I am new to fly fishing. I get out 2-3 times a week to fish. I have been considering a guided trip. They offer a half day and full day. The prices seem reasonable and most of the guides are all around the same price. Is it worth the money or should I just keep trying to learn on my own? What do you look for in a guide when planning a guided trip? I would like to have a productive day if I am going to spend the money. I live in the North east of the Adirondacks. There are plenty of guides to choose from. I can't wait for your responses. Thanks everyone.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Guided Trip? Yes or No.
By your question may we assume you're a bank angler with no/limited access to a 'boat?' Guides bring two major things to the party: They'll take you to/through places you may otherwise not get to fish for one. The second is information on how/where to fish even in areas into which you can 'hoof it' on foot.
The above is a great deal of what you pay for over the course of the day.
I love guided trips go at least 1 a year, you will learn alot, I do and been fishing fo 30 years
+1 for what Reese said!!!!!
I like to use a guide anytime I'm fishing new water when traveling. In your case, I'd talk with your local fly shop and explain your situation of being relatively new to fly fishing and you are looking for a guide that is really good at teaching, not just catching. You want to concentrate on what he is trying to teach, don't worry so much about it being productive in the sense of catching lots of fish. It will better for you in the long run to be able to take away as much information as possible so that you can go out on your own and improve your fishing.
When I first attempted fly fishing after transitioning from spin fishing years ago, I found marginal success. I knew I was doing some things right because I did catch fish, but I found that I was doing plenty wrong and also was missing out on a LOT of information. I bit the bullet and got a day on the water with a guide, it was well worth it. Keep in mind this was before the internet exploded with videos, forums, blogs, etc. I had nobody else to show me the ropes, so it seemed logical.
I'm a firm believer in hands on experience, if you get the right guide, you will learn a TON. If you can swing it, I'd tell you to go for it.
Try getting some info from the web on some of the guides in your area. Sometimes, the shops have info on them to help anglers get a preview of who they might be going out with. Go into your fly shop and talk with someone and let them know of your situation and expectations. They should be able to match you up with the right guide.
x2 - talk to the shop / guide about what you're looking for. Some people want to catch a ton of fish, others big fish, others fish on dries or streamers, etc etc. You'll talk to some people who rave about a great day fishing but if you ask them what fly they caught a fish on they don't know. That's fine, it is what they want, it may not be what you want.
Tell the guide and shop you want to learn. Don't just want them to tie on a fly and say 'cast it there' but to talk about why that fly and why that spot. Some guides excel at this, others don't. I've done both half and full day guide trips and have learned a lot from the guides, because I asked. Also caught a lot of fish But because I learned I can continue catching fish on my own.
Lets me fish with my wife the whole day, versus just rowing/shuttling the boat to get out.
Almost always learn something.. and I've had some excellent guides
One thing too, get a recommendation from someone who's used a guide from that shop if possible, if they liked them ask for that guide. If it's not, if the shop has a web site that shows the guides.. see if the guide they assign you is on there. When shops gets busy, they may have exhausted their pool of guides, and will bring on much more inexperienced guides. I'd much rather get a "we're full that day".
Recently got a guide, the shop assured me had 5 years of experience, plus fished the river for the last 15 years.... we if they did, it was guiding about one outing a year. They just became a taxi driver, ignoring their 'advice' was better than following it. I'll never go to that shop again.
If you can afford it, do it! I go once a year when a friend is visiting as a special thing. You will learn a lot and have a great time. Pick a river that you can or do fish on your own, because you learn a lot about the water and can return to certain spots you really liked. Make good mental notes. I found one of the best, productive pieces of water by floating through it with a guide. I found a way into it on foot and fished it for years - without ever seeing another wading angler but one time. That is a feat only 15 miles from Missoula.
My wife just gave me a day on the river with a guide from the local fly shop (someone I know) for my birthday and I'm really excited about it. I never would have done this myself because I am too cheap and I think I already know everything there is to know, but my wife knows better.
I hope to get in some help wiht my casting, some advice on good locations on the river, a better understanding of the river's topography (reading the water), advice on my kit, rods and reel, catch some fish if I can and maybe get some help getting my head out of my ass.
Now that I think it over, sounds like a pretty good deal.