Squeeky’s 2023 Guidelines

Squeeky’s 2023 Guidelines

Disclaimer: The balance of the HH guide list will gladly fish you with whatever presence or discipline you desire. This is Mark’s ruleset headed into the coming season. Not everyone associated with the HH Guide Crew. 

Ran this by several friends this past week. Some asked if these guidelines were moveable, changeable, or soft. Answer? Nope. Hard rules in my boat as I move into my 24th year guiding here on the Mo.

Many long term guides, moving into the “gray” years, have similar parameters for the guide day. As you age as a fishing guide, good ones, have gathered their herd of anglers, long timers, considered friends as guests in the boat. Ask any long time guide if they set the rules inside the guide boat, aunt he answer will be, yes.

I alerted the very few regular/annual nymph guests that I have this last year that this was my nymphing swan song year. No pushback from said guests. I also get questions like this “Would you guide my wife, child, neighbor, they are new to fly fishing and I want you to teach them.” Answer? No. No thanks. There are plenty of fantastic teaching/and Disneyland type guides who are really good at bringing anglers into fly fishing, and deep nymphing, and making anglers smile. Not all anglers want to learn. Some just like to catch fish, and leave all that learning stuff to others. That is not my cup of tea anylonger.

I have to teach. It is thread into my angling fabric. I have to teach, to keep my Angling Constitution in-line with my Fly Fishing Soul. Most of my guests have been fishing with me for approx. 20 years. A few shorter, most longer.

I am not that guide, anymore. The first 23 years? Sure. You bet. Love new/novice anglers. But now? Now I have turned the page. Gladly fish with a new dry fly angler who desire is to improve. Gladly.

SOL’s Boat & Guide Parameters for 2023

  • I will catch a fish everyday. Or try. Guests can choose the fish, if he/she wants.
  • Client rows for 15 mins. Each. 2 anglers 15 each. Good for the guest to experience something new, or a change of pace.
  • Salad for lunch. Meat snacks and cheese too.
  • DFO. Dry Fly Only. Will streamer fish and Trout Spey too. No bobbers. I got rid of all nymphs, bobbers, and nymph rods. DFO. Consequently narrow guiding months. June, July, October. Or any time if angler agrees to the rule set. A learning based deal here in SOL’s boat.
  • Reduce the amount of shit in my guide boat. I have always had too much stuff in the boat. Become leaner, more efficient. Get rid of the shit I don’t use, or the angler does not need. I still am striving for the concierge experience though. For the record.
  • Advocacy for the Outdoors. Support healthy outdoor interactions through this blog. Be an example of healthy outdoor behaviors. Show my advocacy through actions, words, and physical examples. Do the right thing. Always.

So there is where my head is at. Many at this stage of their guiding career set parameters. Boundaries. Goals. You gotta do what is right for you, or you will not be happy.

We all know a fellow guide who has stayed in the game too long. And nobody needs more asshole fishing guides!

Goal setting is important for anglers. Thinking, or writing down your fishing goals for the summer is OK. It is encouraged. How about writing a Personal Mission Statement? Goal setting ks important for fishing guides. Without it, how can you assess your progression. From where you currently are, to where you are headed? Short term goals. Long term goals. Lofty ones. Achievable ones. All good.

Thought this concept through for the past few months. Wondered if I should write about it. And I did. And I feel good about it. I am comfortable setting these guidelines and looking forward to another great year on the Mighty Mo!

What are your 2023 Fishing Guidelines? Give us Your Top 5! We’d be interested to hear them.

Guidelines, SOL
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  • My Own Party
    March 22, 2023 3:07 pm

    99% onboard. If your fishing and I am rowing I can’t have a salad for lunch. I need meatloaf. Otherwise sounds great.

  • Tim Ferleman
    March 22, 2023 8:21 pm

    Thanks for the guidelines!! I have been fishing the Mo for 30 years now. I have spent almost zero hours bobber fishing. Ain’t my thing I’m happy to chuck streamers all day and blind cast dry’s if no noses are up. Also taught my children to fish and many friends to row boats and slay Steelhead on the Olympic peninsula. just an old guy who wants to enjoy time on the river with people who row and fish like me. I get it!

  • Art Bartholomew
    March 23, 2023 4:23 am

    Look forward to seeing you late June!!!

  • Goals are good.. and good write up, makes me think more on my own. Really appreciate these posts gets me through the long winters!

  • wayne e clayton
    March 23, 2023 6:52 am

    Amen Brother.As a 40 year guide I get bored spitless bobber fishing,much prefer dfo types .

  • Those that have Extraordinary Talent just do things in a manner that can make even those viewed with similar skills stop, pause, and meekly whisper to themselves… “dat dude playing on another level”…. Flashback to MJ at the foul-line shooting free-throws in real NBA Game with dem MJ Eyes closed to any sight … From Dere flash forward to dis Steph Curry dude be draining threes with his entire body turned heading down Court million-seconds after release with no human instinct, need, or desire to wait to see if dat ball may not go in… and yup it go in… Supreme talent it plays on different level …. You ever seen a dude cast a dry fly da way MJ or Steph play The Game? Well here the deal if I could cast like dis Keeper of the Missouri why da hell would anyone who fishes with him want to fish a nymph ? To watch such takemt

  • 2023 Guideline – Only photos of the fish in the net in the water. No more grip and grin photos where the client is totally covered with buff, gloves, and hoodie when it is 90* plus outside.

  • AWESOME POST, SOL!!!! You rock old timer (I am older than you so I can say dat). I, too, thought I was being a dickhead by setting parameters for how I want to fish until I am no longer on the earth. But I see I’m not alone..

    “…and the favorite, John, was a dry fly fisherman.”
    – Norman McLean
    ‘A River Runs Through It’

  • Interesting read, I respect the salad for lunch deal. Leaves more time to fish.
    From a former Mo addict, dry fly junky, 2023 guidelines are:

    Catch a fall and spring steelhead.

    Still appreciate the trout blog though. Keep up the good work!

  • half days bro

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