Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A bit about me...

Things are still crazy here in Idaho.  We haven't had much snow and I have had any time to fish.  I've at least gotten out to ski a few times, but I'm really just counting my days until steelhead season.  I have posted an interview I did for Howard at Windknots and Tangled Lines last summer.

 Windknots Profile: An interview with guide Morgan Buckert, the Queen of Bitch Creek

I recently had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Morgan Buckert, Idaho fly fishing guide, outdoors woman and (In my words and meant with the utmost respect), the

Queen of Bitch Creek at Bloodknot.net.

WK:  First, I would like to thank you and Matt (Coudayre, Editor–in-Chief of Bloodknot.net) for the opportunity to let the readers learn a little bit about you.  For those of you who don’t know Morgan, she’s the Editor of the Bitch Creek section of Bloodknot.net.  Uh, you are a girl right?

M:  Yep, I am definitely a girl, but when a lot of people look at my resume they assume I’m a man.  I’m a fly-fishing guide, I grew up hunting, fishing, and riding horses on the ranch I grew up on in South Texas.  But I grew up in a culture that expected women to kill something for dinner, cook it, and then serve it to your friends in heels.  It confuses a lot of people to see me on the river during the day and then totally made up at night.  That’s Texas for you, though.

WK:  I understand that you guide in Idaho aside from your gig with Bloodknot.net?  Are you still guiding and specifically where and for what?  I’m sorry, but I need to ask you this quick question first.  Have you ever been an insurance salesperson in Colorado?  The reason I ask is I loaned a nice rod and reel to a young lady named Morgan, who sold me an insurance policy a few years ago.  I’m not upset, I’d just like the rod and reel back.

M:  I guide in Sun Valley for trout and steelhead on Silver Creek, the Big Wood, the Big Lost, and the upper Salmon River.  Six years ago I needed a summer job while I was in grad school and moved up here to work for The Nature Conservancy on Silver Creek Preserve and immediately fell in love with the place.  Fishing Silver Creek is my heaven, whether it be throwing size 24 tricos on 8x on a summer morning or throwing six inch voles on an 8-weight at night for big brown trout.  My ashes will be spread on Silver Creek.

WK:  Sorry about getting sidetracked.  I’m not a sexist, but guiding is one of those jobs that traditionally have been a man’s domain, how did you get involved with guiding and who is easier to work with, men or women?  Can you tell us about your worst client?

M:  When I moved to Idaho, I had been fly-fishing for a few years, but I had never fished for trout.  I grew up in Texas and spent a lot of time on rivers in the Hill Country fishing for bass and sunfish and a little time fishing in the salt, but there definitely ain’t no trout that far south, except in the Guadalupe, but that’s a whole different story.  I managed to get a job in Ketchum working at a fly shop on the weekends to learn more about bugs and stuff and next thing I knew, I was guiding. 
You know, I think the vast majority of men and women are about the same, but there’s always that guy who won’t take instruction.  And, as a woman, I usually can’t help a man wade across the river or physically help him with casting.  One time, I had two older gentlemen—when I called them the night before to make plans, I could hear their disappointment when they heard my voice.  I wasn’t looking forward to the next day, but they showed up excited and said they had talked about me and figured I was twice as good as another guide since I was a woman and had to prove myself daily.  We had an amazing day and I keep that in mind when I’m working.
My worst client—hmmm—I can’t tell you about them, because I feel like they’re the kind of people who would hunt me down and sue me.  I feel like I have to wait until they die before I can share their story, but let me tell you, it was soul crushing—I literally had nothing left to give after their three days on the river.  They were sexist, but wanted two women guides, bad anglers who wouldn’t take advice, and tried to skip out on their bill—they didn’t tip either—that’s the short story.  I usually only have one bad trip a year, though.  People who take a guide out are on vacation and have absolutely no reason to be nasty.  What’s better than a day on the water in one of the most beautiful places in the country?

