Blair Yerxa - Guide
How long have you been fishing? Almost 40 years
How long have you been fly fishing? 30 plus years
How long have you been guiding? 2020 will be my tenth year.
Why and how did you get started in guiding? I used to take my son fishing in Missoula when he was very young with a guide named Eric Ederer. Seeing how hard he worked and how dialed in he was on his local rivers made me really want to try it. I bought a boat and when the opportunity arose to do a couple trips I jumped at it. As the years went on I enjoyed the lifestyle so much I made it my full time career.
Are you a fly tier? Not a good one, worms only. haha
What do you row? Why? I row a Ro Tailwater Skiff. I row it because I really enjoy its maneuverability, its interior space, its sightlines for fishing dry flies.
Favorite Fishing Technique? My favorite technique on a personal fishing day would be small dries. On a guide day my favorite technique is whatever is going to make the day most memorable for the client.
Your strengths as a guide? I would like to think I work hard and try to establish what each individual is after from their day and try my best to put them in the best situations to accomplish that.
What do you do to add to the experience on a slower day? Try my best to make the day not so slow (haha.) I usually try to add some humor to lighten the situation and try and ensure that everyone stays engaged as even the slow days usually have a good period.
Favorite guide related memory? So many stand out that it is impossible to narrow down. Any time you see the excitement of someone's first fish or best fish, etc it kind of resets.
Embarrassing anecdote? This one is actually a recent memory. The day after purchasing a new net I forgot to put it in my boat in the morning. After catching a couple small fish we hooked into one that was net-worthy, After reaching for it, I realized I had forgot it. Luckily the couple I was guiding were very good-natured and found it quite amusing. I jogged back to the truck only to find that my truck had already been shuttled. We managed to land all fish without a net until one particularly large rainbow made it very tough. As luck would have it a friend was passing by in his boat and was kind enough to toss us his net. It was a day that neither me (or the clients) will forget anytime soon.
What do you do in the off season? Usually just hang out at the shop and distract the people that are actually trying to work.
Someone who inspires me as an angler/guide? As an angler, I get my passion for fishing from my father. Growing up in Nova Scotia, fishing was a constant. As a guide, there have been numerous people I have been lucky enough to work with over the years and I have tried to learn a little from each of them.