February 2014

Fishing for Memories

Having graduated from university in late 2008 and being well and truly hooked on the notion of guiding internationally I set about the intricate task of worming my way onto the guiding circuit. In hindsight it was probably the worst time possible to achieve my goal; my emails of expressed interest were replied to with the common catchphrases “downturn,” “crash,” and “recession.” With the Celtic tiger a mere pussycat of its former boom bonanza, attaining any form of employment was a difficult feat. After nine months on the scratcher I had to bite the bullet and take a position in a local grocery store, my outdoor dream had suddenly turned into a trolleys and isles nightmare. My lowest point came when my cousin no more than eleven at the time, snapped a picture of me in full uniform behind the deli counter. He sent me the photo with the added text “fly fishing guide or deli dolly?” Recounting a single moment or memory from those nine months is impossible, having no interest in my duties it was only a means to an end. So when a week passes like the one we just had I appreciate all the more the events and experiences that no doubt I and the guests will recount for years to come. Stories at the guide cabin can go back years, recounting in intricate detail individual fish, flies, guests, et cetera. Guiding late into the evening at Kau Tapen Lodge can be very special, referred to by many as the “magic hour” your guiding takes on a whole new perspective; as the light fades your senses change from visual to acoustic. You find yourself in an almost trance-like state gazing into the darkness, head tilted slightly, and ear intently cocked for any telltale sounds of action. […]

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