On the fly: Finding the right guide | AspenTimes.com
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On the fly: Finding the right guide

Chris Kish
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

BASALT –The ultimate goal of any guide trip is simply to enjoy a day on the water. For some, a successful day means catching as many fish as possible. For others, it might be spending time in great company and experiencing the great outdoors.

Over the years, I have learned that there is a lot more to guiding than simply catching fish. Perhaps an inevitable evolution of any angler, we learn to appreciate the little things on the river. When we put the catching on the back burner, the little things can really make a difference in your own trip experience. Communicating your concerns, preferences and expectations can maximize your time on the water and help you explore your guide’s potential.

Most guides enjoy the challenge of changing rivers and stretches throughout the year. Time of year, time of day, amount of time to fish, weather, hatch activity, presence of other anglers, scenery, opportunity to see wildlife, the angler’s ability to wade, to fish and the angler’s preferences are just a few variables that can be taken into consideration by a guide and his sports to decide where to head for the day. We are privileged to guide and fish in a valley offering more than 100 miles of diverse water and surrounding environments. This variety is what makes guiding and fishing interesting.



Many guides make a point of fishing different water to show anglers different experiences from year to year. Whether you are fishing with us for the first time or returning to fish with your favorite guide, feel free to express your preferences for where you would like to fish or request to fish a different river or section of river and try something new.

Finding the right guide for your fishing experience takes time and can often mean multiple trips before you discover your ideal match. Most of us want a guide to put us on his best fish, his best lunch, his best personality and his best day. Getting the most from your guide and your guided trip is about communicating what you would like and exploring what your guide has to offer. Requesting a specific guide is a great way to pay a compliment and set up a healthy expectation for the day.




Building relationships while working the river continues to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my guiding career. Anglers are great people. The best days are when we enjoy the company of those we are with, learn something about the river and share a good meal together.

If we can get to the point where catching fish is just a bonus, the day will take care of itself.


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