Monday, June 27, 2011

Guide Spotlight - Mike Guinn

Now that we're almost to the guiding season we'll be doing a few interviews of our guides. The first one we'll start with is Mike Guinn, who's been around long enough that we're positive that his first drift boat was strapped to a Plesiosaur.

Country Pleasures: When did you begin fly fishing and how did you get started? :

Mike Guinn: I  started fly fishing before you were born,  the summer of 1947and i was given a bamboo fly rod with Pflueger reel,. silk line and gut, yes gut leaders in a wet can and a good supply of flies.   Bill Round was the man who gave me the equipment and I took him to mountain lakes so he could fly fish for the Cutthroats,   It all began at Baker and Ptarmigan Lakes in Banff National Park.

CP: How long have you guided?:

MG: I have guided most of my life, both fishing and hunting, was the youngest Class A guide in the province about the time I turned 16,  Guided fishermen in Banff  National Park until I was 20.   This will be my 30th year full time guiding on the Bow.

CP: What’s your favourite species to throw at?

MG: I like billfish in Salt water and  I always had a passion for large Brook Trout over six pounds, the big brooks are hard to find today so i will have to settle for the Rainbows of Hector Lake.

CP: What has been your most challenging obstacle to overcome while guiding? :

MG: Obstacles are man made for the most part,  I get along just fine with people and the fish so that leaves only weather as a problem, some times nature is a big obstacle.

CP:What’s one of your best guiding moments?

MG: Fishing with Joan Wulff,  a very fine lady and expert caster but she had problems fishing,  Husband Lee was not as good a caster but knew how fish.   I had a great day last summer with a 14 year old girl from Sweden who had all the expensive equipment and knew how to put it together and use it, she lost many big brown trout but landed some rainbow,   I learned at the end of the day she had only ever landed one other fish,  a Perch in Sweden.

CP: What’s next on your “fishing list”? :

MG: I have taken about 200 species of fish on the fly and have counted anything I could catch in the list,  I have not had the chance to cast to a Marlin and hope to get the chance before I die,  I want to whup his butt!

CP: How would you describe your “guiding style.

I am able to adjust to the situation, beginners need help and many older clients don’t want help  but really need it.  The beginner is the easy one but he is not old enough to know it all,  relax and enjoy the day.

CP: Why do you guide? :

MG: It is just so great to be able to spend time on the river or lake meeting new fish and new people .  People become friends and return year after year to share their experience with you, the Guide.

CP: What’s your best advice for a beginner fly fishermen?

MG: Learn to cast, practice on land as well as water and learn the art of line control, you have to learn to use what you have and keep calm when fishing, excitement looses a lot of  fish,  look, listen and learn. ..

CP: What’s your best advice for the intermediate fishermen?

MG: Most people do not realize  how much they can learn from a good teaching guide,   a day or two might seem expensive  but it sure beats all the trial and error most intermediate fishermen go through.   I have been told by clients that I have learned more in one day than I have in the last 3-4 years.  Its called being kick started.

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