Daze Off

13 May

As the only working guide in our little crime syndicate, I am often looked at with starry eyes by Ryan, Murphy, and Mitch.  I do get to be on the rivers alot more than those fellas as they all have regular gigs that pay a lot better than guiding.  I have often wondered where this adoration for a guide’s life comes from.  We work super long days for low pay and in the end, wind up watching people fish way more than we actually get to fish ourselves.  I have a friend who calls guiding “poverty with a view.”  Here, I have to admit that the view is pretty frickin’ good, but to dispel these Odysseus-like expectations that the public has about the guiding life I am gonna share with all you kids at home a typical couple of days off in my world.


Sunday is fishin’ day in the Nymph-o household and this past Sunday was no different.  I was thinking about floating as I have a couple of float days booked through the shop over the next week and a half but the TVA was blowing two generators through the Watauga all day.  I also have a bunch of wades coming up, so I figured  three rivers in a day would be the good long wade day I needed to get a handle on what was going on in the ‘hood.  I grabbed my buddy Mike, and we headed out towards Cherokee and all the pellet hog shenanigans that a trip to the reservation entails.  We drove into Cherokee remarking on the two bear “viewing” establishments in town (I mean really what town shouldn’t have at least two bear viewing establishments…viva capitalism!), and the air brush T-shirt opportunities in town (Murphy you and me…BFF…next time you are in town).  We got down to the spot and found the water to be pumping.  I found this out by taking a swim and banging the dookie out of my knee.  I am a jerk.  We eventually found a deep hole where the current was a little more manageable and started catching fish on worm imitations.  I stuck a hog that I leadered while Mike stared and stuttered something about the size and girth of my conquest.  What Mike should have been doing was grabbing the net, and the 20+ inch leviathan from the deep returned there giving me the finger the entire time.  I recovered after a Tourette-like outburst, cursing my parents for giving me life only to be shamed by a trout in this manner.  I gave the hole to Mike (Gave the hole?), as he had never fished there and I wanted him to get a chance at a Vietnamese pot belly pig of his very own.  The trout co-operated as Mike got a few nice specimens but was eluded by any of the truly big boys.

Mike's Bow that I so graciously netted for him after he crapped the bed on mine

Mike's Bow that I so graciously netted for him after he crapped the bed on mine

We decided to head over to the W. Fork of the Pigeon and beat up on some stockers’ to put our fragile egos back in a good way.  The W. Fork was pumping water as well .  I showed Mike how to locate the fish in high water which we promptly did.  We worked a pod of Brookies for an hour or so, rotating the abuse every other fish caught.  I did snag a pretty Brown trout out of the pod, which was a real boon as the state has only been stocking 10% browns for the past two months.

From the W. fork we took 276 over the mountain for a date with the Davidson at dusk.  This is my favorite time to fish the D, due to the fact that the insane crowds have usually thinned out in favor of family dinners and such.  I have no use for these bourgeois niceties, however, and I had the bridge at the hatchery all to myself.  I rigged up a double midge ninety degree rig and started working the hole.  I saw fish moving up in the water column just below the surface and figured they were taking emergers.  I swung my midges at the end of the drift, and hooked a nice fish.  I can only assume he was a nice fish because I saw a giant “V” wake heading the opposite direction, and then I waved goodbye.  A perfect end to a perfect day of not landing big fish.  Not a bad day overall, better than working.


This is more typical of my days off:

8:00 am: Wake up  and feed the dogs (ungrateful bastards)

8:15-10:00 am: Watch the West Wing and bathe in the glory that is Martin Sheen

10:00-11:30am: DMV, address change, truck registration, truck inspection

I am as legal as I get

I am as legal as I get

11:30 am-1:30 pm: Lunch, tie flies for upcoming trips

1:30-3:00 pm: Clean out truck, gear, boat

My Mess

My Mess

My Mess  Continued

My Mess Continued

3:00-4:00 pm: Go to shop to print out volunteer sign-ups for Trout Unlimited meeting (my wireless printer sucks donkey dong)

4:00-6:00 pm: Re-rig rods for tailwater trip on Thursday

6:00-8:00 pm: Trout Unlimited meeting

8:00-9:30 pm: “Guide Meeting” at a buddy’s house

9:30-12:45 am: Tie flies on the couch…pass out on the couch

12:45 am: Crawl into bed

As you can see we all put our waders on one leg at a time.



3 Responses to “Daze Off”

  1. bentrodmedia May 15, 2009 at 1:26 AM #

    You speak in words that a wookie has a hard time understanding. Great read as always General!!!


  2. Troutfly May 15, 2009 at 11:25 AM #

    Great read as always…

    • troutsniffer May 15, 2009 at 11:43 AM #

      thanks troutfly, I aim to please.

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