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Have you ever wondered what fishing on a popular river was like early on before it was ‘discovered’? Jim McLennan shares his experience as being one of the first fly fishing guides on Alberta’s Bow River. He is a well-known writer and speaker who has authored 4 books and countless magazine articles. On this episode of Anchored, Jim and April discuss why they fish, how he got his start in the fishing industry, what the Bow River used to be like, and how people change as they get older. Learn from Jim’s extensive experience by listening to this interview on Anchored.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:35] Jim was born in Edmonton, Alberta
  • [11:14] He started guiding on the Bow in the 70s
  • [19:43] How did Jim become an editor?
  • [26:54] How to piece all the income together to get by
  • [34:25] What happens if you wake up one day and don’t want to go fishing?
  • [41:49] Where is Jim in his evolution of fishing?
  • [48:02] Jim is still involved in fly fishing
  • [56:58] Jim’s thoughts on the best resources for learning the sport

Jim was one of the Bow River’s first fishing guides

Jim McLennan was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and graduated from U of A. After graduation he began guiding on the Bow in the 1970s, and he brought a lot of attention to the Bow River. He didn’t realise how popular fishing on the Bow would get at the time. 

It’s interesting to think about the popularity of places in today’s world as opposed to the pre-internet world. Listen in to hear Jim’s thoughts about how to determine which places should remain hidden gems and those that need more publicity to help save them.

On balancing fishing with earning a living

Jim has earned a living through fly fishing in many different ways. He has been a guide, owned a fly fishing shop, been a fishing sales rep, and written about fishing. He thinks you have to have a certain temperament to dedicate your life to fishing. He states that you have to be able to piece together an income stream. Especially since fly fishing shops often don’t make money for at least 3 years. Listen to Jim’s advice for those who are looking to get into the business of fly fishing. 

The evolution of an angler

As one gets older, we often experience a different drive to fish. It’s only natural that we evolve in our fishing life just as in the other areas of our lives. After you have caught plenty of fish to eat then you start wanting to catch bigger fish, then you want to catch more fish, then you want to catch fish in more challenging ways. An evolution takes place that often brings us back full circle. Have you experienced an evolution in your fishing drive?

Resources mentioned on this episode

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