Paul Grindlay - Guide

How long have you been fishing? 

Since about 1974.

How long have you been fly fishing? 

Since about 1976

How long have you been guiding?

2022 is my 13h season guiding on the Bow River

Why and how did you get started in guiding?

I guided salmon fishing in Rivers Inlet, B.C. 1984-85 as a summer job while completing a B.Sc. in aquatic ecology at UBC. I came back to guiding in 2010 working as a freelance guide for several Calgary outfitters.

Are you a fly tyer? 

Yes. I started tying when I was 10 years old, even before I started fly fishing. I tied commercially for a while in B.C. but get bored tying so many of the same pattern.

Favorite pattern(s)?

The one the fish are taking.

What do you row? Why?

I row a Clackacraft FlyPod. Designed by Kelly Galloup, this low-profile fibreglass driftboat is spacious, stable, provides lots of storage space and is easy to move around in. It is also still relatively light and the dimpled tunnel hull makes it easy to row and manoeuvre. My boat’s name is “Boatox,” because we hopefully all look a little younger at the end of the day.

Favorite fishing technique?

Personally: Watching a fish take a dry fly is exciting, as is feeling the fish grab a streamer.

With Clients: I’ll use any and all legal fly fishing techniques to help get clients into fish.

Do you prefer guiding experienced anglers or beginners?

It’s great to collaborate with capable anglers, but I also love introducing novices to the sport and to the Bow River.

Your strengths as a guide? 

Experience, patience, politeness, observant, hard-working and gentle with fish.

What do you do to add to the experience on a slow(er) day?

I can share a lot of information about birds, mammals, the ecology and history of the Bow River. I have also read poetry and will even sing, if people insist.

Favorite guide-related memory?

Days when the fish are so keyed-in on stoneflies that they grab them the instant they hit the water or even when they are just hanging beside the boat. Rainbows that jump up above eye-level from my seated perspective and pike that cartwheel out of the water to take a popper.

Embarassing anecdote (something that happened while guiding).

I forgot my anchor in my first season guiding. Stepped on the anchor release and nothing happened. Jumped out of moving boat and secured it to a tree with a bow-rope. Had to walk back upstream to the parking lot to get the anchor (thankfully less than a kilometre). You never do that again.

This is seasonal work…. What do you do in the off-season?

I am a musician (professional singer,conductor, voice teacher) and self-published writer. My poetry collection “Natural selectionS” contains poems about fish, fishing, birds, animals, trees, mountains, and my relationships to them.

Given the opportunity who would you choose to fish with? Or someone who has inspired you as an angler/tyer/teacher/guide.

1. Roderick Haig Brown
2. Johann Sebastian Bach
3. Sigourney Weaver or Emma Thompson (boyhood crushes)

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