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December 04, 2016
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About guides

You can have a guided day not only on the main stem, but also on the East and West Branches of the Delaware, the Beaverkill, Willowemoc, the Neversink, the Gorge, or the Lackawaxen, which covers just about all of the very best waters anyone could ever want. You can also make contact with a guide at a local fly shop. Beginners and spin fishers are welcome, and their special needs will be accommodated. After your guided trip, the odds of succeeding on your own will be greatly enhanced.

But my favorite guide isn’t a professional, licensed guide at all. He is Don Tracy of Scott Township, PA, not far from Hale Eddy on the Delaware. Don and Marilyn are true river champions—and not because Don is a master angler, although he is that, too. For the past six years, Don and Marilyn have sponsored a “Fishing with the Blind Day.” They generously open their Wayne County property as part of a “Sports for Health” program and will do it again this July. Activities include bicycling, canoeing, hiking and more. The event has grown in popularity every year.

One of the activities is a day of fishing on their private pond. Don lines up a number of “guides” who assist the blind fishers. Lots of fish are caught and released, to the utter joy of the blind fishers. And then everyone is treated to an amazing buffet picnic lunch and socializing, compliments of the Tracys.

Don says, “The only reason this event has been as successful and enjoyable as it has been yearly is because of the guides who volunteer to help with the fishing and the picnic lunch.” I have been fortunate indeed to have “guided” at this event since the beginning, and it is by far my favorite day fishing, even through my catch is always through a blind angler. For this amazing experience, both guides and blind fishers have a river champion to thank, Don Tracy. He is the #1 guide in my book.

Note: Be sure to get your Zane Grey Fishing Derby photo in to before July 6. There are lots of great prizes to be won.

[E-mail me at for comments and upcoming events.]