Barry White – The Guide

“The Fly Fisherman”

I have been fishing pretty much all my life, since I was 4 or 5 and that means about 45 years. My interest in fly fishing had been hidden a long time and then one Sunday afternoon while watching Curt Gowdy on “American Sportsman” I was so fascinated with the fly casting that I dreamt to try fly fishing – and I have been fly fishing since 1975. It took quite a while to learn how to properly cast a fly rod – in those days instruction was hard to find. As a reward for my perseverance I have spent several days on the Bow River with Curt Gowdy, always a pleasure and sometimes we caught trout and other times we didn’t.

As a photographer by trade and circumstances being what they were I found myself working in a tackle store (The Fishin’ Hole in Edmonton) in 1977. One day the boss, Russell Thornberry – originator the Bow River Company and co-founder of the Fishin’ Hole, came into the store and he asked me if I knew of anyone who would be interested in guiding for him. His guide Jim McLennan was getting married and he would need someone for a couple of weeks. I was excited at the prospect of guiding and it took some time to convince Russ that I was serious. The first guide boat was Jim’s Dad’s old car top aluminum boat – 10 feet 4 inches, weighed 61 pounds and the oars were 5 footers. The following year Russ and I bought 14 foot John Boats for use in guiding and then in 1981 I was the first Bow River guide to purchase and use a drift boat (Lavro) on the river and in 1985 I put five more on the river.

I began guiding in 1977 and teaching flycasting and flyfishing in 1983. At the Federation of Fly Fishers show In Calgary in 1992 I received basic casting instructor certification and in 1995 was certified as a Master fly casting instructor – the first person certified to that level in Alberta.

Commercial photography helps on those occasions when involved in outdoor writing to illustrate articles. I have traveled across North America speaking and doing slide programs on the qualities of fishing in Alberta and the Bow River.

Currently I am organizing flyfishing schools throughout western Canada and am available to teach in your area.

There are two videotapes out there in the market place featuring the Bow River and myself as guide. The first in “Lefty Kreh Fly Fishing Alberta’s Bow River” from Outdoor Safaris. The second is called “Olympic Trout” from Jim and Kelly Watt’s Video Magazine”.