Friday, March 8, 2013 (thoughts)

Swivel Point

Well I am approaching a swivel point in my life. I recently got accepted to medical school to start in August. That ain't happening. I am going to try to defer mostly for health related issues, and a few other things as well: I need another year. So the reality is my fishing life the way it has been the past few years will change. In a little more than a year I will once again become a weekend warrior, if that. The reality is as a fly fishing guide, unless you are single and work 12 months a year with a steady flow of return clients willing to tip big, you can barely support yourself. If you are married to a successful and wealthy spouse who actually brings in the cash, it also could work as long as you don't have a fleet of children. There are a few exceptions, but these people are the most talented, connected and resourceful in the industry. Even in those cases many have to sell their souls, and self-promote to no end. They get slandered by their peers for not "keeping it real," and ruining the sport in a selfish attempt to make a living. I see both sides of the coin: I hate what has happened to many of our fisheries; but a guy has to make a living. Obamabucks aren't free.


Job security
A job actually doing some good and giving back (*guiding does as well)
A chance at being able to afford all the fishing trips I have always wanted to do, eventually.
Not letting my extensive education go to complete waste
The few times I get to go fishing I will be more likely to cherish them


- My fishing peers will steadily become better than me in every aspect of the sport. (Brent will become so good that fish will call him the great slayer, and swim straight up water falls to avoid being fooled by his impeccable drifts and fly selection)
- I will not be able to drop what I am doing the second the flows are ideal and head to my favorite river
- I will no longer be a guide (the best job for a single person in the world).

This possible career path is what gave me the incentive to buy a raft. The few days I do get to fish, I want them to be special.


1. I am about to embark on an Olympic Peninsula Steelheading adventure.

It's funny to me that I own more two handed rods than one handed rods since the majority of my fishing is done in Colorado. For the last month, except for one day with Fish Whisperer Brent Boyd, I have only swung flies. The latest trip I went to the Roaring Fork in Glenwood and swung soft hackle midges lol. It was relatively productive, only because there was a midge hatch going on.

I am driving up alone with another make shift raft that I can carry by myself. A water master would be ideal but they are absurdly expensive. I am sleeping in my car and will be on the road for about 3 weeks. My brother and his friend might meet me up there for a week, if the timing works out.

2. I am doing a week trip up to the REEF and the BIGHORN in the middle of April. Hopefully it will be the christening of the new Raft.

3. I will guide this summer for Mountain Angler and Ken's Angler's in some capacity (could be full time, could be very part time.

4. I will return to BC to steelhead in the fall. hopefully for a full month.


I have been reading more of Lani Waller's writings and have realized that fishing is really like church for me. Its the only time I ever get into a calm meditative state. Recently, my brother, when learning to spey cast, told me it was the first time he really felt his mind was at ease in the last 6 months. As well I have had less anxiety during fishing. I used to be so competitive with myself and was only happy when I caught a pig. But I feel this past year I have crossed some type of boundary. I still love big fish the most, but I have gotten the opportunity to land a few 30 inch+ rainbows, and guide someone into a 30.5'' Brown all on public water. Those barriers actually have let me relax. I was jacked to land a 14'' rainbow on the swing last week. I also want to treat my fishing buddies in a more relaxed manner. My buddy Wes remembers a couple years ago that when we would show up at the Taylor, I was already running up the bank looking for fish, when he was still putting on his waders.

I want to thank all the great people I have met fly-fishing in the last few years, Lets go pursue some Trout (especially the big ones)


I love 'em both, don't you?

-Charlie L.