According to Scott: November 2006

According to Scott: November 2006
My buddy Brandon Smith snapped the shutter on this one for me during a trip to the Chandeleur Islands.

The air is crisp, the leaves are falling, the fishing is turning on and it is downright pleasant outside- HOT DAMN AUTUMN IS HERE! And, while we are all looking forward to the season of giving, the season of being thankful is here. So with that in mind I thought I would take a break from the norm and take the time to tell everyone what I am thankful for.

What I am most thankful for, of course, are the people I love- my wonderful girlfriend, mother, sister and puppy (yes, he is a person too.) But, since this is a publication about fishing, I'll try to stick to the subject- maybe. . . .

Over the years, I have been so blessed in that I have had the chance to make a living on the water and in the outdoors and for that, I am thankful. However, if it was not for my friends, I would have never made it and for that I am thankful.

It all started for me when I met my best friend and mentor to the outdoors when I was barely a teenager, Burt Moritz. Over the years he taught me many things. Examples ranging from how to set duck decoys in an unfavorable wind all the way down to how to build a boat trailer from scratch in the driveway however, no lesson could compare to the one he taught me about friendship. Friendship is based on patience and faith- patience with your friends when they need you and faith in that they will be there when you need them. It is this lesson that has carried me through some very tough times for over a decade now.

For those of you who do not know, it can be tough to make it the business of the outdoors. For a guide, it takes years to develop a list of clientele that you can count on to keep things going and you are always at the mercy of the weather and the economy. Profit margins are low, so overcoming debt takes time. And, for me, it is a two way street. No make that a dead end street. Because I not only guide, but also have an outdoor photography business, so I get a double whammy. This is where my friends save my butt on a regular basis.

It is my crazy schedule that gets me every time (e.g. this is being written at 12:30am.) I am always trying to fit more and more trips, photo assignments, stock shoots and articles into my already packed schedule to boost the meager profit margin I spoke of earlier. So because I am always moving and shaking it is hard to find help sometimes. But, my friends always seem to find a way to be there for me when I need a hand, knowing that it might be some time before I can return the favor. Whether I need a hand to hold a fish, a smiling face or someone to pole the boat for me- my friends are there for me. For this I am one lucky son-of-a-gun and I am thankful for it.

Another thing that I am grateful for are the many fish and other critters out there that help keep me in business. If it were not for them I obviously would have nothing to guide people to and would have nothing to photograph. And, since I do not think the fish will read this, I will extend thanks to the Gulf Coast Conservation Association and the many other conservation organizations that fight to keep fish in the water, birds in the sky and critters on the ground. If it were not for you, I would not have a job.

I am one lucky dude and I know it. But, I can not thank everyone above without thanking all of those reading this. While I would not have anything to photograph or write about if it were not for the critters and I would not be able to get the material if it were not for my friends, I would have no reason to shoot photos and scrounge for ideas to write about if you did not take interest in my images and ramblings so- thank you.

So to my Sweetie, Mom, Sister, Sonny, Burt and Agnes Moritz, Shane and Chara Batchelor, Brandon Smith, David Sams, Marcos Enriques, Todd Prestidge, Wright Taylor, John Thomas and Heather Dusek, Pat and Michelle Varga, Corky and Vicki Melass, Kelton and Dorie Thomson, Chuck Naiser, Blaien Friermood, Everett and Pam Johnson, Jimmy and Barbara Skalak, Ben Kocian, Mike Conner, Jason Wood, Ted Venker and to all my customers- you all go out of your way to make my life better and when I sit down at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day to give thanks, you will all the top of the list, right behind the fish of course.

Oops, I forgot one last thing that I am thankful for - all of the feathers that will be available for tying flies right after Thanksgiving.

Best of tides. . .