The boys and I had the trip of a lifetime. We traveled down the eastern coast in search of fish in Florida. We were lucky enough to meet up with some great people along the way. I am truly blessed and fortunate to have two great boys and such good friends.
Our first destination was the West Branch of the Delaware River in NY. The Delaware is part of the water supply for New York. We focused on the Upper Delaware and were fishing for wild rainbow trout and wild brown trout. The Upper Delaware is known for its huge finicky wild fish on dry flies. It should be a destination on everyone’s bucket list. I found the short 8 hour drive to be very doable.
We were heading to fish with Wayne Aldridge. He has been guiding the river for around 17 years. He and his wife Laurie grew up together in that area. Wayne joined the military and was stationed in California. There he worked as a sheriff. They got tired of the rat race and found their way back home. Wayne got into guiding and never looked back. Wayne said his bus route as kid actually went right by the house they live in now. I loved talking with both Wayne and Laurie. They have a great story that I enjoyed very much.
Interestingly enough, Laurie plays a huge part in Wayne’s business. Her presence is noticed the second you pull into their lodge. She greets you and helps you settle into your very clean and comfortable room. The first thing I noticed, once in the room, were the homemade goodies she had waiting for us on the table. Laurie helps get the lunches ready every day, which allows Wayne to get his gear and flies ready for the day. I watched her start the truck to warm it up and then drive Wayne to the river for drop off. When the day is over Wayne gives her a call and she comes and picks him up. She even helped crank the boat back on the trailer. It was great team work and made me appreciate his business even more.
If you ever want to see a guide that works hard for you , you need to call River of Life Guide Service. Wayne starts early and stays up late. Your fishing day starts around 9:00, depending on the hatches, and could go until dark but his work for you begins long before that. He’s watching water flow and water temps., tying flies and cleaning gear. All the while remaining a great host. I bet he puts in 12 hours every day. I never heard him complain once. He truly loves what he does and loves the people he gets to meet.
Wayne was very good with boys. I am proud to have two great and respectful boys, but they are boys. Jax, my youngest, likes to poke the people he fishes with for fun. Wayne was not exempt from that. Jax let loose on Wayne and Wayne gave it right back. We had some great laughs and learned a lot.
I highly recommend you go fish the Upper Delaware. It is beautiful water and the fishing is incredible. Make sure you call Wayne at Rivers of Life. You will catch fish, learn a lot and make a new friend.
Scroll down for the high light of our trip with Wayne and Laurie