S3:E22 From Guided Float Trips to Fly Fishing Solo

Fly fishing solo can be confusing when you’re first starting out, especially if all you’ve ever done is guided float trips. Making the transition is not a snap for everyone. Many folks take a guided float trip and never make the time to learn the sport. In this episode, we identify several ways to make the journey from guided float trips to fly fishing solo.

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Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last segment of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.

How did you make the transition to fly fishing on your own? What advice would you give someone who wants to start the learning curve to fish on his or her own?

By the way, we’d love for you to refer our podcast to a friend, your TU chapter, or fly fishing club. Be sure to pass along our podcast to others.

Other Articles for New Fly Fishers

    How New Fly Fishers Can Increase Their Odds of Success

    7 Streamside Habits of Highly Generous Fly Fishers

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7 thoughts on “S3:E22 From Guided Float Trips to Fly Fishing Solo

  1. I still slightly (but respectfully) disagree with you on not learning on float trips. You learn a lot about where trout feed and how to fight them. Also, I try to really pick the brain of my guides: why there? Why this fly? Where are good wading spots, etc. I agree that you can treat it like a Disneyland ride, but with a little effort you can learn a lot.

    • I agree that you can learn a lot on a float trip. You also get to fish sections of the river you might not have access to by wading. Like I️ said earlier,it will greatly be if it you if your can cast with some distance and accuracy. You need to be able to put the fly where your Guide tells you.
      My other comment is about going back to a spot where your Guide has brought you. I’m a guide and it doesn’t bother me, in fact I️ encourage it. Public fishing and public access is what it is. Public. When it comes to secret spots, I am very careful as who I bring there. I’m in the buissness of reading people. I know who i can bring to my honey spots. Guides always or should always have a plan B if plan A is occupied. If someone gets up earlier than me and gets to the “spot” before i do, then they deserve that spot. Have fun and enjoy it.

  2. My 2 cents. Take a wade trip before a float. When you become a decent caster (60’ and accurate) then take a float trip. You and your Guide will really enjoy the trip. On a float trip, you only get a few casts to hit the hot zone. Guides can get frustrated when a client cannot cast to a specific spot on a float.
    Wade fishing with a guide can and should be a great learning experience. Ask a lot of questions. Guides should be explaining everything to the clients.
    Rule of thumb when booking your next guide trip. Make a list of your expectations and then call to speak with the guide service. Go over everything that you want in a guided trip. Be honest about your skill level and together plan the kind of trip that you want.

  3. Hello, I love your podcast and it is one of the few I listen to every week. In your most recent podcast you made a point of saying that it is perfectly fine to go to one of your guides spots the day after you fish with him… Since its public water, it’s fair game. Yes and No! It is perfectly legal to go to one of your guides spots by yourself and some guides might not mind at all. However, if you talk to many guides, you will see that this is often considered poor etiquitte and I’m afraid by you saying it is perfectly fine, all the time on your podcast, many newbies will consider it to be the thing to do when it really isn’t. Guides work very hard to get you into fish, they sometimes take you to secret spots to help you catch more or bigger fish, that doesn’t mean they want you go back to that spot or share it with other people. Yes it is legal but not exactly a cool thing to do. It really depends on the spot in question. My concern is that telling everybody that it’s okay all the time will have newer fisherman doing it without question. Not cool! Sincerely, Kevin S. Nor Cal

    • Thanks, Kevin. Interesting thought. All the guides we’ve ever used have told us to go back the next day. For example, Steve and I were just out in Montana fishing the Madison with a guide. After the day, he specifically mentioned our going back: “When you go back, here is what I would recommend. Sometimes you need to park here …”

      Last year, when we fished the Gardner – same thing. Same conversation with the guide.

      I’d like to see some more research on this, whether this is simply an annoyance that some guides have or a true guardrail of the sport.

      Grateful for your comments! We will raise the issue in our “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.”