Header Colorado Denver Vail

CALL US! | 970-827-9500 VAIL VALLEY | 720-851-4665 DENVER

Home / Float Guide School

Float Guide School

float guide with dog float guide fly-fishing-north-park-float-trips-man-with-there-boat float guide floating-deckers float guide eagle-river-vail-fishing-report-man-with-his-boat float guide 2 boats down colorado river

Float Guide School Overview

The next step after becoming a wading fly fishing guide is graduating to a float boat.

Minturn Anglers Float Schools are geared towards the experienced wade guide looking to expand his or hers availability to their fly shop or business. Our school is five very full days of instruction and oar time which will give the participant the minimum Colorado state requirements for becoming a float guide. Each boat has an experienced, qualified instructor on board so each student is able to benefit from different perspectives throughout the class.

The class is packed full of helpful tips and tricks needed to become an efficient float guide on the challenging rivers we row here in the central mountains of Colorado. Being able to effortlessly maneuver a boat while people are fishing is an art, doing it safely is mandatory. Every safety aspect of floating for Minturn Anglers is covered from life jacket requirements, repair kits, rigging, first aid, whitewater rescue, and weather situations. Etiquette around clients, other guides, the fly shop and boat ramps are also stressed daily until it becomes second nature.

Rowing a drift boat or raft for fishing is hard work. Being mentally and physically fit are a requirement and we expect all participants to consider this before taking on the challenge of being a float guide in Colorado. Classes are held Monday– Friday and most days are 10-12 hours long and it is not uncommon to cover 12-20 miles each day on the river. Being prepared is an everyday thing with the float crew and the week of class is when guides start to develop a program that will help them on a daily basis. A fully equipped dry bag, food and large quantities of water are required by each class member. Life jackets can be provided. During our 5 day course it is not uncommon to cover 12-20 miles per day so we encourage you to be physically fit and ready for anything.

Our guide school sessions consist of two complementary courses.  Please review our Wade Guide School for the complete training suite.

Float Guide School Quick Facts

Location: Vail Valley
Season: Session 1 – May 8th-12th – Session 2: May 22nd-26th
Capacity: 12 People per session
Closest Major Air Hub: Eagle, CO
Documents Required: State ID or Drivers License to purchase a Colorado Fishing License

Book 5 Day Course



All the safety aspect of float guiding is covered which in includes:

  • life jacket requirements,
  • repair kits, rigging,
  • first aid,
  • whitewater rescue, and
  • weather situations.

Additional subjects include etiquette around clients, other guides, the fly shop and boat ramps are also stressed daily until it becomes second nature.


Each participant receives a binder to keep, the chance for employment with Minturn Anglers or placement elsewhere and a free rod (Limited time offer)

School Details

Each Session is 5 days long, and typically lasts about 8 hours. Bring any and all of your equipment that you would need to guide (Waders, boots, pack, rods, flies, etc.).  We strongly recommend that you bring a fully equipped dry bag, food (lunch) and large quantities of water. Life jackets can be provided. We ask that you dress properly, like you might be guiding.

Lodging Details

The Vail Valley offers a wide range of lodging opportunities. Please give us a call directly at 970-827-9500 so that we can best determine what the best lodging accommodations are that will meet your needs.


How Far in Advance do I Need to Book a Trip with Minturn Anglers?

We are the largest fly fishing outfitter in the State of Colorado and have over fifty guides on staff covering both our Vail & Front Range Fishing locations. As a result, we can often handle same day reservations. That being said, we certainly encourage advanced reservations .

What do I need to Bring With me? 

We are an all inclusive fly fishing outfitter. That mean’s that we provide all the fly fishing gear you will need.  If you want to use your own gear you are certainly welcome to do so. Aside from the fishing gear, you’re welcome to bring a camera but our guides also have them if you forget.

What do I Need to Wear?

The best way to explain this is to imagine what you would wear if you were going on a hike or long walk on a similar weather day.

Do I need a Fishing License, and if so…where can I buy one?

All individuals 16 and over will need a Colorado Fishing License which can be purchased for at our store. Single day out of state CO fishing licenses are $9 for the first day and $5 for each additional day.  If you want to get out the door quicker, feel free to purchase them online and view other fishing license options ahead of time HERE.

What is a Standard Gratuity for a Fishing Guide?

A standard gratuities for a fly fishing guide is 20%

Where do I meet my guide?

We can arrange to for you to meet us at our shop, at fishing locations or we are happy to pick you up at your place of residence. Whichever you prefer.

Will I catch a Fish?

Catching fish is never guaranteed, but we would say with strong certainty you will have opportunities to catch fish. We consider an “opportunity” as you set the hook, and felt the fish wiggle on the end of the line. How many fish come to hand is in large part determined by how much experience an angler has hooking & landing fish with a fly rod.

Other Questions You Might Have…

Please don’t hesitate to call us at any of our shops with any further questions you might have.


50% Deposit at booking (refundable if canceled 29 days prior to your trip date), remainder of balance due when you arrive in at the session.

Why Minturn?

We hire full time professional fly fishing guides committed to fly fishing.  We are not a seasonal mass tourism fly fishing operation like you will find in most resort towns.  We know our rivers intimately and are not learning them as we go. We are constantly making adjustments to your flies and rig throughout the day because we know that an extra split shot is the difference between catching a fish or not catching a fish.
Knowledgeable: Our guide staff is made up of authors, commercial fly tiers, and guides who fish and win fly fishing competitions. We are stewards of the sport and enjoy sharing our passion and knowledge for the sport with you.   It’s easy to say, “we have the most knowledgeable and experienced staff” on a website. If you have any doubts we encourage you to ask around.
Innovation: We are innovators of our industry offering trips that no else does and service that is unrivaled. We are often followed or copied, but never outdone by other outfitters.
We Work Harder: The biggest difference is that we are the hardest working guides on the river.  If we pass through a run that we know holds fish, we don’t just keep going.  We back row it and adjust our weight and depths until we start hitting fish.  Once we start hitting fish, we don’t coast.  We fish the river hard from start to finish.
Honesty:  We are more interested in having you back year after year as opposed to making a quick buck off you.   If fishing conditions change drastically following a big rain storm, we will be honest about what you can expect and let you decide whether or not you still wish to fish or reschedule.  We  will always be happy to issue a refund if conditions wont allow for a great day on the river. That being said, we can’t think of a single day EVER where all stretches of water in Vail have been unfishable.

Friendliness. If our success could be summed up in one word, “friendly” would be that word.  In an industry made up of arrogant fly fishing elitists, we have grown from nothing by consistently following the simple principle of, “Just be nice to people.”

Minturn Anglers

Guided Fly Fishing Trips in Vail & Denver.


Phone: (970)827-9500

View Our Services.