In August I officially completed a calendar year of being a fly fishing guide in Northwest Arkansas. I primarily fish the White River below Beaver Lake Dam, but occasionally guide in Missouri at Roaring River. While I completed my first calendar year, I’m in my second season of guiding and I have loved every moment of it. Here’s some things I learned along the way.
– Clients love the environment. What I view as common and maybe a little boring at times, I find my clients are mesmerized by the beauty. The typical first response is “how beautiful it is here”. They love the beauty, the peace and the solitude of nature. It reminds me to stop and remember just how beautiful and awesome the environment really is. Don’t take the environment for granted.
– Clients love the experience. Personally I want them to catch lots of fish, but often I hear after their first fish that I have exceeded their expectation. I tend to put too much stress on myself with the catching part, that I down play the experience part. Since they are paying I think they are paying for catching rather than for the fishing. Reminds me to stop and treasure the experience with them.
– It is in art to talk and fish at the same time. Often we get to talking about some great topic and they lose focus on the fishing part. They either want to make eye contact and look away from the water or just get into the story they are telling and lose focus. I will then see the indicator bob below the surface and I have to remind them to set the hook. No matter what, it is still about the relationship and the experience.
– There is a lot to remember in fly fishing. It’s a balance when teaching someone for the first time on how much instruction they can take at any given time. I personally don’t want someone to pick at me for what I’m doing wrong for hours. So I’ve had to learn to balance the good and the bad instruction throughout the session. They want to learn, but they also want a great experience. So it’s a balancing act on what to say and when.
Overall I’ve had a blast taking clients out and I look forward to many seasons of guiding in the future. I’ve learned so much and have met some great people. Let me know if you would like a fly fishing experience in the great Northwest Arkansas area.
Stay Trout Tough!!!