If you own your own rod, practice your cast. Before you go on your next fly fishing adventure, whether you are fly fishing in Utah or somewhere else, try to find time to practice your cast. This is especially important when you are fishing in areas which require more precise placement of your fly and long distance casts. If you’re going to spend the money on guides and lodging to get to an exotic location why not take the time to hone your skills before you get there. Nothing will single handedly increase your catch rate than a well-skilled cast. If you’re struggling with your fundamentals, you can always look up an FFF certified casting instructor to take a couple lessons.
As a seasoned angler you likely own your own gear. I recommend communicating with your guide in advance to see what equipment you actually need. You will find most guides will encourage you to bring it as one generally feels more comfortable casting their own fly rod. There are however circumstances where you are better off using the guide’s equipment. For example, if you are going to a small stream and you have a rod that is more geared for nymph fishing, you are going to have a more enjoyable day with a nice, 4 weight, dry fly rod that your guide can provide.
As for flies, more often than not, fly patterns will vary from east to west coast. On particularly finicky streams, fly patterns become very specific to the area. Your favorite pattern may not suffice on the river you intend to fish. If you like to tie flies, ask your guide for some suggested patterns.
Trust your guide. Allow them pick the time and place for the start of the day. If your guide wants to meet at 6:30am, it is not necessarily because he/she is a morning person but to ensure that you get a great spot on the river. On a potentially crowded day, this will allow for more opportunity. Early meet times are especially crucial with large groups, such as 3 person trips. There are limited spots on the river that will not only accommodate all 3 anglers but also be manageable for the guide.
Adjust your expectations for individual trips. Not every trip is the same. You might want to fish a river that you fished the previous year but the fishing conditions may have changed on that particular river due to weather, water, or bug activity. Also, if you are an advanced fly fisherman and you bring along a novice don’t expect to fish the same type of water you have in the past. The guide needs to cater to the novice. Some spots might be to difficult for a beginner. A good analogy would be if you are an expert skier and you wanted to take a friend that has never skied before. A first run down a black diamond run would not be a good idea. The same goes for fishing. We do not want to bring a beginner to a stream that would require precise casting.
Book your trip in advance. Booking your trip in advance will help ensure you get a quality guide. Provo River Guide Service only employs top-notch guides with years of experience. That said, we have limited availability day to day.
It is much easier for a guide to prepare for a trip if he knows that it’s on the books in advance. It is also helpful if you let your guide know of any food allergies or disabilities that would prevent you from wading around in the river. Giving your guide a “heads up” will give them the ability to optimize your experience.
- Jeff Harwin