Mid July - August 2012: Goodbyes and New Beginnings

After leaving Calgary in July after an amazing trip, a conversation with a good friend, Josh, led me to do some serious thinking. Josh owns and operates Out Fly Fishing Outfitters in Calgary, a guiding operation on the Bow River, Oldman River and others. Josh was looking for some help both in the office and on the water, and I had been starting to think it may be time for some change. After some serious consideration, I decided to accept his offer. Michael and Young gave me so much in the seven and a half years I'd worked there, not only with amazing work opportunities and an immersion into the industry, but also with amazing friendships and connections that will last a lifetime. But it was time for a change, to do something different.

Josh asked me to be out in Calgary ASAP, so by early August I had things squared away and ready for a couple of months on the east side of the Rockies. I managed to squeeze in a day on a local summer run stream with a handful of good friends, and paused for a couple of sunny days just outside of Nelson to see family and celebrate my mom's 60th. Arriving in Calgary I was excited, but didn't really have any idea of what I was in for.

The afternoon I arrived in town I met up with Josh and we joined Paula and Naoto for a quick evening float, and quickly found myself in the rower's seat for my first ever turn on the oars. It felt a lot more natural than I expected. The next night Josh, Kyle and I did another float, and it was such a rush to have them actually get into some fish. That week we hit the water whenever we could, usually after Josh was finished guiding for the day, and soon I was on the water doing the occasional trip. My first day was a two boat trip with Naoto, and though I was nervous that soon faded and we had a great day.


August was hot, and though the water levels had been abnormally high when I first arrived, within a week long period they dropped to well below seasonal levels. Luckily the fishing was great, and though I spent plenty of time in the office I did manage to pack in a number of days on the water, both guiding and fun fishing. Mid month I was invited on a fishout with the Calgary Women's Fly Fishers to a small trib of the Bow, and while the catching wasn't spectacular we had a fantastic day on the water capped off by an amazing meal riverside with a group of great women. A week later we managed a fun evening with three boats on the water, with some great fish caught, and lots of laughs.

New systems always take some time to get used to, and my learning curve was steep, but every day I was exponentially more confident in myself. Despite knowing that I myself was learning, it was a joy to introduce new people to fly fishing, to be able to watch and get them into their first fish, or to take more experienced anglers down one of the best trout streams in North America. One of the biggest things that I enjoy about guiding as opposed to being in the shop is that I actually get to be a part of their experience.

August was busy. It went by in a blur. I remember glorious hopper eats and spectacular sunsets. Long sweaty days and blistered hands. Thunderstorms, my first pike, a spectacularly sunny float through downtown, and some amazing friendships formed. I'm not great with change, and this was one of the biggest decisions of my life, to quit my familiar, stable and great job to try something completely new. By the time the end of the month rolled around, I was sure I'd made the right decision.


1 comment:

April Vokey said...

You are absolutely brilliant on that camera babe... love you more than you know!
A. xoxox