Guides on Gear: Steve Baird
Steve Baird is a professional fly-fishing guide who splits his time between the rivers of Southwest Colorado and Northern New Mexico, and the flats of South Florida. Let us tell you, this guy knows how to find fish. And he has his gear totally dialed in for whatever Mother Nature throws his way.
How He Ended Up in This Career Path
I ended up as a professional fly-fishing guide by being in the right place at the right time. I grew up fly fishing. My granddad was big into it. As was my great granddad.
When I was growing up, I never even imagined that being a guide was a career opportunity. I didn't even think about it. My family always told me, “Go find something you love to do and figure out how to make money doing it.”
I never thought that I would have the chance to do what I'm doing now and to show people about the woods and all the cool little things you see along the side of the river and along the side of the trail. Yeah, it's a very, very lucky opportunity that I've fallen into.
Inspired By Early Experiences
My great-granddad started fishing all these river drainages around Pagosa Springs, Conejos, the San Juan, the Rio Grande, a really long time ago. Wolf Creek Pass was a one-lane dirt road. They would go over that thing in a model A. My family has been exploring this area for a long, long time.
Growing up, whenever I had an opportunity, I left Texas and I came up here. Once I got older, I felt that it almost seemed like it was kind of destined that somebody in my family needed to stay here longer than a few weeks at a time. That somebody was me.
The Importance of Apparel
Gear is everything. It's your protection, your fur. The mountains are an extreme environment where anything can happen. Most days, you're not going to find yourself in a serious situation. However, the weather can quickly make things dangerous if you're caught unaware and with the wrong clothing on. Wearing the proper gear not only can it keeps you safe, but it keeps you comfortable.
One of the most important aspects of guiding is ensuring my clients’ comfort. Because there are going to be times when it's hot. And times where it's cold. Those big fluctuations are something a lot of people really aren’t used to. But wearing the right apparel will keep you comfortable and safe.
If you're not comfortable out on the river, you're not going to be out able to stay out all day which means you’ll probably be at home when conditions get good. If you're able to be there during that time you're going to turn your day from a tough day into a memorable one.
Steve is one of the many guides who tests our gear and provides vital feedback so we can constantly create the world’s finest technical apparel. To learn more about Steve, give him a follow @saltybirdcharters. Speaking of “memorable days,” a trip with him is sure to be one.