Guiding may be a job, complete with responsibilities and frustrations, just like any other. However, it has moments that have me actually questioning, “I actually get paid for this?” Days I actually wish could last a little longer, where fish, weather, clients actually cooperate. Today was one of those days.
I met my clients, Amelia and Jen, in front of The Holiday Inn Parkside in Missoula. The Orvis Rendezvous is in town and we usually get to guide some pretty spectacular anglers when the event is in town. John Way introduced me to the gals and gave me a look that said, “Scrunch, don’t mess this up!” I just smiled and thought, “yeah, Scrunch, don’t mess this up.”
It turned out, neither John nor I had anything to worry about. Amelia and her husband Dave run Jensen Flyfishing and Jen runs Dun Magazine. They both knew what they were doing, thus, very competent anglers. More importantly, they were very fun people to spend a day with. We laughed, caught fish, told stories, laughed some more, and definitely connected in a solid, fishy kind of way. Amelia is a professional photographer so we took lots of pictures and the smiles are the evidence of a day well lived.
Bent rods and smiling faces are what this job is about. It is actually more about the latter than I ever knew. Truth be told, 18 years into rowing a boat for a living, I am more aware of that ever. I can only thank these two ladies, and the other special clients like them, for reminding me that, while the tug is the drug, the smile is the deal!