Mike Venhuis – Guide
How long have you been fishing?
Since I was 2.
How long have you been fly fishing?
Since I was 11
How long have you been guiding?
Why and how did you get started in guiding?
I have known since I was young that being involved with fishing was all I wanted to do. Any other work I am doing I am always thinking about being on the water, so guiding is perfect for me. I got into guiding by spending as much time on the river as I could and still can. I guess I had to prove myself by working hard. I still am!.
Are you a fly tyer?
Steelhead patterns. I don’t think I could just pick one, I use my own ideas and typically the bugs don’t turn out the same.
What do you row? Why?
16ft Hyde aluminum signature series. I like the boat because to me it feels more solid and stable than others. It tracks well in heavy water and has a beautiful interior.
Favorite fishing technique?
Personally: In Alberta nothing beats dry fly fishing. Outside of Alberta, I love swinging flies for steelhead with a two hander. And now that I’ve got some more experience on the flats I love fishing for permit, bonefish, and tarpon. With Clients: Stone and hopper dry flying for me and I’m sure for clients as well. There is nothing better then a 20+ inch trout smashing a large dry fly. Do you prefer guiding experienced anglers or beginners? Both are great for different reasons. It’s nice having guys who know what they are doing because it gives options for many techniques. However I feel so good when I take a beginner out, show them how and why to do something, and have them catch a fish. I enjoy their success as much as they do.
Your strengths as a guide?
I work hard. I get along with everybody and I really try to make sure I am doing everything I can to have the clients entertained and on top of fish. I take it serious, but I still have fun doing it.
What do you do to add to the experience on a slow(er) day?
Well, like noted above, I like to have fun at this, and make sure the clients are as well.
Favorite guide-related memory?
There have been lots of great clients and great fish I won’t forget. The biggest reward for me is seeing folks’ smiles at the end of each day.
Embarrassing anecdote (something that happened while guiding)?
I have forgotten to put plugs in the boat once or twice.
This is seasonal work…. What do you do in the off-season?
Now I’m working in the fly shop part-time through the off-season…. Plus some work in the film industry art department.
Given the opportunity who would you choose to fish with? Or someone who has inspired you as an angler/tyer/teacher/guide.
There are so many people and so many reasons. I don’t want to get started.