A Normal Life


– My job as a guide is to give the client the trip that they want. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, three and a half or four months gets to be mentally exhausting. You can’t have a normal life. I’ve been guidin for almost 10 years. It’s somethin that I did when I was young and I got away from because I was supposed to have a real job. Now I find myself back here, I’m just as happy as I was
when I was a teenager guidin. You know, people’s once in a lifetime trip is my every week. At some point you have
to accept what it is that you’re supposed to do and I just feel like this is what it is that I’m supposed to be doin. (blowing) It’s a tough river. You know, I guess I don’t
really realize it is because this is the river I
started guiding on in Alaska. You can’t take what you
know about some other river and put it here; it doesn’t work. So many different things
that go on in the river at different times in the year. The fish move for those food sources where they are when they’re there. You go one place one day
and have a really good day and go back there the next day and you can’t find a fish. So missin a day here is like missin a week or month somewhere else. The most rewarding
thing I get from guiding is not the look on
somebody’s face, you know, it’s not the big fish. The most rewarding thing I
get out of guiding, period, is the people I meet. I look at some of the younger guys, you know, even the camp
hands, as like they’re my little brother, you know? And what can I give ’em, what can I do to make them know that I appreciate the work they do around here? Because it’s… They’re the unsung heroes
that nobody ever gets to see. You know, I learned
almost everything I know in life in general from trial and error. If I can stop that and you
know, have somebody else learn because I’ve already
made the mistakes… I wish I would’ve been taught that way instead of havin to learn. (blowing) Very few people have normal
healthy relationships as fishing guides in Alaska. And it’s because you’re
gone for such a long period of time. That’s the hardest part for me is that knowing that my job hinders me from something else that I want in life. It’s part of what led to my divorce and I was willing to give it
up for that not to happen. When I had a healthy
relationship and I was married with a normal job, a
real job as people say, I was miserable all the time. It’s a double edged sword, you know? There’s good and bad with everything. If it weren’t for her I
wouldn’t be in Alaska. So you just kinda have
to take it as it comes. And I’m a better person for it. (blowing) Everybody is too quick on their back cast to try to get their forward
cast out so they can fish. You can’t rush it. It has to be done through
technique, not through force. The harder you push it, the worse it gets. The more you try to force
it, the worse it gets. It’s all in technique. Slow down and things will work better. You look at fly fishing as a way of life. Slow life down, take it
as it comes, let it happen as it will, and go with the flow.