Gray Struznik is a steelhead guide in Forks, Washington who’s about as passionate about steelheading as it gets. Struznik recently took the time to interview with The Venturing Angler:
Why do you guide where you do?
I was raised in Forks, WA and have fished this area my whole life, and I can honestly say winter steelhead are without a doubt the reason I live and guide here.
What is your favorite fish species?
The easy answer is steelhead but I think its becoming more about adventure then the fish. As long as I’m having fun I think that’s all that matters.
What is your favorite thing about guiding?
Guiding is a funny thing.. don’t get me wrong I’m not meaning I don’t take it seriously because I most definitely do. I mean guiding has this thought that goes with it like “the guide knows everything” and I think some guides are like that but I think of it as everyday is a learning experience for the guide and the client and I think that’s what I like most about it.
What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?
I guided a lady with Alzheimer’s once in Alaska years ago, she had all of her old memories but couldn’t make knew ones so I had to reteach her how to cast… every cast.
Her and her husbands interaction with each other was amazing she gave him so much s#!* the whole day! I ended up guiding them for five more days and I think I cried every day not because of anything sad but from laughter because she didn’t let up on the poor guy for the whole trip she was a fire cracker.
What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced while guiding?
Hahahaha well … Normally when you ask a guide a question like this it ends up with someone crapping their pants. So I’ll just leave it at that!
What makes your guide service great?
In my opinion I run a super honest guide service I’m not just trying to make a buck and fish terrible conditions with blown out rivers. I want my clients to have a great experience, I believe I create more of a friendship then a client/guide relationship and at the end of the day I think people leave the water with a ton of knowledge about the fishery and about fishing.
If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?
I have a few of my own fly patterns I normally fish like GP, squid or leech style flies but anything Jerry French has designed crushes.
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
EASY.. Rain jacket.. final answer!
Do you have any other passions?
Fishing pretty much sums it up! My old man told me once when I started fly fishing “be careful its a sickness.” I told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. And now I’m a fishing guide!
To check out more from Gray Struznik, please click here.