Why would I choose to pay for a guide on a fishing trip? I’ve been asked that question many times. My answer is always the same: The difference between a good fishing trip and a great fishing trip. It adds more adventure and the crew can take you places that you wouldn’t normally go. (We went near bears so the guide had to carry a firearm which he kept locked up in a gun safe.)
I plan my fishing trips out far in advance. I arrange time off work and save up my money to afford all of the supplies I need. I spend a lot of time researching; which river do I want to take a boat out on, where are the fish biting and at what time of year, where will I stay and how far will I travel? I look forward to my yearly fishing trips with a lot of excitement and I want them to be fantastic. Hiring a local guide ensures this.
Last summer was one of the best trips I’ve had. I managed to talk a few friends into going along. The guide was local to the area and promised to show us some of his “secret’ watering holes where the fish were plenty. Because he was local, as we made our way to the boat he was full of fascinating stories about the local area and wildlife. As we sailed down the river, he pointed out sites onshore and told us legends and tales about fishermen and hunters that had been in the area.
One story in particular was about a bear that was roaming around the woods, foraging for food and scaring campers. Our guide logically assumed it was in fact more than one bear. He had a loaded firearm holstered on his hip in case we would run across bears and need the protection.
We sailed down the river past other boats, waving to fellow anglers. It seemed we were lost, but I trusted our guide as he maneuvered the boat around bends and turns until we at last stopped in a clearing. The river widened here, forming an inlet that was as large as a lake. Had we not stopped in the center and continued onwards, we would have continued down the river as it narrowed again on its journey.
The water was still, nearly clear enough to see down into the depths where the fish swam. The banks were wooded, trees enclosing us on all sides. We were alone, no other boats in site. This was one of the Guide’s secret spots.
It was a great day for fishing. Our spot on the river was tranquil and quiet, and the fish were eager to bite that day. I ended my trip with over a dozen bass – all quite large – to take home for later meals. What a feast my friends and I had that first night.