Fly Fishing Trips - Know Your Needs To Match The Right Guide And Lodge
Before you can choose the guide service for your fishing trip, you must first navigate the details relating to your targeted fish species, locations to fish, and preferred fishing tactic (such as fly fishing). You must also decide about the level of service you need for your fishing trip. Do you need a stand-alone guide service or a packaged fishing trip complete with meals and lodging?
California has some excellent fly fishing guides that can lead you to a successful fishing trip. Since guide fees are not necessarily cheap, and since you will be spending an intimate day in close quarters with your guide, it is to your advantage to do a little homework and ensure that your fishing trip meets your expectations.
Fly Fishing Trips With More Than Fish
A qualified Fishing Guide will offer instruction in casting, provide insights into local culture and customs, river history, stream entomology, and offer suggestions on what fly to use for the water you are fishing. Your guide will even tie on your fly. Since your fishing trip will most likely require guiding you from a raft, drift boat or jet boat, the qualified guide must also be competent at navigating the waters you are fishing. You are entrusting your life to your guide. You should first and foremost make sure you are comfortable with their management of risk, their competence on the river, and their experience.
1. Personal Recommendations - This is one of the best starting points to choosing a California Fly Fishing Guide. Obtain a recommendation from someone who has used the fly fishing guides you are considering, or get a recommendation from a fly shop you trust. Some of the best sources of unbiased testimonials come from fly fishing clubs that are not economically tied to a fly shop or to one of the California guide services.
2. Web site – Thoroughly read your California fly fishing guide’s web site. Most guides should have in internet presence by now. You should be looking for the following:
a. Personal recommendations or testimonials.
b. The official California Outfitter/Guides License Number. (Marble Mountain's Guide license is # 1983)
c. Number of years the California fly fishing guide service has been in operation (Since 1994 at Marble Mountain)
d. Any biographical information on the fishing guides.
e. Any policies regarding deposits, bookings, fly fishing rates, and refunds.
f. Look for any associations and professional affiliations. The Federation of Fly Fishers, and Cal Trout are two suggested affiliations to look for.
g. Look for authorized areas of jurisdiction. Each public body of water will have a primary governing agency that manages it, such as the United States Forest Service, or the B.L.M. These agencies issue limited special use permits that authorize guides to operate in those managed regions. Any professional California fishing guide will have some sort of statement on their web site identifying the government agency permitting them to operate on their waters of jurisdiction.
3. California Fish and Game Guides License, Bond, Insurance and Coast Guard License -- A California Outfitter / Guide service is required to be bonded, licensed and insured. If you are on any type of motorized craft, the guide must also hold a Coast Guard OUPV license at a minimum (Our Coast Guard license is # 26242). Be sure to get information concerning these licenses and the companies providing the bonding and insurance services for the fishing guide you are considering. If your fishing trip is not fully legal, it is most likely also not going to be fully professional.
4, Read the Reviews and check the Local Better Business Bureau – unsolicited and objective reviews can be found at sources such as Trip Advisor and Yahoo Travel. The Better Business Bureau and the California Department of Fish and Game might also have information about complaints relating to any Guide Service you are interested in hiring.
With a little effort and homework, your selection of one of California's qualified Fly Fishing Guides will culminate in your fly fishing dream trip. We hope you choose to join us on your next Klamath River fishing trip