Keaton McEvoy was born into the family who, for the last 21 years, has owned one of the oldest and most revered sporting camps in the country, Weatherby’s Maine Hunting and Fishing Lodge, located Downeast at Grand Lake Stream. But it wasn’t until she was out of college that she decided to carry on the family tradition and become a guide. I recently interviewed Keaton about her perspective on what it’s like being a Registered Maine Guide. — Allison Wells, Senior Director, Communications
Allison: Given your family history, your journey to becoming a Registered Maine Guide (RMG) may surprise some NRCM members. Can you talk a little about that?
Keaton: I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a RMG. It clicked for me after I graduated college in 2020. I knew that I loved being outside, and I had been fishing since I was three years old. Having the opportunity to grow up spending my summers at a fishing lodge allowed me to look up to all the older guides I was surrounded by. I realized that with becoming a guide I would be able to share my passion for fishing with other people.
Allison: You became a RMG in the spring of 2021, and you’re going into your third year of guiding. That’s fantastic. What is it about this work that excites you?
Keaton: I love being able to share with people one of my biggest passions. It allows you to connect with all kinds of different people and create friendships that may never have happened. It is very rewarding for me teaching young kids and people who have never fly fished before. Introducing new people to the sport and helping them catch their first fish is one of my favorite things about the job.
Allison: It’s such a beautiful area where you are. Can you talk a little about where you lead trips?
Keaton: Weatherby’s Lodge leads trips in Grand Lake Stream. We fish a number of lakes around the area for smallmouth bass and fly fish for salmon in the stream that runs through town.
Allison: My husband and son had a wonderful time during their Weatherby’s trip a few years ago. They couldn’t decide what they liked best! Is there a favorite place you like to lead?
Keaton: I don’t necessarily have a favorite place I like to lead from, but I enjoy taking clients to fish for salmon on the stream. I love being able to guide clients who are new to fly fishing. It is always very rewarding for both parties when someone catches their first salmon.
Allison: Spending your time outside everyday sounds idyllic. Can you share a little about what your day is like?
Keaton: A typical day of guiding would start around 8:30 a.m. after clients have finished breakfast at the lodge. We head out for the day after that, going to the stream or one of the lakes in the area to fish for bass. We fish throughout the morning, either walking or motoring around to different spots. We break for lunch mid-day and typically will do a cook-out lunch. The lunch can be a
very fun experience for a lot of clients because if they want, we can fry up fish that they caught earlier that morning. I usually do the fish as an appetizer, followed by fried potatoes and a meat that they chose to have—along with our secret guide coffee and dessert.
Allison: My husband and son loved the guide coffee!
Keaton: After lunch we fish for a few more hours, then come back to the lodge for dinner and plan for the next day.
Allison: That all sounds wonderful, though it’s obviously a lot of work for you. Are there different kinds of challenges for female guides vs males?
Keaton: I think fishing is generally thought of as a mostly male-dominated sport, and occasionally there are challenges that arise being a female guide. I think the biggest thing is sometimes clients can be skeptical of my knowledge and experience because I am young and a female guide. However, the majority of clients are even more excited to know that they are going to be fishing with me.
Allison: That is so great! You’ve been an official Registered Maine Guide for a few years now. Do you have a favorite memory as guide?
Keaton: I think my favorite memory as a guide occurred during my first season of guiding. I was fishing with a family that had three young boys, all under the age of ten. They had never fly fished before but were eager to learn. We started with casting practice in the backyard, but that didn’t last long as they were more excited to actually go fishing and be in the water. By the end of the trip, both the parents and boys had caught salmon, and they couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had.
Allison: I bet they will always enjoy reminiscing about it. What does your summer look like, are you excited?
Keaton: This season is looking very busy already! I’m sure there will be many more days of guiding that will get put onto my calendar. We start the season fishing the stream for salmon, but once the water starts to warm up, we will switch over to bass fishing, then back to salmon fishing in the fall! I am very excited for another year of fishing and guiding with returning clients and new ones!
Weatherby’s participates in NRCM’s Sporting Camp Discount program, which offers a discount to NRCM members. Learn more about this, and see the full list of participating sporting camps.