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Thread: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

  1. Default My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    Howdy Fly Fishing Entusiasts,

    Yesterday was my first full day of fly fishing. For the past couple of months I have been researching equipment, reading forums and books, going to Orvis in Cherry Creek (nice, helpful staff there) and Bass Pro Shop (nice, helpful staff there as well), and generally getting myself prepared to start fly fishing. I may have gone too crazy with fly fishing preparation, but that is how I decided to go about it. I realized early on that fly fishing CAN BE (but doesn't have to be) quite complicated and intricate on details. There are so many aspects of this activity that a successful fly fisher needs to know. I have at times become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of info on casting, flies, trout behavior, equipment, etc. I have taken free classes at Orvis (those guys were really friendly and helpful, and I have since purchased an Orvis rod and reel). My wife and I also took a TU class, which gave a good intro for me. I have realized that I don't need to learn everything right away, since that is impossible anyway and I'd be wasting precious fishing time reading books about fly fishing.

    To boost my confidence and on stream experience and knowledge I decided to hire a guide for the day (which is a decision I happily would make again). I checked out web sites and was kinda blow away by the cost of hiring a guide. I did run across one that was in my budget (Ken's Angler's). I emailed them and set up the trip. Ken Robak is the owner and was the one who guided me. Very nice and gregarious guy.

    We first planned to go to Deckers but the flows were apparently way too high to fish with any success (and could be dangerous). Ken was able to access a private section of water near the town of Jefferson, so we were all by ourselves on 4 miles of stream. No extra rod fees either. The weather was perfect (except for the mosquitos). Ken was very helpful in teaching my different types of casts, educating me about where fish should be on the stream, how to nymph and use streamers, and other things that you'd hope for as a newbie. He even cooked me grilled chicken for lunch on his portable grill!!! He's a good cook, so that was a nice bonus.

    I caught three 10-12 inch rainbows, and Ken was able to take a shot of me with the last one (I will try to upload the image, but this is my first try so we'll see how it goes). It was so exciting to see fish jump out of the water and to acutally hook a few of them as well. The second one I caught I unfortunately let slip out of my hands, so Ken couldn't take the pic. The first one was in a bad spot for me to get it, so Ken got in the water and unhooked it and let it go. Luckily the 3rd one was the charm, because I was able to successfully handle the fish to get the pic (those fish are darn slippery and hard to handle). Next time I'll make sure not to cover the entire fish with my hands! I caught all these fish before lunch, and unfortuantely we didn't catch any in the afternoon. But Ken worked very hard trying to find the fish. It seemed like they were being picky and weren't as hungry later in the day. I did have the opportunity to catch more, I didn't pull up on my rod quick enough to set the hook. I also messed up on some casts, which scared some fish away. I'll slowly learn how to do these things I guess. All with practice and patience!

    Oh, Ken also offered to stay on the water as late as I wanted, but I asked that we stop at 6p since I was tired (I guess I use muscles that I normally don't use as much when fishing). Ken also offered me follow up time with him for free when I need some pointers/touch up on stuff later in the summer. Ken said that he guides because he loves to fish and teach and not to make a living, which I believe (he is retired and I guess doesn't need much extra cash). Those who need to make a living on guiding probably couldn't afford the charge what he was charging ($125 special rate, normally $150 for a full day). I am grateful that he very affordable, since now I can go buy more equipment!

    Thanks to Ken I now feel comfortable and knowledgeable enough to be on the water by myself. And I caught my first fish while fly fishing. I can tell that I'm gonna need some time to unlearn my bad habits from spin casting as a kid, but I hope persistence will pay off (I break my wrist too often and sometimes go way too far on my backcast.).

    I really enjoy this forum and I look forward to contributing in the future!


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    Shaun congrats on your first day on the water. Ken sounds like a stand up guy, and looks like you really had a great experience. It's great that he emphasized the teaching aspect of it too instead of "just" the catching to prepare you for those times you're out on your own.

