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Why Hire A Fly Fishing Guide?
I was having a conversation with an acquaintance the other day who told me that he was planning a vacation to an area where there are some great opportunities for fly fishing. So, I asked him if he intended to hire a guide? However, my friend apparently thought this was unnecessary since he replied: "I know how to cast and I know how to fly fish, why would I need to spend money on a guide?".
But, when heading off to unknown waters, it's often a very good idea to seek out a local guide for at least one of the days you will be fishing, even if you are a seasoned angler. Most guides want you to be successful and can put you on to the fish quickly with their local knowledge of the water and the fly patterns that are most commonly taken by their fish. In fact, they will often have their own "secrets" that you won't find on Internet forums and message boards. Plus, if you're a novice, a guide can help you with casting problems and should be able to teach you basic entomology and how to read water.
Not only that, a good fly fishing guide can help keep you safe. Many rivers and streams have their own dangerous areas and knowing where they are and how to deal with them is often something that can only come with intimate knowledge of a particular body of water. Thus, a guide can often prevent you from having a nasty fall that may end with broken gear. So, when you're speaking with a guide with the intention of hiring him or her, be honest with them about your fly fishing experience. If you've only been out a few times, don't tell them you are an expert who can wade fast water or cast in tight quarters. It will only make for a frustrating day for both of you.
Also, be sure to ask your guide if they provide gear and if so, what type? In addition, will you need to bring along your own waders? What kind of waders does the guide recommend? Will they provide the flies and if so, is there an extra charge for that? What about lunch? Some guides will provide a lunch while others would prefer that you bring your own lunch. However, don't judge a guide by whether or not he provides lunch. Some guides are terrific on the river but just aren't that great in the kitchen.
Last, calling up fly shops that are local to where you want to fish can be a very good way of learning who is recommended in the area. Also, be sure to find out whether your guide is trained in basic first aid and let them know of any special medical requirements of physical restrictions you might have. With the two of you working together, you should have a great day, regardless of the conditions you are fishing in.
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Harper Creek Fly Fishing Company