I started guiding last week. We took some new guests that were awesome to hang with. One guy was an excellent fisherman, and the other was doing pretty well. Water temps on the bitterroot were really low and the fish weren’t swimming to the fly. We caught some but you needed to hit the trout in the face with your fly and they might eat it, but probably not. This all should change here shortly with the temps picking up. Stone fly nymphs are moving around and will be doing their reproductive thing here shortly. My wife Sandy’s elk stew was a huge hit. She put barley, Guinness, big chunks of elk sirloin, carrots, potatoes, and other scrumptious ingredients together. I hope we get that again
I also fished with an up and coming guide named Michael and his friend Jim. Michael is a real nice kid who knows what he’s doing. He is excited to help people put trout in the net. More importantly he wants to teach anglers new skills and help them improve their technique. I think he will turn out to be a good guide.
My son and I rode our dirt bikes for a while last night and on the way home we listened to the metal rock band SlipKnot. This reminded me of a couple priceless true accounts that my guests told me years ago, so here Ya Go!
John, an old friend and fishing guest of mine told me about this trip probably 30 years ago on the Bighorn. There was one guide who’s knots often failed so John’s group of anglers nick named this guide SlipKnot. Slipknot had been guiding way too long and was extremely crotchety, angry, impulsive, and not real fun to spend a day on the water with.
John’s group of 6 were being guided on the Bighorn back in it’s glory days. The other two guides were great but each float the group did everything they could to avoid SlipKnot. They somehow came up with a rotational system so each angler had to take their punishment with old Slipknot only one day hopefully.
Matt, another friend of mine in the group also drew the short straw and had to fish with Slipknot. Matt is an excellent angler/ caster and can fish with the best of them. Matt and John got in Slipknot’s boat, floated downriver a while, and found a nice pod of hungry trout rising to PMD’s. Slipknot pulled over on an isle, all three of them got out of the boat. Slipknot and Matt waded downstream a short distance. Slipknot tied a different fly on Matt’s leader, and had him cast to a couple of risers. Matt hooked a good one, got tight and was playing the fish, his rod went slack, knot failed, fish swam off. Slipknot came unglued and yelled “How the hell did you break that fish off? You can’t put that much pressure on these trout! You are done for a while, sit on the bank and think about what you did”. Matt told me that he was kinda dumbfounded, and that he had never been treated like that by a fishing guide. Matt walked down the bank a few yards and sat on the bank. Slipknot grumpily splashed up stream and went to help and probably chastise his other client. Slipknot also wouldn’t give Matt any more flies while he was in time out. So Matt hung out there for a bit and watched fish rise. A few minutes went by and Matt unable to just sit there and watch hungry trout sip flies in front of him fumbled through his fly vest. There found a couple of flies, put on a fly that looked like a PMD. He made a couple casts and was hooked up again on a nice Bighorn brown trout.. Slipknot looked away from helping the other angler upstream and noticed Matt bent with a good fish. “He ran down the bank and yelled at Matt “God dammit , I told you to not fish for a while!” Matt is a good dude but he also wouldn’t put up with this type of treatment and kind of lost it. He told me his reply went something like this, “Listen here you old bastard, if you yell at me one more time, I’m going to toss you in this cold river, take, your boat, and John and I will fish this day without you. So here is the deal, I know how to fish so just leave me alone and let me do my thing. We might just get through this day!” Matt is a nice guy but he is tough as hell, played college football for a Pac 10 school. He’s about 6’6 270 lbs and not at all fat, he was serious.
I never heard how the rest of the day went with Slipknot but I think after the rocky start the rest of the day was fairly quiet
to be continued