Frequently Asked Questions Good questions to ask when choosing a fly fishing guide service
Is the guide service licensed, bonded, and insured in Colorado? Be aware that guides conducting "rogue trips" or persons holding themselves out as guides without the proper licence are not covered under the outfitters license. This practice is illegal in Colorado.
What are the hidden costs of the trip? Ask if things like wader and equipment rental are included in the trip price. Many fly shops don't include equipment rental, flies, tippet, leaders, and terminal tackle as part of their guide fee. Between rental equipment and fly-tackle charges, clients often find that they have an additional $80-$200 charge at the time of their trip. At Colorado Trout Hunters, waders, rods-reels, flies, and terminal tackle are always included in the trip price.
Private water access fees also may apply and change depending on the property and number of anglers. Private water access fees are included in our description page for each property that we guide on. The only other thing that you are responsible for is to have a valid Colorado fishing license. (Buy fishing licence) Guide gratuity is always appreciated.
What is the appropriate tip for a fly fishing guide? Although tipping is a personal decision and the guides appreciate any and all gratuity, typically tipping is approximately 20% of the total trip price. That is the industry standard.
How much does the trip cost? Some outfitters may change their pricing and not make it known on their website or to the customer. You can be assured that our rates are always the same as what is advertised on the RATES page of our website.
What experience do the fly fishing guides have? Be aware that often, especially during peak summer months, many outfitters resort to hiring part time guides with little to no guiding experience or ski and snowboard instructors looking for summer work (just putting bodies on the water). A more recent phenomenon within the guide industry comes from the downturn in the economy. Since 2009 we are seeing a HUGE increase in the number of guides and guide services. A lot the these guides and business owners have only 1-2 years of fishing experience and very little guiding experience.
At Colorado Trout Hunters we have well over 100 cumulative years of guiding experience. All our guides have significant past guiding experience and fly fishing industry experience. (As of 2012 our most junior guide has been with us for 5 years and guiding professionally for 6) We have fly fishing authors, former guide service owners, long time guides and fly shop employees, as well as world traveled fly fishing experts on our staff. All our guides are very personable and excellent instructors. We will work hard to set you up with a guide that matches your personality. Also all of our guides have current CPR and first aide training.
Why should I choose Colorado as my fly fishing destination? The rivers we fish on are very accessible, as most are within 2 hours of Denver. We have lots of tail waters (rivers below dams) that are very fertile trout environments and grow lots of big trout. Also we have access to many different private waters where the access in very limited ensuring that the water is not over fished. See our pictures pages!
Should I choose public or private water for my fly fishing trip? In Colorado, the land owners own the river bottom -- a concept foreign to anglers in many parts of the country. Private waters offer a controlled environment where the angling pressure is limited ensuring there are plenty of fish that are usually very willing to eat flies. The down side to private waters is that there is an additional fee to access the property and you will need to hire a guide to go back. We also guide on some exceptional public waters. These allow anglers to hone there skills on water they can return to. Many local anglers enjoy these trips because they learn about good places to go back and fish. Also the fishing on the public water can be great! If this is the case we will steer you toward the public water option. Often on multi-day trips we start out on public waters to hone the anglers skill and finish up the trip on our world class private waters once you have a good handle on the basics of fly fishing. The main con of the public waters is there is potential for crowding especially on the weekends.
I have a non-angling person who would like to come along watch and take pictures is this OK and is there an additional charge? It is OK to have a non-angling party along for a full or 1/2 day trip. There is no charge from us for them to come along unless they decide they would like to fish when they see how much fun it is! The situation may be different for private waters, however. In some locations, non-angling guests are often welcome, but land owners may require them to pay the access fee to be on the property. Lunch is not included for any non-angling party unless arrangements have been made ahead of time.
When is the best time to come fishing in Colorado? With our wide variety of fly fishing locations, we are pleased to offer a great year-round program. Winter can be good, but the weather is most unpredictable. Spring and fall offer lots of great fly fishing opportunities and some of the best big trout fishing of the year. Summer also offers great action and can offer outstanding dry fly fishing. Whenever you can make it out, we will work hard to make sure you are into some great fly fishing!
What should I bring on my Colorado fly fishing trip? Besides a fishing license and a smile please see our guide trip checklist. You are always welcome to use your own gear if you would like.