Learning is an interesting thing. Teaching is an interesting thing. As a guide it is like one big scramble and the two are more often than not, hand in hand. Each day we take people out we are constantly learning and adding to experiences which help you form your decisions. Maybe the decision is who to put in the front of the boat vs the back, What fly to try when, or maybe how to let someone who is sensitive know that they are doing something wrong without hurting their feelings. Everyday I am learning from my clients, somedays you may not even know that you did. Everything you see and do is going into that bank of experience and making you better at communicating and teaching.
When I found out that I was going to have the opportunity to become a steelhead guide, I was super pumped. I knew that I had a ton to learn, but was really excited about the new challenge. That is how I have been approaching every guide day since.
I focus on paying attention to EVERYTHING. Every question, every bit of feedback, every observation, where clients fish came from, where I rubbed the boat on the rocks coming into a run, everything has to be acknowledged and logged in the coconut.
Anyway, here I am two successful seasons later, still learning, still stoked, and still getting loads of info each day from my guests. Even though I have come so far, I still feel as if I am in my Steelhead infancy. I may not have as many burns holes in my Patagonia puff jacket as some dudes do, but here are some of the concepts I learned and I will be sharing them over the next ten days. Maybe my opinion about some of these will change over time, but for now I think they help me and my guests catch fish and have the best experience possible.