How can I Become a Fly Fishing Guide?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 16 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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The only absolutely necessary precursor to becoming a fly fishing guide is an in-depth knowledge and love of the sport of fly fishing. As a fly fishing guide, people will look to you for your expertise in the subject matter and for your knowledge regarding a particular area, river, or stream. A fly fishing guide's job is to show area visitors and residents the best spots to fish, the best techniques, and the best types of flies to use. If you possess this knowledge, you can easily become a fly fishing guide.

Many camping and resort lodges offer resident guides to local sports and activities. If you live near a major river and are interested in becoming a fly fishing guide, talk to large area camp grounds and resort lodges and inquire as to whether or not they have a resident fly fishing guide and whether they have an interest. Even if they do not need a resident guide, provide your name and number so they can pass it along to interested visitors.

Though campgrounds and lodges can serve as an excellent contact to advertise your services, there are other methods of drumming up business. Contact your state department of natural resources and provide them with the details of your fly fishing guide service. There may be a way to have your name and number printed in their handbooks or their annual rules and regulations booklet.


Another excellent source for spreading the word about your service is area bait and pro shops. Visitors and residents alike stop into bait stores and pro shops in preparation for their fly fishing expeditions. Ask store owners to display business cards that detail your fly fishing guide service. Provide extra cards for stores to give to inquiring customers.

If you are interested in becoming a fly fishing guide, it is a good idea to talk to already-established guides. They may have overflow requests that they can pass on to you, or they may refer clients to you if they are interested in fishing a different area. There are many ways to start a guide service, but without people knowing who you are, what you do, or how to reach you, you won’t grow a business.

Be sure to talk about business basics with other guides. You should know what to charge, what to supply, and how to conduct an expedition before you offer your services as a fly fishing guide. You should also know basic safety precautions and emergency response procedures before conducting an expedition. Make sure you also have any insurance necessary, and never take individuals out if they have not purchased the proper licenses. With knowledge at hand and the desire to succeed, you can easily start a lucrative service doing something you love that others will appreciate and gladly pay for.



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