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Discussion Starter #1
I am interested into becoming a guide and was looking for the regulations or requirements you need to become a fly fishing guide. I know there are several different schools but what makes you an official guide? Do you have to attend one of the schools? What if you want to teach someone how to fish, is it when you take money for it? I wanted to know before I start contacting shops. Does anyone know a good resource to call or web page?
 

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Thanks for the plug but no real information on the question. I thought this was a place to ask questions about fly fishing in Colorado. I take it you don't like the site, I just hope you went to it before you formed your opinion. In the future you might spend more time with your line in the water and less time throwing rocks, you might find your a little more tolerant of people sharing their passion with others.
 

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omerniar said:
Thanks for the plug but no real information on the question. I thought this was a place to ask questions about fly fishing in Colorado. I take it you don't like the site, I just hope you went to it before you formed your opinion. In the future you might spend more time with your line in the water and less time throwing rocks, you might find your a little more tolerant of people sharing their passion with others.
I like it, standing up for yourself.

I've always though of guiding as something that should find you. If you fish enough, know your sh*t, are buddies with a shop owner, slay trout, maybe know how to row, have gear to lend, and all of that, then what is there to learn about being a guide? I guess you can learn customer service or how to tie on a clients fly while he stands there, maybe get some info on getting licensed, but if was going to drop money on a guide they better know 100% more than i do about where I'm fishing and that comes with on the water experience, not some class.

I'm not knocking your idea, but what is it you hope to gain from a guide school?
 

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I may be old school, but I feel a good guide is going to learn over the years of fishing, not over the course of a week or two. I don't agree with guide schools as I wouldn't endorse a new graduate of guide school just as I wouldn't endorse a dentist after taking a 2 week dental class. Get out on the water and fish your butt off and learn every rock and every fish. This is what a good guide does.
 

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Adam,

This the Colorado State site that might answer most of your legal type of questions.
http://www.dora.state.co.us/outfitters/licensing.htm
Pretty much you will work for someone/organization/shop that has the outfitters license and you will guide as an independant contractor. They will take a cut of the pay you earn (and rightfully so). They supply insurance, permits, and take on most of the liability that will enables you to legally guide on certain permitted water. You must also be actively certified in first aid/CPR.

In my opinion you would be considered an "official guide" when you take some type of compensation for your services. You will need a tax ID number, So before you go and solict shops. I would have my business license, (TIN) Tax ID number, and FA/CPR ready to go. You should also have an insurance policy to protect you from liability......that's a good place to start.

Also don't go in it thinking that because you have all the above the shop will just be handing you trips. You have go out and work for those and promote yourself. You may pick up a trip here or there (if the regular guides are booked), a lot of people think that a shop will just set up trips and give them away. It takes time to build up that type of relationship.

If you have more questions fire away.

Hope this helps,
John G.
 

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After a decade of full time guiding, then showing up for the next season is an "official guide" --- Then you can start to be a complete guide
other than that ---CPR & First Aid w/ an Outfitter that will hire you
 

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All you need to be a "GUIDE" is someone with deep pockets willing to pay someone to show them some fish. I would venture to guess that a ton of folks who think they are guides do so on private water. Grab a rod and a SINGLE fly, drive to a piece of public water and really test your skills. Then when you have the fishing down, take some psych classes or elementary ed classes so you can deal with the clients.


Like Slow said, the topic comes up every other month or so and it is always about the same discussion. When you have decided that you don't enjoy FISHING while on the water, become a guide. One of the biggest complaints I hear is about how the guide caught my fish, or the guide was fishing when I needed them.
 

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FLYFISHGEEK said:
All you need to be a "GUIDE" is someone with deep pockets willing to pay someone to show them some fish. I would venture to guess that a ton of folks who think they are guides do so on private water. Grab a rod and a SINGLE fly, drive to a piece of public water and really test your skills. Then when you have the fishing down, take some psych classes or elementary ed classes so you can deal with the clients.


Like Slow said, the topic comes up every other month or so and it is always about the same discussion. When you have decided that you don't enjoy FISHING while on the water, become a guide. One of the biggest complaints I hear is about how the guide caught my fish, or the guide was fishing when I needed them.
Grab a single fly? If you're a guide, I'm assuming you want a big tip, as guiding doesn't pay well. Why in the hell would fish a single fly? Why wouldn't you do what is catching fish? I don't think there is anything to prove with a client who is probably a first timer. Double nymph, pick up fish, have happy clients, make a big tip. If you want to guide, learn some patience, fish your butt off, and try to get your foot in the door.
 

