Fly-fishing has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in the United States with a staggering 7 million participants each year. It is considered by many experts to be the preferred method for catching various species such as trout, salmon, and other fish that reside in our mountain streams and rivers.
If you’re headed to Colorado as a fly-fishing destination and looking for a unique way to get a truly immersive experience, a guided fly-fishing trip is a great option. Using an outfitter will take all the guesswork out of the equation and provide you with the best opportunity to not only catch fish but also enjoy your outing. Most guided fly fishing trips provide anglers with all the latest and best gear as well as an expert guide to help you navigate the local rivers.
If you are looking to book your first fly-fishing trip, read on to get a better idea of the experience ahead and about what will go down on your guided fly-fishing trip.
Book Your Guided Fly-Fishing Trip Early
As mentioned above, fly-fishing excursions are growing exponentially in popularity. With a dearth of trustworthy experts in the field, it is never too early to book your guided fly-fishing trip. Doing so, even a year in advance can help you to secure the exact experience that you’d like to have.
Read Customer Reviews
One of the few businesses that might be a proponent of customer reviews is the fly-fishing guide business. Granted, more of the disgruntled crowd is likely to hop on a message board and go scorched Earth on a business, but customers of this genre will be fair.
You should read reviews of each business and consider the reviews when choosing a guided fly-fishing trip or working out a fly-fishing trip budget. When doing so, make sure to read reviews on several different pages and platforms.
Most high-quality guide services will have high-quality websites that include things like tackle and gear reviews, blogs, and other resources for anglers. In addition, local awards to the shops voted on by their peers can be a great way to verify their expertise and the quality of service they offer on their local rivers.
Look for awards and how the business is esteemed. Awards and recognition are a way to identify non-biased input on how the company provides experiences for participants. A great example of this is Mintern Anglers a local favorite that has been “Best of Vail Award” for multiple consecutive years.
Make sure that you are upfront with your guide about your abilities to ensure that you get the best tailor-made experience. Most well-established fly shops and guides have years of experience catering to every skill level of clients. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned angler, a high-quality fishing guide will put you in the best possible situation provided they know your limitations.
For example, if you have back problems or heart issues, it may not disqualify you from a guided fly-fishing trip – but it’s still important information for anyone that ends up being responsible for your well-being during the trip.
Another reason that transparency is key when it comes to booking fishing trips online is so that your guide knows what areas of the sport you might need help with in terms of understanding and skill-building. If you indicate that you’re an expert-level fly-fisherman, they may not need to teach you some basics like tying on flies and casting, for example.
Prepare to Communicate With Your Guide
Guides are not mindreaders, and if you are not open and communicative about your wishes and ability, they are likely to use their own preferences during your trip. Sure, they enjoy having a successful trip too, but their job is to make your experience a memorable and educational one, first and foremost.
Choose the Correct Destination or speak with the shop to choose the best type of trip for you.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but choosing a destination and guide service that fits your specific needs is something that many people who research a fly-fishing destination manage to overlook. Taking things into account like your target species, your fishing trip budget, and your physical abilities are tantamount at this stage.
Some questions that will help you go a long way when booking your next trip should include:
-How long do I want to fish for?
-Do I want to fish from a boat or do I want to walk and wade the river?
Pick a Method and length of trip: Two choices – Wade vs Float
Most guide services will offer full-day trips, half-day trips, float trips, wading trips, and any number of other options for excursions. It all depends on your desired methodology to get on fish. Picking a method is the last (but not least) vital piece to fly-fishing trip preparation.
Once you’ve decided on your preference and made the booking itself, it’s time to get on with packing everything you’ll need for your trip.
Time To Pack
Depending upon all the booking choices you’ve made, it’s time to pack for your trip. Guided trips generally include all the fly-fishing equipment you may need if you do not have any. However, appropriate clothing, a rain jacket, polarized sunglasses, a fishing license, and a hat should be bought before your trip.
Check with your guide for a list of other important items to bring, as well as what equipment would be best if you already own some. Of course, having the proper gear and clothing for the climate in which your excursion will take place is essential.
Ask About Contingency Plans
One of the few things that can’t be controlled on your trip is the weather and unforeseen personal emergencies. A few things to ask about when you call to book your trip include:
- Deposit Refund Policy
- Inclement Weather Rescheduling
- Emergency Policy
- Dangerous Conditions
Make Sure to Deal With Experts
When you’re booking a guided fly-fishing trip, make sure you’re doing it with a reputable outfitter and guide service. It’s best to go with the true experts when it comes to a fly-fishing destination – especially if you’re a newbie. Skip the smaller operations.
If you’re ready to book your guided fly-fishing trip, check out our blog and give us a shout when you’re ready to get out on the water.