    I'm sure you'll have many more great days on the water, but you're off to a great start. Sounds like all that research paid off.


  3. #3

    Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    You are lucky to find someone who is good enough to help out. Not saying they're not out there, just not always accessible. Great story.

    Learning this sport is hard enough, especially when you do it on your own by trial and error.
    It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
    What manner of jackassery will I be subjected to today?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    H Shaun,

    Welcome to the forum. I am glad you finally decided to make a post. Thanks a lot for your story. Here is a link to a FAQ thread that will tell you how to post a picture. There are several ways to do it. Just pick the one that works best for you.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    Hey Shaun
    Congrats on joining the fly fishing fraternity.

    Just don't forget that's it's just fishin'
    Little kids do it it with a worm and a stick everyday
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  6. Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    Congrats on your first fish on a fly. I warn you, your wife will learn to HATE fly fishing, or the fact that that's ALL you want to do!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Western Maryland

    Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    Congratulations on your first fish as a flyfisherman! Sounds like you had a great expereince with a great guide. Sounds like a real gentleman! Also glad to have you on the forum. We are all here to learn from each other!
    "I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience...because only in the woods can I find solitude without lonliness..." Robert Traver 1964 (Judge John Voelker)

  8. Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    Congratulations on your first fish(es). What did you catch em on?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    Shaun: You are indeed wise beyond your years! You made an excellent choice in hiring a guide for your first outing............wish I had been that smart when I first started fly fishing. A guide like Ken will go a long ways toward getting you started out in the right direction. Congrats on your first fish caught with a fly rod, we welcome you to the forum and look forward to hearing your fishing reports........don't worry about asking questions we have some tremendous folks on this forum who will try to offer help.


  10. Default Re: My first day of fly fishing (with a guide)

    Thanks to everyone for the welcome.

    I thought I was computer literate, but I am starting to realize that doing simple things like posting pictures is complicated for me. I'll get my pic posted soon. My wife initially set up my Facebook account, so I have really been lazy learning how to post stuff on web sites.

    For the individual who asked about what I caught the fish on, I do recall that we caught one fish on a San Juan Worm and the others on a bead head something or other. It is going to be a long time before I get good at remembering names of these flies. I am just lucky at this point to recall what type of fly/bug we were trying to mimic (terrestrial, mayfly, etc.). We tried doing some dry fly fishing but I can't recall what we used, but I do know we were using a mayfly pattern. This is the kind of stuff that my brain doesn't digest easily. It sometimes is amazing to me that I was able to get an MA in anything other than basket weaving!!!

    Regarding this forum, I am so happy to have found it. I have been reading through the threads, and I have learned a lot by listening to the sage experience/wisdom of other fly fishers. I really enjoyed the recent topic of the one piece of advice or knowledge fly fishers would give to beginners. I get that I need to excersize patience, be willing to experiment, get involved with FF clubs (I just joined TU), get out on the water as much as possible, and just to enjoy the great outdoors.

    I truly feel lucky to have the opportunity to learn fly fishing and gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse world we live in. From what people on this forum have said about fly fishing, I believe this activity will likely become a passion for me and I should, if blessed to remain healthy, enjoy this sport for the rest of my life. I am happy to have found it still in my 20s (albiet 29 and 10 months).

    Oh, and I do think my wife won't learn to hate fishing so long as I encourage her to enjoy her passion/hobby, landscape photography. At this point my wife plans to take pics while I fish to my heart's content. I also have Monday's off work, so I can go up those days while she is at work. She will likely get jealous that I am spending so much time in the mountains!

    In any case, I think we can come to some kind of agreement that works for us both. I am hoping that my wife will tie flies for me, since I suck at it and she is pretty good. She enjoyed tie flying when we practiced at a class, while I struggled mightily. I am not suprised that women might be better than men at this activity, after all they are the more patient and delicate sex. I was able to successfully tie a San Juan Worm, but that was probably the easiest one to do. Who can't tie one of these?

    Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming.


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