Honestly, fishing and lying about fishing have gone hand in hand since the beginning of time, so it never surprises a guide when the fibbing starts. WHAT a fisherman lies about is much less important than when. WHEN you lie can be a huge factor in whether you enjoy the day. Most lies are just good fun, based on some poor guy’s over-inflated ego and the majority of it begins on the phone. I see it everyday.
Lying about medical conditions happens. That’s hard to hide, once we start walking someplace that is going to make your pacemaker explode.
Lying about SIZE and numbers is chapter one in the manual, and when exaggerated, can really make your guide giggle.
But the number one way to start off on the wrong foot with your new guide friend is to lie through your teeth about your experience level before heading out for the day.
“I’ve been fishing for 30 years” does not mean you can fly fish.
“Don’t worry about me, I saw the movie” does not mean you can fly fish. We all saw the movie.
If you only fly fish on vacation once a year, you are not an experienced fly fisherman. We love the never-evers, those who are “just dangerous”, and (of course) the thoroughly schooled, but we don’t love having to switch tactics or locations because we were misled about your ability.
Honesty goes a long way in the beginning of your trip. If you say you are going to need some help and patience from your guide you will get buckets of it. Your guide prepares his/her mind and his gear based on information the fisherman provides to the shop and on the phone the night before. Everyone has a good time, guide and client alike if Mr Ego doesn’t get involved. Truth is, lies are very hard to hide once you get to swinging a fly rod in front of a pro.
Be honest and ego-free before your trip and expect to have all of your guide’s patience and knowledge focused on you having a fun time. So save your lies for after fishing: everyone does, it is an unwritten rule for all types of fishing.
–Bob is a longtime Minturn Anglers guide who has seen every cast and heard every tale. You can find him floating and wading the Eagle River all year long and making up outrageous stories only after he fishes. Honest.