Photos: Job Interview on the River

Written by: Phil Monahan

A beautiful native Vermont brook trout and his ridiculous choice in meals.
All photos by Phil Monahan

Last week, I got a great email from Suzy in the Orvis Human resources Department:

Hi Phil,
We have a candidate coming here on Thursday, Aug. 15 to interview for [job title here]. I am in need of someone to take him to lunch and fish with him. Would you be willing/available to be his host?

I thought long and hard about whether I would really want spend the middle of my work day on the water casting to beautiful brook trout. Duh.

Jimmy works a nice plunge pool, of which there are thousands on this stream.

I picked Jimmy up after his last meeting, we grabbed sandwiches from the Orvis Bistro, and then we headed to one of my favorite mountain brook-trout streams. It’s small enough that only one angler at a time could fish, so we’d trade off after catching a fish. This meant that, rather than splitting up to fish different water, we had a chance to hang out and talk while one of us fished.

The rare high-mountain brown trout, which must have traveled up from the river way downstream.

I tied on a Yellow Stimulator with a Black Beetle dropper and handed the rod to Jimmy to start. It was clear right off the bat that A.) the man was a good caster, and B.) he knew his way around a mountain stream.

Jimmy crouches to fish alongside a fallen log.

Things started off slowly, as we each picked off just a fish or two in the first hour. We tried changing to a Yellow Humpy, with no improvement in our luck.

The trout are healthy and colorful.

Out of frustration, I said, “Let’s see if they’re eating under the surface.” I tied on a ridiculous Chernobyl Ant with a Prince Nymph dropper. Remarkably, we immediately started getting hits on the Chernobyl.

High-sticking a run on the opposite side of a boulder.

For the rest of our time on the water, we used just the Chernobyl, and the fish were jumping on it. These are wild brook trout, and they showed some serious aggression. I even caught a lovely little brown trout from the cushion behind a midstream boulder.

Nothing beats natives.

I had Jimmy back to his car and on his way to the airport just 5 minutes late–remarkable considering how good the fishing had been for our last half hour on the stream–and he was on his way. It was a great way to break up a work day; I love my job.

This was the last fish before we had to run to get Jimmy to his plane on time.

If you ever wonder what kinds of job openings we have at Orvis, visit the Orvis Careers page.

5 thoughts on “Photos: Job Interview on the River

  1. Chris

    I’m an executive recruiter in a completely different field. Two thoughts come to mind:

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company do a better job of communicating its ethos to potential candidates than Orvis did with this story. Even if Jimmy doesn’t get the job, he’s an ambassador for life.
    2. I need to investigate the feasibility of recruiting in this industry.

    Great story!


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