Guides Fishing With Guides…
Tackle Shop guides don’t just guide the Madison, even though it is undeniably the capitol of the fly fishing world. In April, John Way called me up and said, “Scrunch, let’s go fish the Bitterroot today. I have to guide it tomorrow.” I had been on it for a quite a few days already, and had to guide it the next day as well, but welcomed the opportunity to fish it with John. “Sure,” I said, “but we have to take your boat.” (I had just washed mine!)
We floated Darby to Wally, a short float, but one that would show us what we needed to know. Fish were in most of the reliable places, eddys, pockets, riffles, and on slow inside bends. We caught fish on various skwala patterns, so we kept trying new ones, even John’s super secret Experimental Skwala.
In the afternoon, a good hatch of gray drakes came off, but we fished our skwalas right through it, both of us happy and confident on our upcoming guide days. John started guiding the Bitterroot way before I did, but I had been on it more recently, thus, I knew where the skwala hatch was best at that time. We both had three consecutive days of successful guiding after our fishing day, with bent rods, wet nets, and photos of grinning clients.
A competent guide is a confident guide, and confident guides are able to transmit that confidence to their clients. Confident anglers tend to fish better than nervous ones. A little teamwork and the Experimental Skwala provided good fishing and fun for all.