Keefe: How to be a fishing guide’s wife
I thought I was the luckiest woman in the world when I first met my husband-to-be. He was a fishing guide in Colorado and was rumored to be good at it. We married quickly, before any other fishing female out there figured out he was available. I pictured myself out on a boat every day getting the princess treatment all while catching world class lake trout, free of charge. My fantasy was catching fish as fast as he could net them. I would not have to get my hands all slimy by touching the fish and my personal guide would take care of my every need. He made his own hours. We could sleep in to fish the later bite and leave the lake whenever we felt like it. That is what a fishing guide does, right?
Well, I am here to tell you that I was wrong! I figured that out in short order. He is up at 5 a.m., rain, snow, or shine, and does not leave the lake until the weather is too rough for the clients or they are done fishing . My personal fishing guide does spoil me rotten when I am fortunate enough to go fishing with him but that is a rare occasion because he is always so busy taking out paying clients. There just aren’t enough hours in his day to take me fishing plus earn a living. I have to book my fishing days in advance just like everyone else and that is only when there are days available.
Then my logic tells me that on his off days he could support my fishing habit, but once again I am wrong! When he’s not out with his clients, he’s cleaning the boat, taking stock of inventories, resupplying his tackle, updating his website with fishing reports and pictures, returning phone calls and the list just keeps going and going.
During my husband’s off season when the lake is either freezing or thawing, I had envisioned that we would at least two months of quality time together fishing in tropical climates with the sun slowly burnishing our skins while sipping on tropical drinks between the 200+ fish each we caught. Guess what? Yes, wrong! Between the seminars, boat shows, and sports shows there is not a lot of time for traveling. My husband has many obligations to his sponsors to promote their products. And between all those responsibilities, there are quarterly reports and taxes to keep him occupied. Can you see where I am going with this? Not to mention that he is not a barrel of fun in the offseason. My husband is a constant worrier. When he’s not busy fishing, he is stressing about it. Can you see the dilemma?
It took me a while to figure out that my husband is a successful fishing guide not strictly because of his fishing knowledge and experience, but because of his work ethic. Therefore, I have to roll with the punches and get my princess fishing trips whenever he can squeeze me in. I still feel like a very lucky woman. If his schedule is hectic, that means he is making more money and has no time to spend it. Did I mention that I not only have an unquenchable fishing habit but a spending one too?
Bernie Keefe, Leesa’s husband is a regular columnist for the Sky-Hi News.
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