On the fly: Ah, the singular life of a fishing guide

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Guide Kevin Sullivan and a guest share a passion for fishing.
Courtesy of Taylor Creek Fly Shops

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to step into the shoes of a fishing guide? The guiding life is definitely not for everyone and requires someone who truly lives and breathes fly fishing.

Working weeks on end, untangling hundreds of knots, tying so many flies and coaching people who have never fished, it takes a special set of skills.

For many, a day on the river seems like no work at all. For some, sharing their passion and showing the magic of what fly fishing has to offer is motivation enough to work a month in a row… without a day off.



The primary way to tell if your fishing guide is legit is through their vehicle. There’s a special vibe to a fishing guide’s truck, from the countless flies hanging in the headliner to the funk of wet waders during the busy months of guide season. Often the rods and gear that resides in or on top cost more than the vehicle itself, but depending on who you talk to, some would say their priorities are right on point.

Guides need to accommodate all types of anglers, from “counters” who add up all the fish they net catch, to some who prefer to see one fish take a dry fly and then 10 fish caught on a nymph.



Truly, it is a guide’s daily duty to create memories. Parents watching their son or daughters land their first fish on the fly, being immersed in the hatching of a life, bringing a trout to sip dry flies on the surface, and hearing the river sing its sweet song, that’s what what is the life of a guide.

They love what they do, from the guys and gals behind the counter serving the day’s recommended bugs to the guides who call the river home.

We hope you get a little taste of guiding life this summer!

This report is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or TaylorCreek.com.

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