A fishing guide from a fishing guide

I have been a fly fishing guide for around eight years now and I have learnt more about fishing being a guide, then you could ever learn from just growing up fishing.

There are many tricks when it comes to fly fishing and many you wouldn't know unless told or you were to spends years on the water to work them out for yourself. Fly fishing is not something that you can pick up quickly that is why I find it such a fun thing to do as you are always learning.

Here are a three things to think about when you’re next out on the river:

Timing your day fishing

In most instances when going on a fishing trip punctuality is very important. It is all too common when meeting your guest the timings are not the best for fishing. I would say the majority of people who organise a day on the river start too late and leave too early.

Trout aren't dissimilar to us when it comes to feeding times, they tend to have their main meals in the morning and the late afternoon. When turning up at 10:00 am and setting up your kit making a coffee and getting back into your cast, you’re not really on to the water until at least 11:30 - just the time the trout have stopped feeding and are having a bit of downtime. This is quite understandable, they have been feeding all morning, the sun has risen to a hot height and the nature around you has been up for hours doing their morning chores. In time to watch you flog the water and get some nice tangles along the way.

It is important you get to the water in good time. If you really want to have a productive time on the river I would suggest getting there for 8:00 am. This means you can get to the water's edge, setup your kit and see what’s been happening.

Preparation is key

When organizing your fishing trip try to do your shopping of flies and new leaders the day or week before. This allows for you to have as much time on the water as possible.    

But this is where your trusted guide comes in. Remember a guide (a good guide) is not just there for you for the day he is your man/ woman on the water. They are there for you whenever you need to know what's been happening on the river what flies to get, what strength leader you need and what rod size and length you need for the area you’re going.

The fly choice is also very important. If you think about it every fly pattern that has been bought in the local fly shop has been cast over most of the fish in that area. Having a guide that knows this is important. And a guide who ties his own flies is a gem: none of the fish in the area will have ever seen most of the patterns in that guide’s box this is a massive advantage to catching any trout in that stream.

Check what has been happening on the river bank

You may be thinking “How am I supposed to know what happened in the last few days?”.

In fact, there are many tips for understanding what's been going on over the last few days. Using the nature around you is a great tip. Having a look what’s around you for example, the spider webs are a  great indication of what's been hatching and flying around.

Tapping the trees above you and seeing if there is any fly life from the evening before is a great trick. Any spinners (fly that have mated) that hatched the evening before will have gone up to the trees to mate. Tapping the trees will hopefully give you an indication of what was hatching and what the fish will be interested in. That is a great way to know what to start with that morning.

Doing all this early allows the nature around you to adapt to your presents and everything will start to carry on as normal, this will make you blend in more.

You now know what's been happening in the last few day and you are ready to start having a walk up the river.

Local knowledge is key 

A good guide is going to know most of this so I would always recommend having one. Local knowledge is the best kind of knowledge there is. Whenever you are in a new place or new type of river the way you fish that area can be very different to the area you may know.

I hope this blog has shed a little light on a few tips and pointers when you next go fishing. If you have any other thoughts on how a guide can help do email me at rollo@gloriousgame.con


Rollo Grandy