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About Fly Fishing Guides. Should you Hire a Guide?
by: William Moore

From the novice to the expert, most all anglers will benefit from the services of a professional fly fishing guide. A beginning fly fisher will want to use a guide for a wide range of services from instruction to selection of equipment as well as actual on water services. Experienced anglers will know that they too can make use of a fly fishing guide's extensive knowledge of the local area. In addition, a fly fishing guide may be able to further refine the fishing skills of even the most astute fly fisher.

A fly fishing guide will assist someone new to fly fishing in all areas of learning to fly fish and preparing for a fly fishing trip. These services are particularly useful for the new fly fisher who may have been learning the basics of the sport on his/her own or with the help of friends. Successfully casting a fly line requires specific movements performed in a coordinated, fluid way. A fly fishing guide will be able to watch the cast of the neophyte fly fisher and determine how to make it appropriate for actually fishing. It is also imperative that a fly fisher have the proper equipment. Putting together an equipment package is not as simple as going into the neighborhood sporting goods store and buying a rod and reel. All of the gear must be in sync not only with the other pieces of fishing equipment but with the angler him/herself. Fly fishing equipment can be expensive. Many fly fishing guides have rods and reels they will rent to the new fly fisher or that come as part of a fly fishing trip package. Using this equipment can allow a beginning fisher to get a feel for which rod and reel might be right for him/her; or, if the sport is really the one to pursue.

Even an experienced fly fisher can take advantage of having his/her casting stroke analyzed by a professional fly fishing guide. It's easy to fall into bad habits over the course of time. A fly fishing guide can identify faulty practice which may be preventing an angler from being productive.

Fly fishers at all levels will find that a fly fishing guide who knows the area will add to both the enjoyment and the yield of most fly fishing trips. Professional fly fishing guides know the waters of the area. They can advise visiting fly fishers on how best to approach and navigate the waterways safely. Fly fishing guides will know where the best fish are and when they will be there. The proper flies to use for particular areas, seasons and fish will also be in the repertoire of a good fly fishing guide. Many fly fishing guides are also associated with lodges which may offer discounts or other preferred services to fishing parties. Using a fly fishing guide may also eliminate the need for purchasing supplies and fixing meals as many guides include these items in their services.

When choosing a fly fishing guide, it is important to make sure that all licenses and insurance are in place. The first time the guide is used it may also be wise to check references and even to run criminal background checks. Many fly fishing guides make these records available to their prospective clients; however, it is a good idea to check the legitimacy of any records which a guide service may provide. Another thought is to keep initial trips short until the angler is sure that he/she both likes and trusts the chosen fly fishing guide.

So, from the very start even before a destination has been selected, most anglers will want to make a survey of fly fishing guides who are available in different fly fishing locales. The services of a fly fishing guide can improve a fishing adventure in many ways. A fly fishing guide can develop an angler's skills, boost productivity and remove many of the less fun jobs associated with planning fly fishing travel.

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