Kingfisher Guide Philosophy
Our clients aren't always sure about what to expect in the way of guided fly fishing. We want new clients to know what we do, and what we don't do, so there won't be any "awkward moments" during the day. Here's a list of our policies, and some explanation for each of them. If you want to discuss any of these policies before you come, or during your visit, please ask any questions -- at any time -- that you may have. We don't want any misunderstandings!
*We try to match the fishing to the ability of our clients. We are always looking for ways to optimize your chances of success based on your level of skill. If catching fish matters less to you than being challenged, let us know. It might make a difference how we approach the day.
* We are comfortable poling you or wading with you. We do not have a "default setting" when it comes to wading or poling. We are willing to do whatever enhances your chances for success. Sometimes, fishing for the boat is the superior approach, while at other times, wading -- with us alongside you until you are comfortable stalking fish alone -- will give you the best chances at success. Of course, if you have a strong preference, we will accommodate you. In the absence of a strong preference, we will make a recommendation based on lighting, wind strength and direction, bottom conditions, and your casting, sighting, and line management ability.
*We specialize in fly fishing. Some of us guide fly fishers only, because that's what we love, and that's what we do best and that's what Kingfisher is known for. Whenever you or your partner would prefer to spin fish, however, we will assign an appropriate member of our team to guide you, because of their experience and expertise in this area. Regardless of the angling method that you prefer, you are always welcome at Kingfisher!
*We do not expect to fish with clients. We do not ordinarily fish with our clients, as we wish to remain attentive to my clients needs. We truly enjoy seeing our clients catch fish more than we enjoy catching fish ourselves, so we never feel left out of the fun. If, however, you are a proficient Lower Laguna Madre fly fisher and would like us to wade fish with you -- and we are confident that your enjoyment and your success will be enhanced by our participation -- then we may consent to do so.
*We try to give advice sparingly. If you do not ask us for feedback, we will usually remain silent (well, most of the time): We've found that most people have a low tolerance for unsolicited advice. But if you want feedback on your casting or choice of flies, we will be glad to provide it. But you need to ask us, and then we'll know that you're open to the feedback.
*We try to educate our clients. While we try not to correct your casting or fly selection unless asked to do so, we do like to talk about: the types of fishing available to you; the behavior of the fish, and ways to fool them; strategies for stalking and presentation; our favorite flies; and anything else that might round out your knowledge.
*We're interested in hearing what you want to experience. We know that we're the guides, but we also know that most of our clients have dreams that they'd like to see fulfilled. Let us know what they are, and we'll tell you whether we can help you fulfill them.
*We can't control the weather and the behavior of the fish. As much as we'd like to get Mother Nature to cooperate, we have no way to prevent windy days and spooky fish. So, once you've elected to go out with us, and there's no reason to cancel due to bad weather, then we're both committed to following through with whatever agreement is in place. We often feel badly when our clients don't catch fish, or when a day is especially windy -- but we can't afford to give discounts or compensate you for the difficulties that you may face. We will always endeavor to do the best with the "hand" that Mother Nature deals us. And what's more, it's probably true that we learn the most on days that are far from perfect.
*We support a catch and release ethic, but are not purists in this regard. Most Kingfisher clients prefer to release their catch, since they come from areas where fish are too precious to kill. But if you would like to keep a fish or two, we are happy to support you in this regard. The Lower Laguna Madre is a healthy fishery, and the chances of a fish being caught a second time are slim, so we feel that keeping a few fish is not going to impact the fishery in any measurable way. However, we ask that you clean your own fish. We believe that people who keep their fish should take responsibility for every facet of that decision. And when we return the dock, we have many other duties to attend to in order to prepare for the next day of fishing.
* We strongly urge our clients to release any trout over 24", and any taggable, oversized redfish. These fish are far too precious to keep. We are always "armed" with digital cameras, and we will document your trophy prior to its release.
*Sparse Gray Hackle once said, "Sometimes I think that the least important thing about fishing is catching fish." We've always embraced this philosophy, and we hope you will, too. So much can happen out there that cannot be reduced to crude quantitative measures, and that "intangible something" is what we'll all remember years from now. Don't get us wrong: We endeavor to take you to locales where there are plenty of catchable fish, and we will assist you in devising an effective approach to the fish that are there. But beyond that, catching fish depends on your skill, the weather conditions, a bit of luck, and most importantly an appreciation for all of life.
*We're open to feedback, positive or negative. Above all else, we treasure your honesty. There is no way for us to learn without knowing what you feel. So please let us know, okay?
And if there's something missing here that you think should belong, let us know that, too!
Thank you! -- Capt. Randy Cawlfield and Capt. Scott Sparrow
Call Kingfisher Inn at (956) 371-8801
to make reservations,
or e-mail us with your queries.