How To Prepare For A Guided Fly Fishing Trip Your First

We have been fly fishing for many years and have been on many guided trips, here are some things you should know.

How to prepare for a guided fly fishing trip your first. Going on Your First Fly Fishing Trip? This is what You Need to Know. First and foremost you want to be sure you are safe and properly prepared for the trip and pack for all types of weather:

You need to have things in order for you to have the fishing experience that you’ve been waiting for. Fly fishing can be quite unpredictable in many respects, so do your homework ahead of time.

Then check it again right before you leave and make sure you come prepared. Here’s how to prepare yourself for your first fly fishing trip on rivers and streams:

Pack for All Types of Weather:

Fly fishing
Photo by Brian Moran

Even if you’re getting ready for a fly fishing trip in July, the weather is quite unpredictable. Make sure to pack clothing that provides sun protection and, most importantly, a good waterproof jacket and a hat.

You want to remember that the weather can change in a moments notice. It can be warm and sunny one minute then it can be cold and snowing in the minute. It all depends on where you are fishing and what time of the season it is.

An afternoon thunderstorm can bring wind, rain, hail and dropping temperatures. These thunderstorms can roll-in quite quickly and create ripe conditions for hypothermia for the ill-prepared angler.

Remember that rain and cooler temperatures don’t have to ruin your fishing trip. You can still catch plenty of fish if you pack the right gear!

Pay Attention to the Environment:

You should care a lot about the protection of wildlife, fish and aquatic resources. Most of the outfitting services practice catch and release methods and most of the guides are good stewards of the resource.

Make sure you don’t leave behind any garbage or trash and adhere to the States Stream Access Law. Your guide will show you the areas where you can legally walk and wade on the river.

Get a Good Guide:

Most of the states have stunning scenery which can also be very deceiving. You can get lost, or have trouble finding the best fishing accesses to the water.

Then you might even spend a whole day on a stream without catching a single fish. A local guide can help you identify the best spots to fish. They can also give you tips on what flies to use and what water to direct your cast to.

Even if you don’t plan on using a fishing guide for your entire trip. It is advisable to get at least one guided day in, so you can better learn the area and river.

There are two mentalities on guided trips. You have the customers who make bets, count fish and want a picture for bragging rights.

Then you will have those who want to learn and try to improve their game. Your guide has a lot of knowledge of the different techniques. He will be more willing to share his secrets when you show a genuine interest in the sport.

This is also true in the conservation and the future of our fisheries. So you should ask questions, communicate and try to absorb all the great advice they have to offer.

Locate a Good Fly Shop:

You may think you have everything you need for your fly fishing trip, but surprises happen. Even if you go to a local fly shop just for advice or for local flies, it’s good to keep the address and phone number to that shop handy. You’ll find that people are very passionate about fly fishing and don’t mind sharing their secrets with you.

Get Your License:

As previously stated, most guides take fish protection very seriously. So, if you try to go fly fishing without a license, you may end up paying a hefty fine.

All guided trips will require that you show your license as part of the trip preparation. You can usually get licenses at most fly shops and other outdoor type businesses and stores. You can wait and get your license the day of your trip, or get one ahead of time.

Getting a license in most states is easier than you might have thought. For your convenience, you can purchase one in a fly shop or purchase one online with only a few clicks.

Organize Your Gear:

You don’t want to waste any time when you arrive at the destination. Make sure you have gear clean, organized and ready to go. If it’s been quite a while since your gear was last used,

You should to go through your gear to make sure everything is working and in good condition don’t assume anything.

You don’t want to wait until you get to the river to discover you put your rain jacket away wet last year. and now you have a jacket full of mildew.

Going through your gear can also help to identify what needs to be replaced as well as what flies may need to be added to the fly box.

Many guides will supply your equipment but bringing along your favorite rods and reels can never hurt. You should ask the guide about rod sizes and line types and practice casting with what you will use on the trip.

Also, inquire about flies, if you tie your own or want to bring along some extras. Most guides will supply the flies but having some of your own favorites never hurts.

Practice Casting:

Even if you use a local guide for your fishing trip. It’s a good idea to know the basic casting movements before you hit the road. This way, you won’t have to waste much time once you get there. Of course, your guide will help you refresh your cast and show you some additional techniques to improve.

But the whole process will go much smoother if you already know what to do. Don’t worry; you do do not need a stream or a pond to practice casting.

Simply getting in a little practice on the lawn in the backyard, or a local park will do. Even practicing in the gym during the winter will go a long way towards making the trip more enjoyable.

You should try to do this for a few minutes a day starting a week or two before your trip.

Know the Tipping Policy:

Tipping is a subject that guides and clients will often tiptoe around. Don’t be afraid to ask about their tipping policy and how much they think is appropriate for a minimum.

Some lodges have tips built into the bill but many leave it in your hands. You should base your tip on your guides effort and performance at the end of your trip.

Many guides rely on tips to help absorb some of their overhead for food, fuel, and equipment costs.


Don’t treat your first fly fishing trip as if it was a simple trip to the beach. You will need a lot more preparation if you want it to be a great success.

Given the unpredictable weather that you can find in most states. It’s always a good idea to take all the precautions that the experts recommend for you.

You know what they say: “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

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