Why We Guide, From “The Last Guide: A Story Of Fish And Love”

fly fishing by the falls

I heard from an old friend and fellow Maine guide last night. He is reading The Last Guide by Ron Corbett, a book about the last of the old-time fishing guides in Algonquin Park in Ontario. He was taken with the author’s ideas on the motivation to be a guide. Seen from a different perspective, it’s a bigger idea on why any of us do what we do. Especially guides. Below is the quotation my friend sent. It made me think about my own motivation for why I do what I do after all these years. And I agree with the author, ultimately we do what we do so the world makes sense to us.

It’s a great book if you ever get a chance to read it.

This was not a job you did for money, or advancement or any of the other reasons adults normally work. To do this job, especially when the world around you had ‘grown up,’ you needed other motivation. A love of fishing, obviously. A love of an uncomplicated life. A love of doing something well, and people noticing. You needed to guide for the reasons a small boy wants to impress his father: so the world would make sense and offer some measure of comfort and affirmation.

From The Last Guide: A Story of Fish and Love by Ron Corbett, p. 196.


Private community & online learning platform.

JMB Blog & Media Hub
Home to our blog, videos, podcast and photos, going back to 2006.

JMBS Calendar
All of our upcoming events.

Typos, Etc.
Anything that appears to be an error in spelling or grammar is actually the author’s clever use of the vernacular, and as such is not an error, but rather a carefully placed literary device demonstrating prodigious artistic prowess.

Fediverse & Mastodon
Follow us and comment on Mastodon and the Fediverse. We’re at https://blog.jackmtn.com/@blog.jackmtn.com

Email List
Join our email list for a weekly recap of our posts.

Featured In:
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Media Appearances Image

Private Community & Online Learning Platform
BushcraftSchool.com graphic
Western Colorado University
Academic Partner

WSU graphic

Maine Wilderness Guides Organization Quality Endorsement Award

Life Member – Maine Professional Guides Association
mpga graphic
Life Member – Maine Wilderness Guides Organization
mwgo graphic