Speaking of Hyde, my current boat of choice is a Hyde Montana Skiff. My skiff is outfitted with Sawyer 9-foot, Square-Top oars and shoal cut blades. I began my guiding career running a standard 16-foot Hyde Pro Series, then transitioned to a Hyde Low-Pro for a number of years, finally settling on the Montana Skiff. The Montana Skiff is an F-1 car on the water, providing great maneuverability and stable fishing platform for slalom like rowing needed on rivers like the Beaverhead and Big Hole.
I guess I'm loyal because also during 1997 I started outfitting my rods and reels with Scientific Anglers Flylines. All my current lines are SA's top-of-the-line (no pun intended) Amplitude Series, Textured Trout lines. I go through about six lines a year and the SA Amplitude Series handles easily the abuse clients can impart on a line. Also, a big plus of the Textured Trout lines are the "zip, zip" sound they make when passing through the guides. This aspect of textured lines is a great training tool for beginners as it allows them – and me – to hear when the line is being properly released through the guides, whether when shooting line or when feeding line on long drifts to feeding trout.
Whether it was the proximity of all the great fly shops in Island Park, or the fact that during the summers I'm neighbors with Renee Harrop, my leaders and tippets are Trouthunter. My leader and tippet system is pretty simple. And, because I think Trouthunter leaders run large at the tippet end, I run basically an 8-foot 3x Trouthunter Nylon leader tied with a triple surgeon's knot to a short, 6- to 8-inch length of 3x Trouthunter Flourocarbon tippet to the fly using a standard clinch knot. When nymphing, either the basalt laden, fly-eating runs of the Henry's Fork, or the giant trout infested upper reaches of the Beaverhead, I'm always running 3x tippet to the top fly – usually Pat Bennett's Rubber Legs – with 3x tippet to the bottom, size 18, split-back PMD tied on with a tiny non-slip loop knot. For big foam dry flies on the South Fork or salmonfly imitations across the other rivers, I run the same leader/tippet combination, an 8-foot 3x Trouthunter Nylon leader with a length of 3x Trouthunter Flourocarbon Tippet.
Outfitting and guiding in the summers, you'll find me sporting shorts, sometimes a collared fishing shirt, or sometimes a sun hoody. Recently, I started wearing Skwala outer wear, especially their Sol line of shorts. I'm not a Buff guy, heck I don't wear the hoodies on a sun hoody. I wear the original Buff, a SunBody Hat, simply a real quality straw cowboy hat. The SunBody Hat keeps the sun off my ears and neck, while providing all-around protection from the intense glare from the sun on those long drifts
through the South Fork Canyon.
On my feet through the summer are a pair of, you guessed it, Chaco Z Sandals. I put Chacos off for years trying any other sandal for guiding through the summer. Once I started wearing the Chaco Z Sandal, I never looked back. They're extremely comfortable and light weight. Another big thing for me is they're safer than other sandals when you have to walk the boat or unstick a boat from a rock because of an errant oarstroke in heavier water.
When it rains, I'm stealing a page from my waterfowl book and run a Sitka Delta Wading Jacket. Sitka's Delta Wading Jacket is everything you need in an awesome fishing wading or rain jacket. It's got a separate collar from the hood, which doesn't allow the water from the hood to drain into your chest; it's made of breathable GoreTex to provide a waterproof outer layer; it's got extremely adjustable and tight sealing cuffs, which keeps the water from draining into your elbows while rowing; and, it's got fleece lined high-up wading pockets that keep your hands warm and dry when not on the oars.
During the spring and fall, you'll now find me wearing Skwala's Carbon Waders. Looking forward to their public release of the Carbon Wading Boot. Skwala's Carbon Waders are especially suited for guiding the Henry's Fork where "walking the boat" is commonplace for guides. An awesome feature of the Carbon Wader is the buckle-less, load distributing shoulder yoke that has a magnetic, drop down upper for easy conversion from chest-high to waist-high. What's that mean? They easily fold down and act more like a wading pant than a chest-high wader. The catalog will tell you about the athletic cut with fourchette leg seams; I'll tell you they fit great and don't bunch up in the boot or at the leg when jumping in and out of the boat.