Yesterday, my son and I went fishing for Shad on the American River with a local guide named Bob Sparre. We were fishing for Shad. Most of the fish we caught were about 2-3 pounds. We used Spinner rods - which I had never done before. During the afternoon we hooked into about 10-12 fish each.
At this point in my fishing I have been with a lot of different guides. I have fished with some of the best guides in various areas and with some who are not so skilled. The value of a good guide comes from two things. A good guide will get you where the fish are. That is both a skill and an art. At the same time a good guide is a good teacher. The guide helps you get better at fishing.
Sparre fills both of those roles quite well. We had a fun and low key afternoon. Like the best guides I have been with, he was constantly checking conditions and offering suggestions but never seemed to intrude. The most interesting thing about Shad fishing for me was the release; people who read this blog know I am a catch and release fisherman. When the fish is netted, one gives them a pancake flip and the hook (which is barbless) is released. The second flip then puts the fish back into the water.
Sparre has a wide range of trips and fishes about 200 days a year.