The success and fun we had with Q & A 1 and 2 was so awesome! So, I am here to bring you Q & A #3! We have actually covered quite a bit with the other two, so if your question didn’t get answered today, check back with the other two to see if it was answered there. Let’s get right into this thing, Q & A #3.
What is your favorite knot for tying on a baitfish?
Lefty’s Loop Knot (Non Slip Mono Loop)- This loop knot allows the fly to swim freely and move as it was intended by the designer of the fly. I fish lighter tippet (3x RIO Fluoroflex Plus) paired with this particular knot and think the combination gives my flies the best action.
How did you decide to bring Captain Mike on board?
The decision to bring Mike on board was something I thought about for a long time. Mike and I have been fishing together for 8 years, and it got to the point that my buddy Johnny and Mike were the only people I would ever invite fishing. Mike is a traveling nurse and has a flexible schedule. He works super hard and is incredibly reliable. He also has a ton of experience as a guide and instructor. So, I mentioned the idea to Brita, and she jumped at the idea and told me to ask him.
Mike to his credit has been 100% willing to put in the work and start from scratch in a business that requires a lot of work for very little monetary payout when getting started. Plus his client list is growing and he is damn good at what he does.
What is your biggest pet peeve on the water?
I have ignored this question for the last two Q&A’s, just because I try not to be negative. I decided the question is not going away SO…. I’d say I am pretty laid back, however, when I read this question, 3 jumped out right away. So perhaps I am less “chill” than I thought I was.
1.) Trash In The Water
I hate seeing garbage in the water, particularly on Hood Canal. If you have fished with me, you have probably seen me stop the day to pick up garbage. I have also stopped the day to give basic human decency talks to clients if they toss something off the boat. Littering is my number 1 pet peeve.
2.) Gill Net’s On Hood Canal
This goes right along with littering. We work super hard all year to clean up any trash, to lower our output of garbage, and to promote salmon recovery on Hood Canal… Then the nets come out. Gill netting has been banned from every state on the east coast, the gulf coast, and the saltwater portion of the west coast outside of Washington and Alaska. I have a hard time calling us the “everGREEN state” while allowing gill nets in our water. Not to mention shrimping season and gill net season are the only time we see trash.
To be completely clear here, I do not have a great solution to this problem. I also do not want these men and women to loose out on a proud way to make a living However, I do think we should require the gill netters to switch to seine nets, and we should 100% ban beach setting as it has an incredible bi-catch of huge sea run cutthroat. .
3.) Stripping Line Off The Boat
When retrieving line back into the boat, just strip it onto the ground. This will help casting by reducing drag, reduce tangles by keeping the line from moving with the current, and keep your line out of the prop of the boat. Do not strip off the side of the boat… It’s actually more difficult to strip this way. Plus I start everyday by saying this.
What is something you can do to get better at fly fishing while not on the water?
I think there are a few things. None will be as noticeable as practicing casting. If you want to get REALLY good, you have to be able to get your fly to the intended target. Practicing casting is huge.
Another thing that is super helpful in improving angling skills is to read. Read about the bait, the currents, the depth, and even the history of the fishery. I believe there has been more books written on the subject of fishing than anything else. So the two authors I would recommend the most for this fishery is Les Johnson, and Bruce Ferguson.
I think the way you do anything is the way you do everything, with very few exceptions. Becoming obsessed with something might not be the healthiest way to do something, however it is the best way to get good. I worked in fly shops, went fishing, then came home and practiced in the dark in my yard to get good… While I don’t recommend the first on that list if you like paying bills, I would recommend the second two.
I Want To Become A Fishing Guide, Any Advise?
Do it! Life’s short, do whatever makes you happy. If you told me you wanted to be a cage fighter, but you were fat and slow, I’d tell you to train your ass off and try not to get hit in the head. I have the same advise for becoming a fishing guide. Train your butt off. Take a job in Alaska working 7 days a week at a camp/lodge. Or do the same on the Big Horn or Missouri River in Montana. Either way, go work as much as you possibly can. Take casting lessons from 100 instructors and learn how to teach 100 different ways. Make mistakes and learn from them. Make good choices and learn from them. Find great mentors and learn from them.
Oh I have more…
My other advise would be to strive to be the best. Be an outlier in a world of great fishing guides be over the top good. Study jokes, have stories, bring hand warmers when it’s cold… Do more than what they expect.
Folks are giving you their vacation. Trusting you with their families. Many of the folks that come on guide trips only get a few chances to do this a year, or a decade. Take that responsibility super seriously. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but if they have a bad experience, they may never go with a guide again, then you are messing with everyone who did do it the right way’s business.
Last piece of advise is never get burnt out. Remember it is a gift to be able to do this for a living. In a world where someones job is to change the diapers of the elderly, you are on the water teaching fishing. Someone is insulating a crawl space, getting bit by a rattle snake, and you are telling a joke on while landing a trout…
You talk a lot… How do you keep that energy?
When I am on the water, I am not going to get anything else done. So it’s easy for me to focus 100% on the trip.
I am a chatty Kathy, no doubt, I will always be the first to admit that. I am positive that my obsession with coffee is not helping that. Part of the energy comes from coffee, however I love telling stories.
Telling stories is something we don’t get to do anymore. How often do you sit in one spot with 2-3 people for 7-8 hours? Almost never. On my boat, we are fishing, which is as primal and traditional as anything has ever been. For 100’s of years people have fished and told stories. Probably not stories of stage diving, Jamaican jokes, and all the other nonsense that comes out of my mouth. However, if you love what you do for a living, and I really do, why not make an effort to get to know people while you do it?
Also, I run 1,000 mph from 4am-10pm… I plan my day down to the hour just to make sure that my energy is used up 100%. After that, I sleep like a rock.
Are you still doing the casting lessons at Alderbrook Resort?
Not only are we going to do them this year, we are improving the program.
They will start in May, and go through the end of August. As we did last year these will be 100% free to the public. You do not need to be a guest of Alderbrook Resort to attend.
We will also be offering privates throughout the year. I have always done private lessons however we will be doing them for groups as well as individuals. For groups we can accommodate up to 8 people.
All of these lessons will be personally catered to your skill level. If you are a expert caster and want to learn how to improve your roll, reach, or distance /accuracy. We can do that. If you are a brand new fly fishermen and want to learn how to string the rod up, we can handle that as well.