The attention that I've paid to this thing has been nonexistent since May.
May was when I drove out to Wyoming to work as a fishing guide at A Bar A Ranch in southern Wyoming. May was the last time I wrote something on here, and honestly, I haven't really got a good excuse.
But it sure is damn hard to spend time typing when you could be out on the water.
I packed the truck and drove some two-thousand miles to my home for the next four months. Eight miles down a dirt road, thirty minutes from the nearest town of fifty-two people. I'd guided at a ranch before, but a much smaller place, with less water and fewer resources. I got to A Bar A, and the number one challenge was to learn some 32 miles of private water on the ranch's three main properties. Two different stretches of the North Platte, two different stretches of Big Creek, what we called Spring Creek, as well as several ponds and lakes.
It's a great gig, but in-spite of what many might think, guiding and teaching fly fishing can be tough. It can be challenging and frustrating when the conditions aren't right, or when your anglers might not be the most pleasant to be around. It's a very different kind of work. It can be exhausting.
But doing it six days a week is sure rewarding too. You learn more about the water and the fishing and the area and the wildlife and how it all changes over those few months than you could any other way. On top of that, you learn about people, all different kinds.
And you can't beat seeing a young kid who's only just recently picked up a fly rod, take some small bit of advice, some small tip, and put it to use, catching a fish all on his own - presenting the a small dry fly, mending, setting, playing the fish on light 6x tippet, working him closer and closer to the net until the fish is caught, and most importantly, releasing the trout back into the cool water.
Of course, too, you get access to all that private water whenever you have time to fish it, both wading it and floating it, and there are miles of public water too.