Planning is everything. I write out a detailed menu for each day and each meal for the entire trip. After that I determine the portions for each item to the ounce, then total the ounces served to each guest for that meal. Too much food is just as bad as not enough. I don’t like to serve too large a lunch. In the past I have served too much and my guests went into a digestive coma and didn’t want to have to get out of the boat to help carry it around the rapids. It makes for a lot more work for me.
Chef D: What is your favorite adventure comfort beverage?
SG – I like to serve great coffee to my guests in the morning. I take the time and effort to pack a French press and coffee maker, fresh ground Sumatra coffee, half and half, and turbinado sugar for those that imbibe. The real key is to use your meat thermometer to get the water to exactly 190 degrees (no hotter) before you pour it into the coffee maker. I know it is a lot of fuss when your own eyes are blurry from story telling the night before, but it’s worth it!
Chef D: Can you recall the most memorable adventure while on the job?
SG – Early in my guiding career I had two relatively new-to- fly fishing yet beyond middle-aged gentlemen in my newly acquired wood drift boat. About an hour into the four hour fishing day, I had anchored the boat at the top of a favorite shallow run on the Spokane River. I was explaining to my guests just how I would like them to proceed to fish this particular run with rising trout viable. I took the time to tie on what I thought to be the appropriate fly for the situation ahead of us. The guest in the front of the boat made a great cast and just missed a hook up. My guy” in the back was not quite close enough to make a proper presentation. I said, “Wait a minute before you cast so I can lift the anchor and move the boat downstream to get you in a better position to cast.” I no more than uttered that statement when I felt the boat rock gently from one side to the other. Mind you that I could not see my guest in the back of the boat as he was behind me.
As I reached between my feet for the anchor rope I heard a SPLASH and YELP from the left side of the drift boat. “WHAT THE…?” I yelled as the boat was listing HARD to the port side nearly taking in the current of the river. I looked over my left shoulder to find ”My Guy” had decided to do a Half Gainer with a Full Twist out the side of the boat and was clinging on to the side of the boat for dear life. His glasses were splayed diagonally across his face and his eyes were as big as saucers.
He said, “I fell out of the boat!”
“Well no kidding,” I said with calm amazement. Without taking a breath I asked, “Are you hurt? Did you hit your head, break your arm?”