart failure, a stroke, or cirrhosis of the liver by age 50 (in descending order):

5. Lay into the first hooked trout with the most bodacious bass-set anyone has ever seen, sure to bust off even 2X tippet in a heartbeat, even on a 7-incher.

4. Wait for me to turn my back, and then wade with determination straight into the heart of the run to ensure you are standing on fish.

3. Drag your flies to the point that they create a noticeable wake, even after the most patient and thoughtful explanations of the “dead drift,” mending line, and so forth.

2. False cast a minimum of seven times … and immediately rip your flies off the water when they land within 10 inches of any surface-feeding trout.

1. On at least four occasions, after watching the strike indicator sink like it has been flushed down a toilet, turn to me and ask, “Was that a fish?”

** Super Bonus Spanker Award goes to the person who, after punting 14 clear takes and, in doing so, questions my credibility, hands me the ugliest, most disgusting, home-tied fly I have ever seen in my life, calls it the “secret weapon,” and suggests we had better make a switch.

Guides … clients … anyone. Defend me. Share your nightmares. I’m on the ledge … talk me off. Please.