Every morning I pack MY things up, rig MY rods, hook MY boat up to MY truck and pump gas on MY rubber debit card. This is the way it is in the fly fishing guide business, it's going to cost you $10 to make $8, thats life (still want to be a guide?). I've always said my 401K sucks but my doctor loves me......no stress, just broke and happy.
I had the pleasure of shooting a fishing show with Chad LaChance for Fishful Thinker TV last March. During our day of completely fucking up the Roaring Fork we were able to talk about gear and how the industry takes care of guides......or doesnt. Baits come to his house on pallets and rods are delivered by the dozens, FREE. I have no animosity towards Chad, even if he does drive a sweet late model billboard for a guide vehicle.He's cool as they come and I'd fish with him anywhere...just jealous. Chads a bass fisherman, I'm a "fly guy". Apparently in the fishing business thats like comparing Nascar to professional Lacrosse, somebodys going broke for the love of it.
I've been endorsed before, by the Orvis company. They took great care of me and they still offer incredible deals to their endorsed guides, lodges and outfitters....I'm just not one of them anymore. So I am forced to pro form and beg from reps that supply the goods our shop sells. This year I went GREEN, as in the rod line has gone Sage and Winston. Someone swings a BIIIx for the day and theoretically they stop back and buy that beautiful weapon from the shop the next day and the shop gives you a little cut.......in theory. It took an act of god to get a free hat from Winston and the sticker Sage gave me has long since fallen off my boat. Take a note from Nascar boys and at least make your stickers hold up to the weather. I guess I dont care who I'm pissing off here. If I dont get my "deals" anymore I'll just do what most of America does now adays......Ebay baby.
In a past life I was working construction and one day a rep from a big tool company shows up with goodies. When it was all said and done my boss handed us all the goodness and explained they are more valuable in the hands of those who use them everyday. Do you really think Lowes remodels Rick Hendricks (team owner) house for free but charges Jimmy Johnson 40%? Dont think so. So why do Fly Fishing reps hand shop owners free stuff when most of the time they are on the water 60% less than their guides? I know, I know....there is only 4 shops in the world making any dough and nobodys livin in a mansion unless your a trust funder (Panic). But what good is that swag in the hands of somebody who fishes for fun more than with clients?
I dont really want to loose my 51.021% off status or piss guys off I actually like despite the fact they wouldnt buy me a coffee. So I feel compelled to give a few product reviews before I get fired. Winston rocks. Love the new BIIIx but who wouldnt.The new graphite series (GVX) is super cool and affordable. The Sage VXP is not the old XP but I like it lots for a nymph stick. Guarantee your products for life like Patagonia and you go to the top of the list. My waders, jacket and boots might be full of holes but at least I can send them back. Umpqua makes great bugs, Solitude gets them to me quicker. Tippet is tippet and Rio is my stuff, the versa leader has changed the way I streamer fish (John Knight will tell you they dont work with Dries though). The purple thingambobber is revolutionary and even Stevie Wonder can see it in low light. Floating fly line still sinks but that Sharkskin from SA does what they say and makes a cool noise.
There ya go, hopefully my next blog doesnt look like a resume.