Competence in the technical aspects of fly fishing is only part of the equation to becoming a successful fly fishing guide. The Minturn Anglers Guide School teaches those skills, but also spends considerable time in its 7 day course dealing with the people aspects of being a professional fly fishing guide. This is reflected in the personalities and behavior of guides who work for Minturn.
Andrew, for example, has a passion for working with kids. Mandy works hard to ensure her clients are stimulated by the entire fishing experience, including wildlife, the rivers, terrain, as well as the fish. Duane enjoys breaking down the finer aspects of angling to assist his clients become better fishermen and women. Braedon’s passion is seeing the smile on his client’s face that comes with the first catch of the day.
Graduates from the Minturn Guide School know that it takes more than being a great fly fisherman to be a good guide. Basically, good guides are outdoor teachers and entertainers, talented in coaching and passing on information to others. They are able to keep their patience throughout the day, from the first to the last cast, and be ready to talk to clients in many different ways to get a job done. Adaptability is key, as no two clients will be the same and some may test the limits of even the most professional guide. The Guide School deals with principles of group dynamics, and instructs guides in appropriate leadership techniques and approaches to ensure amicable client relations.
New guides quickly learn that the easiest way to keep clients happy is to be well prepared, to prevent problems before they happen. The Guide School introduces the students to all the preparations and tasks that must be done before every guiding day. For example, they have to prepare flies, organize gear, and set up the boat if one is being used. Lunches have to be prepared for clients. Research is necessary to determine the best waters for the coming day.
The relationship between guide and clients is always smoother when the guide is thoroughly prepared for the trip. Then, it is much easier to just focus on the clients and their needs. Fly fishing guides completing the Minturn Guide School are typically mature and dependable people who get along well with clients, and have the energy and passion to pass on their love of fly fishing to every client they meet.