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Pretty sure Geek was taking a shot at some guides in general suggesting fishing public verse fishing over sized stockers fresh out of the truck on private might be a better indicator of their skills.
 

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Guiding is easy. Having a schedule full of return guidees is difficult.

Anyone can guide with their Medic First Aid and adult CPR. Boat captains have it a little harder but its not tough.

Keep in mind all guiding on public lands should end immediately.

Decide whether you want to guide as a full time guide (few and far between) or do it for summer (many jobs available) this will help you on how serious you want to be.

I guided in Aspen for years both full and part time and it is a great way to make a living and if you can be one of the few that does it year round you will have an enjoyable life. It is hard work to be consistent.

You don't have to be a great fly angler you just have to know how to get OTHER people to hook the fish. Some have the knack some don't.

My CARDINAL rule when guiding, never take the rod. Never relent! C notes will follow.
 

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Juan said it best, learn the water you plan on guiding. Know it intimately. I am not a great fly fisherman, but I could guide the Pueblo tailwater as well as anyone because I have been on that water for years and know every nook and cranny... I also tie knots quickly and am rather personable... My point is, knowlege of the water is the most important thing to get smiles on customers faces. You put me on the SP around Deckers and I would probably look like a fool, and I have fished there a dozen times. Make sense?
 

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Trout said:
Pretty sure Geek was taking a shot at some guides in general suggesting fishing public verse fishing over sized stockers fresh out of the truck on private might be a better indicator of their skills.
I like taking shots a stocker guides ;D And I meant the OP should go out by himself and try to conquer the fish and water with a single fly, not with clients. Most folks that drop the money on a guide are more impressed by what we call a fly than the fly itself ;D

And to all you tailwater guides, when you are out there casting #26 dries on 8x and I come smashing through with 0x and a #2, let the client try it, it's a BLAST !!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the input, I was looking for the legal stuff. I am actually interested in teaching flyfishing to beginners. As I have been building and promoting my site the first question people ask is if I am a guide or do I teach. I just wondered what the difference was between guiding and taking someone on the water to learn. I have all the tax stuff for the website and this is where I would sell my services. It just seems like a gray area, teaching some to fish or guiding them on a fishing trip. At the moment I am not ready to give up my day job to become a guide, not ready to give up my own rod time on the water.
 

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That puts a little different spin on things.

I think there is some licensing from the state and IDK if you currently have the first aid/cpr or not, but I would recommend it either way. There are also lease issues with where one can guide.
 

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According to the Colorado Revised Statutes:

"(5.5) "Outfitting services" means providing transportation of individuals, equipment, supplies, or wildlife by means of vehicle, vessel, or pack animal, facilities including but not limited to tents, cabins, camp gear, food, or similar supplies, equipment, or accommodations, and guiding, leading, packing, protecting, supervising, instructing, or training persons or groups of persons in the take or attempted take of wildlife."
(I added the bold.)

So--assuming you actually want to take people to a river for part of their training--what you want to do probably requires an outfitter's license, and whoever actually accompanies the clients is a guide and requires CPR and Basic First Aid certifications. In addition, if you do this on public land, you probably need a permit from the agency that controls it--Forest Service, BLM, etc.

What you need to do is find an outfitter (a shop) who operates on the river you plan to use for this and make a deal to do it under their outfitter's license. You would generate the business and do the guiding. They would get a cut for letting you operate under their outfitter's license, liability insurance, permits, etc.
 

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You made a good point, for a loner guide to guide there is now so much demand there are many rivers that have all guiding leased through the forest service, BLM or controlling agency.

Make sure you are allowed to guide on a certain water.

And make sure you Vote to end all guiding on public waters and no one has to worry that only 4 people hold the permits to fish the Frying Pan and if you want to buy a permit then it will cost you into the millions.

Stop this nonsense!!
 

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cochise said:
And make sure you Vote to end all guiding on public waters and no one has to worry that only 4 people hold the permits to fish the Frying Pan and if you want to buy a permit then it will cost you into the millions.

Stop this nonsense!!
Is it on the ballot?
 
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