Guiding on The Center of The Universe...
Man! I don’t know where to start this post and I hope its coherent. This one isn’t going to be about fishing but more about life. I recently read a GREAT article this week out of Gink and Gasoline about a guide’s life. http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/fly-fishing-lifestyle/making-a-living-on-the-flats/ This article really hit home for me. I have started out on this new adventure, a new chapter in my life, it has help me put so much into perspective the past few days after reading it. …. Man…. So exciting!
Then this wed…. yesterday…...I had my first commercial whitewater trip of the season and this article was in the forefront of my mind all day. I came to realize that I might just be the luckiest guide in North East Tennessee. Because I am a Fishing guide and a Whitewater guide. Simple as that, I get the best of both worlds. I get to help people experience the best of both worlds here in the Southern Appies. It was a great day with probably the best water level on the Nolichucky Gorge for a first rate whitewater trip. Big hits, frothy holes, and perfect waves…...Not too big and not too “summertime levels”. A great level for everyone to have fun. But all this needs to be put in perspective.
I guided for a number of years beginning in 1996 and lasted full time to 2004, I guided a number of years on a number of rivers. I meet amazing people, and amazing guides. People who have the river inside of them, and it’s never left them, many of them are still out there today in some way. In 2004 the outpost I was managing was sold and I felt that this was a good time to get a “real” job. Come out of the woods, take a shower and go to work like the people that I have been taking down the river for so long. I cont. to guide part time for a few more years, it began to taper off…the guiding. I did get private trips in, and a TON of fishing in during this time, but slowly, I began “guiding” less and less. Real world took over, the job, my chosen path was EMS and I worked as a Paramedic. I became a daddy to an awesome little boy, and the “need” or the perception that I “had” to have this job took over. Till last year. Then I realized that being who I am supposed to be is the most important thing for him…...and me. I got this crazy idea about being a fishing guide, and spent the last year plus, buying gear, researching water, fishing water, listening to people who can tell me a thing or two and getting everything ready. I have a wonderful girlfriend who has and continues to support me with a positive attitude, a smile and great advice about business and for that matter life. Old friends have extended me their helping hands to see this adventure to succeed. Many have given me great encouragement, one even has opened up his whitewater business, the one I used to work for, and is helping me book trips, and is keeping me on tract for success, Thanks Matt, I will work damn hard for you! This is where I belong, right now, right here.
The Gink and Gasoline article holds true for all guides…. guides on a river, or on a mtn somewhere, it rings true of the profession, and what we hold dear. It’s hard to explain, the feeling that guiding creates inside of you, and no its not meant for everyone, like not everyone is able to be a doctor, a lawyer or a Paramedic. It is a noble profession, one that takes people places and do things that they normally are not able to do, BUT they want to do. And that’s cool. Not every profession can say that.
It’s good to be back.
No wonder they call the Nolichucky River The Center of the Universe and I always get to say now… see you on the river and tight lines!