When North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop were acquired by longtime NPL guides Trent Tatum and Erik Aune in 2007, they recognized a failing in the industry and created an ill-received logo to counter the Amateur-Pro Bro Fly Fishing Culture. Many fly anglers have an aversion to pelicans because of the perceived “competition”. Very few have a legitimate position based on pelicans adversely impacting fisheries, but we recognize that very limited reality. What we didn’t know at the time was the coming social media influencer filth and snagging trout with pegged bead rigs becoming the “guides choice” fly fishing approach. We were really targeting the entry-level magazine writing and film media, the lackluster “innovation” from the manufacturing side and the “pro guides” incurable need to crowd into the obvious water because nobody showed them how to fish the rest of the river. It is an industry often driven by copouts and doing it the easiest way without any thought of the ramifications and with disregard for fish and fisheries.
The latest development to satisfy the incompetent guide program is over fishing small sections of water. Never leave fish to find fish, right? That is a mantra developed and adopted by those who are entry level…fly fishing guides should not be entry level. However, they are clutching to the comfortable and easy water like the Old Bag to her marble rye (gratuitous Seinfeld reference). Spending all day back rowing the few runs that encompass a five mile float or lapping the same couple/few mile sections of river twice in one guide day. This is abusive. It is one thing to spend an hour or two wade fishing a run and hooking a few fish but another thing entirely when it is treated like production on an assembly line…day after day, the same water, twice a day, running over the fun water to get to the dark water. How boring for a guest and how mind numbing for a guide who knows there are and how to target fish in really cool spots doing things directly related to bugs and their behavior.
Some of you know, you’ve moved beyond and can never go back. Give ’em the bird. This Pelican is for you.