Steve Dickey has been fishing since he could walk -- or even toddle -- and is living his dream life guiding on Branson area lakes.
“I am a water dog,” he said this week. “I have to be on the water. I just don’t function indoors well.”
“I started professionally fishing in 1998, but I had plans since I was 14 years old of fishing professionally, buying my first bass boat when I was a freshman in high school.”
“I’m a life-long, self-taught fisherman,” he notes on his website, Anglers Advantage. “My obsession with fishing began as a small child when we would drive over a bridge and I could see the fishermen below on the water. As soon as I was able to toddle, I was out the door and across the road to the river. When my mother realized I was gone she called 911 and told them, ‘I know he’s headed toward the river.’ The search party found me in a cornfield just short of the riverbank and nearly two miles from home. I won my first trout tournament on a spinning rod when I was six years old.”
That’s why Dickey is passionate about giving clients, young and old, the joy of fishing in the best spots with the best equipment, no matter their skill level or disability.
“Just last week I took a blind man out,” he said. “He caught 19 fish and out-fished his wife. I have had many clients in wheelchairs, and there has never been any problem.”
He believes so strongly that hiring a professional guide is always worth the money, that he reserves guides wherever he goes on vacation and personally offers a refund if his clients don’t catch fish – something he never has had to do.
“Of course, on Lake Taneycomo, you can fish every day. No matter how cold it is, the lake never freezes over, and even when it’s 100 degrees in Branson in the summer, you get on the lake when the water is generating and feel like it’s 75.”
Dickey caters each trip to the client, whether they choose to relax drifting and enjoying the scenery or aggressively want to learn every technique he can teach them, spincast or fly fishing.
“If you have a child with disabilities who would enjoy participating in a fishing trip, just give us a call and we will work out a special price, time arrangements, and whatever is needed to make this a wonderful experience for your child,” he said.
Dickey’s whole life has revolved around fish and animals. Before he moved to Branson in 2004, he lived in Overland Park, KS (Kansas City area.) He and other animal activists saw a need for more humane efforts to re-locate wildlife and founded the non-profit Animal Protection Agency. As a chief field agent for three years, he handled, fed, and rehabilitated everything from copperhead snakes to bald eagles, snapping turtles, porcupines and even coyotes.
Dickey is committed to learning and growing himself as a fisherman and often shares his up-to-date tips, calling in a Lake Taneycomo fishing report for Ozarkanglers.com. He is also now a tournament angler on the Heartland Trails tournament circuit, fishing alongside legends like Charlie Campbell.
You can learn more about Steve and his fishing guide business by visiting his site at AnglersAdvantage.Net.