I have been asked by the High Council of Salty Old Guides to take part in a review regarding some interesting stuff coming up for the Fly Fishing world. There has finally been some cooperation between SOG and the National Chapter for Tormented Clients, which could lead to long over due changes to the "lying game" that goes on before a guide trip and the future of an Angler Ranking system.
At their routinely rescheduled 10 year board meeting, SOG introduced an interesting amendment to the American Development Model requiring Anglers to be "ranked or qualified for any participation in the art through real time training programs". In an effort to reduce the growing rate of Premature Guide Burn Out due to an overexposure to clients who lie about their talent level, the Council is recommending every Angler interested in taking part in a guided trip, take a Fly Fishing Skills Advancement in Real Time class. It's being called FART for short.
FART is a program dedicated to helping Anglers learn how to learn without a computer, in real time, while also providing an universally certified ranking system that Guides anywhere can believe. FART
I mean how great will it be for your favorite guide to never hear the words....
"Practice? Well no, but I watched a ton of YouTube videos. I'll be fine"
Now this guy can just take a FART
It is the Elder's hope to more accurately and honestly assess an anglers talent level before they are allowed to advance to the real fun this sport has hidden for the worthy. Guides have been spending too much time deciding what clients can realistically absorb instead of doing their job. This has resulted in some guides' programs growing stagnant and specialized in the dark art of distraction instead of guiding people and catching fish. The Council hopes that FART classes and certifications will help anglers and guides by better understanding and truthfully identifying client skill level. Trusting your FART score will help correctly match guides and anglers insuring the best possible experience for everyone involved. All through extensive live FARTing.
Classification of anglers used to be post trip parking lot stuff and it was really simple, an angler was either an AFC team (awesome freakin chances) or an NFC team (no freakin chance). The current system of Beginner, Novice and Pro is not working when most people self-rank themselves a Pro after just a few hours on Orvisnews. All parties are in agreement that Pete Kutzer fellow is a world class instructor and Rosenbauer is really Yoda but a good three day FART goes way further.
This is the stink on what the proposed vocabulary may look like for Angler re-classifications:
Dabbler (thank you Kirk Deeter for your theory on The Three Knot Angler ) This is a first timer, probably only timer. Best matched up with a rookie guide who has resort level babysitting qualifications.
Bucket Listers. More than likely super nice peeps on vacation, not anglers. Usually a low key, enjoyable, easily met expectation kind of a day for all. Nice place for a guide with experience who might need an easy day or your cookie cutter 3rd year, not so fishy Guide who does that crap everyday.
Back Seater. No learning, non listener, know it all. The float guide in this case will have to be experienced and brave enough to keep this guy behind him or her all day trying to forget he's even there since he already knows everything. A 5th or 6th year guide about ready to lose his marbles from too many days with Dabblers is perfect if you want some fireworks.
Virtual Angler. The reason this program is being considered; Lots of click time but has no idea what cork feels like. Virtual Angler meet Virtual Guide (lots of these also) you guys can compare stats and Twitter hashtag stuff about your argument over what a hot spot actually is.
Caster. Not a great classification unless willing to learn a few new tricks. A caster is a fella who has actually practiced, usually on dry land and has probably been guided before maybe even some salt water experience. The Caster has a great understanding of how to make a fly rod cast 60' of line but can't get a good drift in moving water if there was cash on it. I've said this for years "Great drift" is high praise from a guide while "Great Cast" usually means you are boring me. Great casters rarely catch as many fish as a peep who throws half as far, but can control his flies drift. Good spot for Patient Guide with praise on playback and an uncanny tolerance for watching people get close, but not close enough.
A Stick. Experienced angler who very often down plays his experience level resulting in pleasantly surprised guide. These rare, humble humanoids are around and they allow a guide to actually guide instead of hold hands and distract you from your suck. Guides should guide these types. Guides with mad real time experience deserving of spending the day with some true talent. Old guides with dirty tricks.
You just go fishing with a stick
Three 10 Percenters
Hater. Not everyone likes guides. Like the DB that tried to steal my boat. Or the DB who keeps taking the Colorado Angling Company stickers off my truck and the DB that stole wallets and slashed umpteen tires on guide vehicles this summer. Oh and the outfitter who complained to the BLM about this stupid blog.
Probably scared to FART
Don't be a hater, but if you are that guy, comfortable with the hate, I would hate to see you have any fun so if you want a trip, ask for me, you'll hate it.
Guiding is a fun job, when I get to do it. I don't mind wearing different hats per say, I just like to put the right one on before I leave the house. Don't blow sunshine all over the situation by trying to convince your guide you are a stick because you have gear fished your whole life. It's Apples and Oranges and it's OK. This sport is like none other and in many ways you need a guide or a good FART to make those giant steps to being a 10 Percenter. Enjoy yourself, no matter your new ranking, there is a guide for you. Being guided is fun, I hire guides and LOVE it. Go with the intention of having fun but try going prepared. There is no substitute for going outside and practicing.
So where do you think you will grade out after your first FART?
What if I told you there was going to be a school that will help you score high on any FART certification?
Check out PREP SCHOOL on Colorado Angling Companies school page. Two opportunities that are guaranteed to take the suck out of your game and have you fishing better than your guide.