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Old 10-22-2003, 08:29 PM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Just about anywhere
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Mel,

I'm glad I got back on before you responded to my post. I remember Per Stadigh about a year ago who said that since this site no longer featured a spellcheck maybe they should look into installing a grump-meter. I certainly didn't mean to sound as testy as I did in my response to your post.

About an hour before my post I received a lengthy e-mail from a guide I was going to use for Atlantic Salmon next August in Canada. It took me almost thirty minutes to get through the post and his attitude was ridiculous to say the least. It was a long list of you'll have to do it this way or don't bother to come here as you won't be successful. You know, Atlantic salmon are pretty much the same fish wherever they are found. Rivers vary somewhat and the size of the fish certainly varies from river to river. This river averages 150-200yds across and features very large fish. Among the comments he made was to leave the spey rod at home, don't plan on using tapered leaders as a single piece of ten pound was the only way of doing it, and only twenty pound test backing should be installed. His constant inference that I shouldn't even plan on showing up if I didn't agree to his dictates made me decide to check on different guides. In fact, about forty-five minutes later I indeed did have a commitment from another guide on the same river.

Sometimes guides forget that some of their sports have also done a lot of fishing and though I'm willing to learn and listen, I'm still paying the $450.00 a day and I'll make the final decision. I've lost too many fish to knots that guides tie, for instance, so I now insist on tying all of my own knots. If it fails I have only myself to blame. If I choose to use flies that I tie on Gamakatsu SC15 hooks because I like how sticky sharp they are and the fact that the shorter shank catches better and is less likely to be leveraged out, that should be my choice because I'm paying the freight. Absolutely necessary with that approach is that the guide is not blamed when things don't go right. I fished for salmon on the Flowers River in Labrador this summer and as I started to assemble my 12' 8 weight spey rod the owner of the lodge got sarcastic about that being way more rod than I needed and that I should really use the lodge rod instead of what I brought. On their website they recommended a 9' 9weight. It's simply a matter of the guy not having any true knowledge of what a spey rod is and what it can do. I chose to use my equipment because that's one of the reasons I travel to fish in the first place-to use my gear. I've fly fished for over forty years, and have saltwater flyfished for over twenty. And I don't go for three or four days a year. I spend about eight weeks a year fishing tropical saltwater so I have some idea of what's worked for me and what hasn't.

All that, of course, is no excuse for my snippy post, but sometimes guides do get the attitude that because they're a guide they are the only ones who have vast knowledge of flyfishing. I've used almost every saltwater hook available, except for Tiemco, and feel that there are some that a vastly superior to others. I don't normally buy flies because most are still made with 34007 hooks due to the significantly lower price of that hook. I guess I've had the attitude, which I now realize may not be correct, that any saltwater guide who still offered flies to his clients on those hooks was also doing so to simply to save money. My hooked to landed ratio improved so much by switching from 34007 and 3407 hooks to Owner Aki and the Gamakatsu SC15 that I guessed that everyone surely had the same experience. As I follow several bulletin boards I do know that a lot of people have had the same improvement, but it must not be universal.

Please continue to offer your clients your expertise. I just ask that guides also understand that once they realize that their sport also has some signficant experience that they advise but not dictate.
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