Sometimes, seeing is believing, and the river guide has just about seen it all.
My top 10 favorite “strange but true” guide experiences:
10. The guy who pays for his $350 guide trip with a wad of $1 bills, peeling each off and counting, one-by-one.
9. “Wow, that’s a beautiful fish Mrs. Smith caught, Mr. Smith; want me to take a photo with your camera?” “No photos … that’s not Mrs. Smith.”
8. “How do you get these things on again?” the guy asks as he sits on a bench in the shop (in his underwear), wading boots laced up, trying to stuff his feet down the Gore-Tex wader pant legs.
7. “I’d like to return this rod, it doesn’t work,” the man says, explaining his $650 refund is due because it must be a defective product (and not the fact that he has the motor skills of a three-year old) that keeps him from casting more than 14 feet.
6. The guy who complains because he cannot fit the tip of his WF5F fly line through the eye of a size #20 blue-winged olive.
5. The woman who insists on wearing stiletto heels in the drift boat, because they help her see better with a “taller” point of view (then sinks ankle-deep in muck at the pull-out).
4. The guy who proudly shows off the “killer fly” he bought at the shop yesterday (a Royal Wulff), ties it on, greases it, and then proceeds to pinch on three Water Gremlin split shots, three inches above the fly.
3. The guy who burns a permanent scar on his $2000 bamboo rod by holding it too close to his stogie as he fights a 12-inch brown.
2. The lady who excitedly unspools her entire fly line and 30 yards of backing by reeling, backwards, after a trout inhales her grasshopper fly.
1. The guide who pins his raft on a boulder in heavy current, and brushes the episode off by saying, “Let’s fish here … try that seam over there.”
I know some of you folks have other winners … share with us, please!
***UPDATE We’ll give a Loomis Xperience 9-foot 5-weight rod (retail $285) to the best, believable, strange but true tale from the guide side described in the comments below. We’ll pick April Fool’s day.