Hit and Miss

Big Hole River 1620 cfs—Maidenrock

There were mixed reports on the fishing today. One boat came in and said it was super and that they caught around forty fish.
Another boat came in and said it was slow and they caught four.
As for my boat, we didn’t do that well but they were rookies and they got ten or so. There were many missed fish. We stayed on top water and they learned that too much slack or just a very slight hesitation was all the fish needed to spit the fly.
Joanne caught fish and was very happy with the trip. She told me that on a recent trip on the south fork of the Snake the guide quickly learned she was a rookie and would not let her fish for the entire trip. He said he didn’t deal with rookies and she was not allowed to fish. I couldn’t believe it but Jay backed her up and said that was the deal. I asked them if they paid the s.o.b. at the end. They said it was booked through a well known Yellowstone fishing company. Needless to say they will never book with them again. She actually had to just sit in the back of the boat all day and do nothing.
I will admit that at times rookies are a pain in the butt, but then you have to think that everyone was a rookie to start. I don’t think even Lefty started out casting 50 feet into a teacup (which my guys from the last couple days could do).
It just takes a little patience on the guides part—-at times it takes a lot of patience on his part. If the guide does not want to deal with it this should be explained before they start the trip and take their money.
Thumbs down to that nose up company.


  1. Al,

    Enjoying your reports from PA. I had a bad run in with a guide last month in the FL Keys for Tarpon. Ended up with a bonus day to fish the end of the family vacation, so I called a well known fly shop in Islamorada and they put me through to who they had left since the gold cup tournament was going on. Anyway, about 1 o’clock I reached a point where I figured I either a) turn around and give this jerk a piece of my mind or b) put my tail between my legs and take everything I learned my first two days with the great guide I had and just fish—after all the sun was shining, fish were coming by with regularity and there I was on the front of a flats skiff with a fly rod in hand. I elected B, caught a tarpon and ended up with some great memories but certainly not due to that jerk guide that’s for sure. There were times I felt like a 3 year old getting scolded for things I really expected him to talk me through since it was only my third day of tarpon fishing ever…..things I figured guides just do but man was I wrong. Never before did I have my confidence shaken while fishing like that.

    I certainly missed Herman’s Androsian candor, that’s for sure.

  2. The lesson here is make your bookings early with guides and outfitters you know and trust. Ask your friends who should I fish with who are the guides, this is more important than the new line you should buy. Get your bookings in early and get the guide you like. It’s true not all guides are equal. Sit down and send your deposit then worry about your line.

  3. Great comment Geoff

  4. I am the client Al is refering to and I had a great time. I was standing on the line a couple of times. We did catch fish but missed more than we caught. My casting was rough at best. It just took a while to get comfortable in the leg locks and stand. Al was great and very diplomatic. We actually had more bad guide stories than we shared including one about a guy who ribbed me everytime I missed a fish. At the end of the day his truck caught on fire and we still tipped him. Anyway Al is a great guide who we will see next year. And I am glad to see that he is entering in this blog, as people at the landing were asking him to do.

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