What is there to be thankful for in this dumpster fire of a year? Not much and I’ve been dating papers 2021 for some time. I did however want a title you might read and if “Scarlett Johansson stuns with a 2 piece” is just her eating KFC, then this heading is justified.
So then what could we possibly be thankful for? The Epic family.
Our fishing family is most importantly made up of our faithful clients. Most of you are way beyond Sir and Mam at this point and instead we start our trips over a scotch or coffee each year. We are excited to hear about your business or your grandchild, your hometown or retirement. We miss the yearly update and it’s not lost on any of us that the 2020 season wasn’t possible without your support.
Our other family is our staff. “The new reality” made the Epic environment challenging but the focus was to keep everyone employed and busy. On a year with very few guests here a few examples of things we are thankful we had time for.
Guide Training – Downtime on a normal year is tough but 2020 allowed for the type of commitment training requires, from new guides learning the ropes to the vets adding beats to their repertoire. I reckon we all got a little better this year and we can’t wait to show you in 2021.
Customer Engagement– Every year is the year I’m personally going to connect more closely with anglers. It’s the year to get better on the drone, master that camera or take footage of that amazing eat, but another season passes and nothing seems to change. It can feel that focusing on creating content costs your guide game and I’m guilty of passing on it altogether. This quiet season however, gave people the opportunity to find a multimedia lane and create. We had videos from staged “dry fly eats” to casting faults, or articles from mixing cocktails to an emphasis on experience. Most notably we made ZOOM calls with Epic faithful and connected even if just for a short time. It was great to see all the familiar faces.
New Projects– After saying to guests “that will be fixed next time you come here” each season, this time I mean it! In all seriousness though we took a deep delve into places that elude us and attacked them head on. We fixed woodsheds on the Babine, renovated kitchens at Basecamp and organized Frontier top to bottom.
Upkeep– Boats break. Trailers explode. Rods spontaneously combust. You get the idea. 2020 saw a steady stream of repairs through the shop. We are tough on stuff and our guides turned mechanics, had their hands full. From snapped axels, to leaky transoms, from decomposing sled floors to broken starters. The fishing closet got an overhaul also with detailed catalogues of malfunctioned gear and the warranties to remedy it all. Nothing slipped through the cracks this year!
Team Building– led by Derek and Andrea, this year was an unrivaled season of strengthening. With attention to staff excursions, meetings and the occasional dinner, the crew was tighter than ever. In a strange year with little normalcy trying to keep us all engaged and productive was a full time task. It also allowed employees of different camps a chance to tackle projects together and realize the power of such a broad group. Personally I have 20 new numbers in my phone I can lean on next time s#it hits the fan.
While it was a different season, it had its enjoyable moments. The Canadian clients we were able to accept were warmly appreciated and cut through the monotony, eh? For those that didn’t make it, we look forward to a better 2021 and a time we can all reunite. Afterall I’ve already seen a couple guests pass along vaccine certificates and we’re just getting going.
We hope this time finds you healthy and wish you all the best in the new year.