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6 Tips for Beginner Anglers on a Guided Trip

6 Tips for Beginner Anglers on a Guided Trip

This time of the year we are flooded with people making reservations for their Montana fly fishing trips.  Part of helping people make their plans is listening and answering their questions.  One of the most common questions is related to lesser experienced anglers. We get excited to guide beginners, adolescents, and casual anglers.  Our guide staff loves the sport and wants to teach those eager to learn.  Having said that here are a few things that will make your Montana fly fishing trip better if you are fishing with a novice or if you are the novice.

Let us preface this by saying that you’ve already made the best decision to improve your angling skills by hiring a guide.  They are on the water daily, have great local knowledge, and are passionate about sharing this information with beginner and experienced anglers alike.

6 Tips for Beginner Anglers:

  1. Make sure to TELL YOUR OUTFITTER that you are a novice when you first book your trip or that you have a novice angler fishing with you.  Then the outfitter can get you the best possible guide and make the best plan for learning and catching fish during your stay.
  2. ASK QUESTIONS, ask before you come out, while you’re fishing and afterwards.  There aren’t any dumb questions about fishing if you don’t know and you’ll never learn if you don’t ask.
  3. COMMUNICATE throughout the day with your guide.  If your guide explains something and you still don’t get it to ask him to explain it again or show you – don’t just nod your head in agreement.  Personally, we love it when people are passionately trying to understand the sport we love.
  4. Ask your outfitter about the EQUIPMENT YOU NEED.  Don’t spend a lot of $ on equipment that you might only use a few times, likewise, don’t use poor quality gear either.  Have the outfitter provide quality gear or rent it from a fly shop.  Borrowing your ‘uncle’s’ old fiberglass rod from the 1960s won’t help you enjoy your time on the water.
  5. Tell you outfitter your EXPECTATIONS.  Do you want to just try and catch a bunch of fish or do you want to learn the when/where/how/why of fishing?  Any guide worth their salt will be happy to teach you while also catching fish.
  6. LISTEN to your guide.  We know it seems simple, but honestly, it’s the most important part of learning.  If the person you’ve hired as the expert suggest something or makes a point to explain something it’s probably important.

Do you have any tips for novice anglers going on a guided trip that you’ve found helpful?  Be sure to comment if you do.

21 thoughts on “6 Tips for Beginner Anglers on a Guided Trip

  1. Sounds great. I was actually contemplating to try out a local club organized fishing trip just to collect some live fish specimen. I'm sure the tips provided above are very helpful.

  2. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to communicate with the guide to make sure you can fully understand the trip and what’s been done. My wife and I always go fishing together but we don’t really enjoy ourselves because we don’t really know what to do. I’ll have to start looking around for a guided fishing trip that will be able to help us out in this situation to where we can enjoy it.

    1. Mike – sorry for the delayed response, we were traveling out of country and didn’t see your comment. We’d be happy to help you and your wife learn to fly fish. Our guides are excellent instructors and we include all the rods, reels, flies and lunches on your trip. I’ll send you an email with more details. Thanks, Eric

  3. Thanks for the great quick tips. We have always been interested in fly fishing and if we ever in Montana we look into using your site’s services.

  4. I really appreciated your advice on asking the guide questions, and making sure that you really understand what they are saying instead of just nodding your head. My wife says that I am guilty of just nodding my head and agreeing when I am being told something, and then forgetting it right after! If I go on a guided fishing trip soon, I will be sure to pay close attention and try to retain what I am learning.

  5. My husband has always wanted to learn how to fly fish, so I am thinking of taking him on a guided fishing trip for his birthday. You make a great point that you should ask a lot of questions on the tour so that you can learn as much as possible from your guide! I think that this will be a great way for my husband to catch a lot of fish and learn as many tips as possible for when we go fishing in the future without a guide.

  6. A couple of friends and I are interested in going on a guided fishing trip. We want to make sure that we make the most of this fishing experience. It helps a lot to have the insight to listen and truly learn from the insights that the guide will have.

  7. Thank you for sharing the importance of communicating with the guide and that if there is anything that they did not understand, the person should ask them about it. I am quite the shy type, so it was good that I came across this article before I go fishing. After all, I want to make sure that I learn everything I need and ask everything I need to ask before I go out into the lake or sea.

  8. I can agree with you when you said that a person will never learn if they do not ask, so if there is anything that they want to know, they need to ask their guide. Then I am sure that my guide will be challenged once I join in. After all, I am a first-time fisher, and I sure have a lot of things that I want to ask about fishing and its requirements.

  9. Wow, it’s interesting that you shared this information with us. My brother is inviting me to go on fly fishing. If ever, it’ll be our first time! I will be forwarding this to him since he’s the one who will make the reservation.

  10. Thank you for the tip about making sure that you tell you outfitter hat you are a beginner (if you are!) when you go on a fishing trip. Fishing is something that my husband has been wanting to do for a long time, but he has never had the funds to go on a trip. Since he got a new job he has been saving up, and now he is looking into hiring a charter to take him fishing with professionals! I’ll have him read this article before he goes so that he is a little bit more prepared.

  11. I am interested in going on a guided fishing tour, and I currently only have a few tools of the trade. It never occurred to me to ask the outfitter what things I will need. That is a great idea, that way I won’t go spending big bucks on something I don’t even need. I also like how you mentioned to tell the outfitter your expectations, that way it will allow you to get exactly what you want out of the experience.

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