Should I Become a Fly Fishing Guide?

Hello all, I am 19 years old, living in Colorado.. I am a college student in Western Colorado. I Love fly fishing an consider my self fairly experienced.. I spend my summers working at a guest ranch in the mountains, and fly fish the Big Thompson almost everyday after work ( during the summer)

anyway, I have always thought working for a fly shop, and becoming a guide sounds like the life..

-any tips for someone looking to get started?
-what are some pros and cons?
– and what does it take to be a successful guide?

Thanks guys!

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2 thoughts on “Should I Become a Fly Fishing Guide?

  1. The BIGGEST thing it takes to be a successful guide for any kind of fishing is consistantly catching fish. If you can’t always put customers on fish, that’s not being a good guide.

  2. Here’s some tips:

    NUMBER 1- Don’t quit your day job! Do guiding on the side for (at least) 2-3 years. Most guides live off of repeat business. Allow yourself time to accrue clients…..

    #2. Know the streams, inside and out- Contact a local guide in your area and tell him you’ll work for free doing any choirs or guiding he needs doing if he will help you “learn the water”. Surely you don’t think you know the water’s better than some old “crusty” 50-60 year old guide who’s been fishing/guiding these waters all his life? Be humble, honest, and LEARN! Understand, you will be in direct competition with other guides; EXPERIENCED guide. Better to work for free and learn than to try to shaft the local guide out of his/her clients- which would be a loosing battle for you anyway…..

    #3. Know the hatch- Keep a log of what hatched when and where and at what time.

    #4. Purchase quality equipment and outfits- A client that pays top dollar is NOT always expected to bring his own rod/reel, waders and general tackle. You need to be able to fully outfit a client, (or 3) with top quality gear, (if need be). Do you have any idea how much that will cost? It’s not cheap…….

    5. “Catching” isn’t always the most important aspect of guiding. Being very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna, is. Having a good attitude, is. Being able to cook a “gourmet” shore lunch is. LISTENING to your client, is. SMILING, is. (you get the picture)

    Fly-fishermen don’t expect to load up their creel with fish every time they go. If you can offer a fun “experience” along with the “catching” you’ll be off to a good start. Attitude is EVERYTHING. If you tend to not get along with people, then don’t even start.

    A good idea is to go to night-school or college for a biology degree. You may even want to take a few buisness classes. ADVERTISE!

    EXPECT to be poorer than dirt for at least the first 3 years you guide full time.

    Pray for fish.

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