We visited Jackson Hole in late May when the rivers were raging, and Neil tried to talk us out of fishing because of the conditions, but we insisted. We just wanted to get the motions down in learning to fly fish - we weren't looking for any trophies.
He met us in the morning with all his gear ready to go and escorted us to the only open sporting goods store in town for a fishing license. He ensured we had warm enough clothes and lunch to eat, and even brought snacks just in case.
He was a very cool guy - very laid back. I knew from the start: this day was going to be pleasant.
His fascinated us with stories as he expertly paddled us down the raging Snake River. He knew all the wildlife there - all the birds flying by and his eye was keen for every bit of it. He knew the river like it was his own.
When it came time to fish, he got me fishing in minutes. Even though it was daunting being my first attempt, he put me at ease with encouragement and got me up and running quick. Before the second stop, I felt I was getting the hang of it. It became so much fun, I began to wish the river wasn't raging.
The conversation was wonderful - I learned more about Jackson Hole in one day than I had in my previous two trips alone. It's the best time you can have fishing without catching a single fish. I don't know what his clients must experience when the conditions are good and they actually do catch a fish, but it must be akin to winning $500 in blackjack with nothing but house money.
I can't wait to come back to fish the Snake River with Neil again.
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