Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Becoming a guide

So in my last post I wrote that I would tell you about how I became a fly-fishing guide. It all started with my thirst for knowledge. I was looking on the internet for methods, fly patterns, lakes, rivers, creeks, campgrounds, etc... and wasn't really finding all that much information pertaining to the Edmonton area. So I thought about a fly-fishing information site regarding the local stillwaters close to Edmonton. After a couple more years went by and my knowledge grew more and more through reading and experience, I finally thought it was time to start up Fly Fishing Edmonton. Around this same time I was quite active on a message board known as The Fishin' Alberta Message Board. I posted a lot and helped out many new anglers with questions on fly-fishing and float tubing. At the end of my posts, I always left a link to my web site and e-mails started flowing in with question after question. I answered what I knew and researched what I didn't. It even got to the point where folks were asking me to meet them at a lake to teach them fishing techniques or in a field and teach them fly casting. It was my wife that suggested I start guiding clients on the local lakes. Although I thought it intriguing, I never really took her suggestion seriously. Not sure why exactly, maybe because of my web site or how much I was helping others but the owner of The Fishin' Alberta Message Board asked me to take over his board for him as he didn't have the time to monitor it any more. I accepted and have been running the board ever since. I was corresponding with a lot of anglers on the board and with this new responsibility also came opportunities to advertise my web site even more. The forum however had many more spin and bait fishermen than it did fly anglers, so while I was moderating this board, I was also posting on the Fly Fishing Alberta Forum. This was a fairly new board specific to fly angling and it was there that I met a young angler by the name of Brian Peace. We corresponded some and I wrote about my interest in learning the proper techniques to fly-fish and specifically to nymph fish the Bow River. He asked me if I'd like to drive down to Calgary and promised to get me into some fish. I did and he did. While on this trip, he explained to me that he was going to open a guiding business specifically to clients wanting walk and wade trips and clients that wanted to learn how to fish the Bow River for themselves. I thought that was a great idea and watched as he opened Bowcrow Fishing Adventures. It worked for him as he found a niche in the fly-fishing industry. People wanted to learn for themselves and didn't all just want float down the Bow, be told were to cast and reel in fish. I started thinking about the people that lived around Edmonton and according to the e-mails I was receiving, how they wanted to be taught so they could go catch for themselves. And that's when I decided to start up Edmonton Float Tube Adventures. It was (and still is) an affordable way for anglers to learn the secrets to stillwater fly-fishing. I did it first only out of float tubes, then I added pontoon boats and now I've remodeled a flat bottom boat specifically for stillwater fly-fishing (thanks to some ideas from my buddy Phil Rowley) and am introducing that this season. I've changed the name of my guiding business to Edmonton Stillwater Adventures as the boat gives more options to different techniques.

Ok, that about sums up how I became a guide. Starting tomorrow I'll get into daily news and updates and maybe just BS a bit on fly-fishing..

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