Guide Thoughts

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Guide thoughts for 2013. Photo By: Louis Cahill

I’m a few days away from starting my thirteenth year as a trout fishing guide.

Where have all the years gone? It seems like it was just yesterday that I was just hired on by Upper Hi Fly shop in Hiawassee, Ga. Man, a lot has changed since then. That once prospering fly shop is no longer in business and many of the guides I shared the water with during my early days have moved on to other vocations or retired. My trout water as a whole has taken a beating over the years from the population booms, poor land development practices and year after year drought conditions. Hatches aren’t as consistent anymore and traffic on the water has increased on my home waters. My trout water that used to be beginner friendly now has become technical and moody. Our cost of living has increased, gas prices are higher than ever and hatcheries are either shutting down or running at a fraction of their capacity from their lack of funding. It’s not always been easy over the years. If it wasn’t for my deep passion for the sport and my personal belief that guiding is my true calling in life I don’t think I’d still be at it today. Its got me through the tough times wearing a smile on my face damn near every trip. I’ve done what many businessmen have had to do to keep the doors open during these challenging times. I’ve trimmed the fat and shrunk my region of operations (guiding) to maintain profitability and keep my trips closer to home, so I’ve got more time to spend with my growing family.

Sometimes, I wonder if I made the right decision when I chose to guide in my home state. But then again, when you guide, it always seem like there’s greener pastures afar. When I find myself having those thoughts, I just reflect back on why I chose North Georgia for my guiding in the first place. It’s where I’m from and its the closest place trout live to my family. I could just as easily be guiding on blue ribbon trout streams with wild trout galore and epic hatches, but then I’d be forced to be far away from my family and friends. And when I really think about my purpose as a guide, it’s really not about the catching it’s about the teaching anyways. I don’t have to be guiding on the cream of the crop water to make a difference with my clients. It’s about what I bring to the table and the hard work I put into teaching that provides value and success to my clients. And for that, I look forward to 2013 with my head up and my spirits high. I’m right where I want to be–sharing my passion with the people who understand it and never straying far from my loved ones that give my life meaning and reward. For all of you out there that have been feeling down about all the negatives around you lately, start focusing on the positives. Life is too short to dwell on the past. Don’t let it steal your present. Always live for the future and you’ll get the most out of life. Happy New Year everyone.

Keep it Reel,

Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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23 thoughts on “Guide Thoughts

  1. It’s also people like you that keep the conservation a priority for our local streams passing it on to the sport’s newcomers through education. I sure am glad your around! Fishing with you and reading the G and G blog has changed the way I look at and approach trout fishing.

    • Chester,

      Having the opportunity to fly fish with guys like you keeps me pumped up and excited to get back out on the water. I am really happy that the blog and our time on the water together has benefited your angling and educated your look on how important our resources are. Looking forward to fishing with you this year.


    • Tom,

      Thanks man. Happy New Year to you. Louis and I have our first out of town trip planned next week and I’m really looking forward to getting some fresh content in the field. Thanks for your continued support and following.


  2. Fine post. Good to read a thoughtful perspective on why we do the things we do. We all have but one journey in this life; think it through, but follow your heart. Tight lines.

    • SemperFly,

      It’s great to write about my feelings on the blog and have people understand where I’m coming from. I love our G&G community. You guys and gals are awesome.


  3. I came across your website through Cameron Mortenson a few months ago and I’m very glad I did. I live in Romania and decided to make a living out of my passion for building fly rods. And who in the rodbuilding industry has ever heard of Romania? 🙂 Well, just like many of us passionated about the sport, I was working regular jobs that kept away from family, trout water and my workbench. I felt that I have to start doing what I love. It takes guts to “get out of the system” and start doing what you love, give up all the jobs in the world or not considering what people are saying that you should do with your life…so I perfectly feel ya’ Kent! Keep it up, simply love reading your blog!
    Tight loops!

  4. I think everyone questions their career choice as they near retirement. I know I did on more than one occasion. I spent 25 years building and renovating houses; it was steak or beans…when it was steak I didn’t have time to chew it.

    I stayed with it probably way too long just because I couldn’t wait to go to sleep at night so I could get up in the morning and be a carpenter for another day. Over the years I have met some great people, a few had an immense impact on who I am now as a person.

    One summer I gave up all my Saturdays to work for a man that supervised teens and young adults building houses for Habitat For Humanity. He lives in a modular cape-cod that together we framed out the attic into two bedrooms and a bath for his growing kids. I showed him how proper framing sets the stage for uncomplicated application of each successive step, why good tools, sharp blades and sharp pencils are important and he taught me to let go of my grip on life, to relax, enjoy the moment and most importantly take each day as it comes and enjoy it to its fullest. We worked together every Saturday that summer, framing, insulating, sheet rocking, installing doors and windows, taping, trimming; and learning from each other.

    That was a number of years ago and every once in a while I’ll meet him and his wife out and about and he will greet me with a hearty handshake and she with a big hug. He will give me an update on Habitat and how what he learned working with me is still transforming his experience.

    When I compare that to the freezing nights on a Yellow Freight dock as a supervisor, or all the nondescript days supervising in a factory, or my lackluster days as a civil servant for the Dept. of the Army, there is no comparison. Sure there were times I questioned my choices; but I did life my way, on my terms, and met more people like these who would not have existed in my world (and now in my memory) if I had not broken away from the control that the corporate lifestyle had on me.

    I feel, as Im sure you do also, that if I could do it all over again, there are some minor things I would change; but the career choice would not be one of them.

    • Robyn,

      Wow…, I really enjoyed reading your comment this morning over some fresh brewed coffee. I enjoyed it immensely and thanks for taking the time to share it with the G&G community. I to have made some great relationships over the years that have molded me, priceless. What a great way to start off the day. Thanks


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