Fishing guides are certainly a breed of there own. Here are a few kinds you will run into.
Alaskan short termer- these guys just want to see Alaska and come up green as can be. They maybe last 2 seasons before setting into a “real job” back home.
Trout Bums- These guys are lifers in the guiding world and usually end up in Montana, Alaska, and at some point Chile in the winters.
Saltwater Obsessed- These guys scoff at trout fisherman, and anything done in cold weather. If your not site casting to huge fish in blue water you may as well be wasting your life.
Lastly the Steelhead Junkie. This is what we surround ourselves with here in Northern BC. Most of us have a decade of guiding experience, whether it be trout, or salmon, or anything else. If you live in BC and are a fishing guide your goal is to end up on a steelhead river. Most of us knew we would be in the fishing industry for the rest of our lives at an early age, and have undying passion for the sport. We crave to dip our feet into rivers, and nothing else can compare. Not 150 pound tarpon, white sand beaches, or schools of tailing bonefish can get us as exciting as stepping into the head of a steelhead run.
Young steelheaders are nomads with the attitude that home is where you lay your head. Couch surfing, city hopping, and world travel are all part of daily life. This certainly defined me, and as I approached 40 years old, my brain had been trained to think about the next adventure. The thought of having kids was a far off place I seldom went. Selfishly secluded in a bubble that was painted with images of chrome, hard fishing anadromous fish. A reluctant father I was but I think most steelheaders are. Now after being a father for the past year and a half I can’t imagine it any other way.
As a new father I have had to figure out how to manage, market, and guide day in and day out without sacrificing time with a young toddler who just wants to spend time with “Dada”.
During any given part of the year when we are operating, my job requires that I usually spend about 12 hours each day working both on the river and organizing the following day back at the lodge.
In the end I decided to take the same approach to being an entrepreneur and fatherhood as I do with steelheading. When you step into a run you have to be present in that moment, and focus on every subtle attribute that stands in front of you. The cast, the mend, the swing take true focus and patience. When you are in a run it takes a 100% of your attention to be consistently successful. You have to be ever present in the moment.
With fatherhood it is the quality of the time spent that matters. For me I have gained confidence by making sure when I spend time with my son I give him 100% of my focus. Its the same way I approach a steelhead run.
I really love my son, and I truly love my job. My son makes me happy, fulfills me, gives me a purpose, and so does my job. It is perfectly fine to have both and not be ashamed of it.
I hope that my son’s life will be better because I am successful at what I do.
I hope that one day he will have passion for his work in the same way that I do, because I believe that having balance in your life and devoting everything to whatever you are focused on is the key to success.