Two prams pass each other on the river, two sun bronzed, flint-eyed “Clint Eastwood types” nod at each other in wary respect..
“How goes it, Bob?”
“Pretty fair, a couple of long-line releases, boated a couple, three runs – 2 hits, a couple left on base.”
“Same here, you going to be out later?
“Yep, I’ll probably chasing Golden Salmon this evening.”
Yes, the “steely eyed” part is pure fantasy; one guide was middle aged and balding, the other had a bad hangover and was wearing yesterday’s shirt. Both had the presence of mind to speak in “GuideSpeak.”
If you are fortunate enough to fish a river 100 of the 180 days of the season, there are few surprises left. Where the fish are and what they’ll be eating is well known. Boat and tackle will be identical and the only variance will be the skills of the client.
GuideSpeak allows “Clint” to talk about your success, without embarrasing you, him, the other guide, or the other guides clients. Guides always sound noncommital about fishing, as the other fellow may have had a bad day afield.
The above conversation can be loosely translated to mean:
“The sunburnt fellow in the bow has the reaction time of a Dimetrodon, he lost two (long line release) because he wouldn’t give them any slack, despite my screaming at him – he landed two small fish that committed suicide by fish hook, we had plenty of grabs (3 runs, 2 hits), but “Mr. Dinosaur-reflexes” snapped the 5X on the strike (a couple left on base).”
No, guides are not making fun of you, as we were there once ourselves. This is shop-talk and in any business it is a testosterone-fest, rarely complimentary.
Guides love to fish, probably more than most as they dodge fishooks for a living. The “Golden Salmon” reference is the important part, as they are telling their pal where they will be fishing after they drop you off at the lodge.
If you can find that spot this evening, he will undoubtedly assist you without thought of compensation, as the “steely eyed outdoorsman” mask you saw earlier will be discarded – he used it this morning just to impress your daughter…