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Thread: Alaska Guiding

  1. #1

    Default Alaska Guiding

    So I'm 16 and live in the mountains of NC. I've been looking into getting in to guiding (hopefully in Alaska, and South America in the winter) fishing is my passion, whether it be fly or spinning and I'm sure it's the same for all of you.

    But I was hoping maybe someone could give me some tips about guiding in general and maybe point me in the right direction to go about doing this. I hope to do it straight out of high school. And does anyone know what happened to SEFFF?

    Thanks,
    Franzenangler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Alaska Guiding

    franzenangler: Hopefully some of the guides on the forum will jump in here and offer advice. One thought I had is that you might look at trying to attend one of the fly fishing guide schools offered around the country. Another approach would be to attend the fly fishing shows in the winter and talk with the lodge owners directly about employment. Here is just one outfit offering fly fishing guide schools: Colorado Guide School-Become a Professional Fishing Guide - Cutthroat Anglers
    Another approach might be to try to get employed by one of the local fly shops in your area, maybe starting out in retail and working into a guide slot as you prove yourself to the shop owner. Send me a PM with your address and I will send you a great book on guiding in Alaska called The Alaska Chronicles by Miles Nolte. Miles points out the work is hard and the hours are insane but don't let that deter you, if that is your passion you will have a great time and learn valuable lessons from guiding in Alaska.
    Good luck!

    Larry

  3. #3

    Default Re: Alaska Guiding

    Hey Larry, thanks for the advice

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Central Florida
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    Default Re: Alaska Guiding

    Hi franzenangler,

    If you want to be an Alaska guide you will need to master a few skills. Here is a list of what a Lodge may look for.

    1. Someone who can fly light aircraft and has a commercial license.

    2. Someone who can operate a jet boat.

    3. Someone who has a lot of experience fly fishing for Trout, Salmon and Steelhead.

    4. Someone who ties flies.

    5. Someone with survivor skills in remote locations. You never know when a boat or plane will crash. You will be responsible for your clients.

    This is a fair list of what lodges may be looking for. A lot of lodges have planes and a guide who can fly is a BIG PLUS. Other lodges use jet boats and knowing how to operate one may get their attention. There are also float trips and knowing how to row a raft would be helpful. You would definitely have to know how to build fires, pitch tents, cook and probably know how to operate a shotgun with skill.

    If you intend to start this at 18 you must have something to offer a lodge instead of just being willing. In most cases they would not want a guide that young guiding much older clients.

    Another approach is to get a job at one of the larger lodges doing odd jobs. The beds have to be made, the food has to be cooked and so on. These jobs won't be much fun but the owner can get to know you and maybe give you a chance. Tell them going in you want to be a guide and you will do anything to get a chance.

    Frank

  5. #5

    Default Re: Alaska Guiding

    Thanks for the tips. I know how to do all of those except for flying, and operate a drift boat. I fish small streams, but I know how to read water. does it very with larger rivers though?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Alaska Guiding

    BUMP!! please help me out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Central Florida
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    Default Re: Alaska Guiding

    Hi again franzenangler,

    My list is not just things you do but things you need to excel at. At 16 you just haven't had time to be really proficient at these things. I suggested them so you could work on them to be a Pro Guide, not just somebody who fly fishes and operate boats on a lake. It takes skill and practice to float big water and know where to fish.

    Frank

  8. #8

    Default Re: Alaska Guiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
    Hi again franzenangler,

    My list is not just things you do but things you need to excel at. At 16 you just haven't had time to be really proficient at these things. I suggested them so you could work on them to be a Pro Guide, not just somebody who fly fishes and operate boats on a lake. It takes skill and practice to float big water and know where to fish.

    Frank
    Thank you Frank you've been a great help, and I understand what you mean about excelling my skills. And is reading water generally the same on small water as it is on larger water?

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