I have always had high expectations of myself as a fishing guide and professional angler. Sometimes my expectations are so high that I lose track of the day when things are tough and things simply are not working out as well as they should.
I tell people that back when I thought I was good enough to be a guide, I thought I could fish and then quickly learned otherwise. I had to completely relearn everything I thought I knew to be more consistent and produce more and bigger fish. That learning has helped me greatly and actually became the books I wrote.
I have had a great run over the past decade and am actually the only Red River guide left on the US stretch of the river. I have more business than I know what to do with and that is great but in the case of this year and moving into new territory of low water making every day a new day of low water challenges.
The drought is the point of contention here. The low water has me limited to one section of river that is in poor shape as far as flow. The lack of current really has me thrown for a loop in locating fish. I was doing ok until about a week ago when I took a colossal butt kicking. We caught fish but it was not to the standard that I hold myself to or one that is good for future business when you promote the greatest channel cat fishery on the planet.
I understand that in fishing you are going to have a few bad days because no matter how good you are at catching fish, Mother Nature is still in charge.
Even with that understanding, I mentally over work myself in what I may or may not have done wrong. It is all out of my control at that point and I don’t like it. Most of the time I have a pattern established and if something changes can quickly deviate from the plan to adjust. Being into completely new territory there is no pattern and no direction to make adjustments to.
That loss for ideas is what bothers me right now. If I can’t deliver a good or great fishing day, I feel like I am stealing from my customers. I know that with failure comes less chance of a repeat customer and in a business that relies on repeats that can be bad with too many bad days piled on top of one another.
In talking to some other guides from around the country and with the demand for fishing days from customers wanting to fish with me, it seems that the best solution is tough out the rest of the season but explaining and being honest with the situation is the best way to move ahead. That and do the best I can to put fish in the boat maybe putting my high expectations aside for now.