Many of you have been on a guided fly fishing trip and maybe your fly fishing guide gave you an incredible experience, which fueled your fire to continue to fly fish. I hope so because that is what we are supposed to do. I believe that providing a good experience starts with being organized as well as having a professional appearance. Most fly fishing trips require a drive to the river and in some instances these drive can be lengthy. A lot of the time clients ride in our vehicles to and from the fishing destinations which provide the guide and the “sports” to get acquainted.
It is important as a guide to have all of your equipment is good working condition and that includes your vehicle. More times than not I have seen guide rigs that are and absolute mess. Empty soda (beer) containers, cigarette buts, trash and dirt in multiple places throughout the vehicle. This is fine when fishing with your buddies and do not get me wrong my truck looks like that time to time. When a client is paying a lot of money for a guided fly fishing trip they shouldn’t have to spend time in a messy/smelly guide rig.
Try to carry and extra set-up wherever you go. There have been plenty of trips when a client has broken a rod and the extra comes in handy. The other thing that drives me a little nuts is a dirty fly line. Bring a line cleaner & conditioner in your pack and throw a little juice on them time to time. This will increase the longevity of your line and keep it on the surface. It is tough to teach someone to mend when their fly line is a foot below the surface. Check your rods for nicks and dings. These are the areas where rods tend to break and if you can address the problem before hand chances are you will not have to use the extra rod.
DONT FORGET YOUR PLUGS!!! this is a biggie if you row a hard boat. We tend to rush to get on the water, especially in July when there is a line at the boat ramp. make sure to put your plugs in or you will be doing some hard core bailing before you even get the rods out. Keep your boat organized and clean. This will keep your appearance sharp and should you need something in your boat you will know exactly where it is. Carry all the necessary gear; PFD’s, throw bag, spare oar, dry bag, pump (if in an inflatable) and a bailing device (if in a drift boat).
Terminal Gear –
If you knew me you could point your finger and say this is not a rule that I follow. My boat bag tends to be a little messy and I will be first to admit it. But, try to keep your flies, tippet, bobbers and weights organized. This will saving time re-rigging and give your sports more fishing time.