“You should chose a guide like you are choosing your best friend.”
-great fisherman Lefty Kreh.


For a Beginner

guide-fishingKnowledge is the key to being a top notch instructor. Being able to present this knowledge is just as important.  Your instructor needs to be interesting and be able to present a program in words and language you can understand.  There is no need for Latin in basic fly-fishing.  Words like “stenonema fuscum” and “ephron leukon” have no place in beginning schools. Grey Fox and white flys describe the same insects and are much easier to understand.  Last but not least, an instructor should not over feed the student with information.  He or she should dwell upon important aspects of fly-fishing that student fishermen will need everyday.

For an Intermediate

Fly-fishing is a constant learning experience and quite often there is a disconnect between beginner fishing and a veteran pro.  This is were intermediate schools fit in.  By breaking portions of the subject down and explaining in greater detail, you can fill in the smaller pieces into the puzzle.  Example: adding or subtracting a very small amount of weight can mean the difference between failure and success. Perhaps a slightly different cast and line mend will even do a better job.  To do a good job on the stream, you need to make constant adjustment.


Lefty’s words above are excellent advice.  An instructor/guide needs to be knowledgeable but also compatible. There are days that every fish in the stream will attack your presentation.  These are the times when almost any knowledgeable fisherman will do well.  However, on days when fishing is extremely tough, only the BEST angling guide will do.  Try to base your day on the whole experience and not on the number of fish caught.

Here are a few questions you can use to assess your guide or instructor:

  • Was the person well prepared?
  • Did they provide a good lunch and snacks?
  • Was conversation interesting?
  • How hard did he/she work for you?

“A Tip on Tips”  Consider all of these questions when tipping and never tip based on the number of fish caught.