WK:  I’m sorry; I just have one other personal question I need to ask.  Before my wife and I got married, all she wanted was to learn to fly fish. Once we got married, she would never listen to me or take instruction.  So, I sent her to a local fly shop for casting lessons, entomology, knots, etc.  Now she reads water better than I do, catches more fish than I do and makes me go with her where she wants to fish.  For the benefit of all your male readers, what’s the best advice you give to a man who wants to teach his wife or girlfriend to fly fish?

M:  Get a guide.  Really.  Just pony up and you’ll save years of fighting and crying and she’ll like it.  I’d say the same for women getting their men into fly-fishing, or even friends.  Recreational fly-fishers usually don’t have the patience or right words to teach fly-fishing.  There’s a class that I teach for free and a group of men hound the women during the casting portion.  I have to follow them around and re-teach the students and wipe the tears away.  I know my boyfriend has made me cry trying to teach me to skate ski.  Just get a guide.

WK:  That reminds me, did you ever find the fishing partner you were looking for last Christmas? 

M:  I actually have!  I have a wonderful boyfriend who I get to fish with a lot in the off-season (we were just redfishing in Texas), but during the guide season we don’t get to see each other a lot.  Since I wrote that piece, I have met a whole slew of awesome ladies who I’ve been fishing with.  Everyone fishes in the Wood River Valley and I’ve finally met people who I don’t have to guide.  It’s so fun in a different way—last week during the brown drake hatch on Silver Creek my girlfriend and I kept missing fish because we were gossiping.  It was ok, though, because it’s so much fun!

WK:  I imagine that working for Bloodknot.net must be a dream comes true; at least it would be for me!  What’s the best part about working for an up-and-coming magazine like Bloodknot?  I mean, does anyone get paid there?  I was just wondering if I’m the only one doing this for free.  I’m not complaining, because it gives me a little exposure for my blog, but man, I live five miles from Matt!  You’d think he’d at least buy me a beer after work!

M:  I love being forced to write—ha ha!  I’ve had stories cooking in my head for years and I’d never write them otherwise.  I also love talking to our writers—I want to be BFFs with all of the ladies—it’s so nice to know that there are other people out in the world just like me.  I’ve met a number of them now and feel like we’re brothers from another mother!

WK:  I have read several books by and about guides; please share with the readers your best fish story that typifies who Morgan Buckert is.

M:  You know, I think rather than tell a fishing story, I think the best way to describe me is by seeing the way I live.  There are literally rods in my car, on top of my car, and in every corner of my house.  My vacuum cleaner is full of tippet and feathers and fly-tying materials fill an entire room.  There is mud and dirty clothes and holey waders and Skagit heads on the counters and zebra midges stuck in my socks and way too many late nights on the creek and death marches with clients.  I know so many guides who despise fishing—guiding destroyed what they loved most.  That won’t happen for me—I gave up a comfortable life for this and it’s my world.  I love catching fish and I love seeing a client catch a fish just as much.

WK:  Thank you, Morgan for giving us a peek at your life and your job at Bloodknot.net.   One more question.  So, tell me, do you know April Volky?  I’d really like to get an autographed photo and she doesn’t answer my emails.

M: Oh, god—you and every other man in the world!  Ha ha!  No, really, I do know April, though not very well.  I want to hate her because she’s hogging all of the attention, but I can’t because she’s so awesome.  She’s a kick ass lady—she’s funny as hell and outfishes a lot of people.  And if it takes a hot lady to get the fly-fishing industry to respect women as equals, I guess I’ll take it.  She’s also made it cool for women to look like women on the river.
I’ll see what I can do about a photo—do people still do that?

Check out Morgan at Bloodknot.net and http://thesandhill.blogspot.com/


k8 said...

Great interview Morgan-it was fun to read about how you got into guiding and living in Idaho. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...
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northernbliss said...

Great nickname!!