Guide Trip 101

Using a guide service when visiting waters you are unfamiliar with is a great idea to get the beta on the good spots. Knowing the steps to utilizing a guide and gaining maximum benefit from your guide will make for an amazing trip for everyone.

When making the decision to book a trip with me please feel free to let me know what you want out of your trip (other than fish since we know you are not hunting elk.) As long as you ask I will do my best to meet your every need. My strong suit is instruction with the ability to rig your tenkara system up and tie on a fly. I carry all the necessary materials needed for a productive day of fishing. If you wish to rig your rod yourself I am happy to allow you to do that as well. Just let me know and you are on your own for this aspect of your trip. Fish are wild animals and do not always behave the way we want them to. There are those days when nothing works and the best we can do is enjoy the beautiful country surrounding us and the companionship. Tenkara is the number one reason I guide yet I also like to share my knowledge of the outdoors and the surroundings.

The following is a list of the items I request all clients bring with them for any and all tenkara trips I lead.

1. A Colorado Fishing License. The State of Colorado requires a license for all anglers. If you do not have one before you come we can obtain one before our trip. If you refuse to get a license I will not be able to guide you on your tenkara adventure in Colorado.

2. Polarized Sunglasses: These are used to protect to your eyes from the rays of the sun as well as airborne hooks. Polarized lenses cut the glare of the sun off the surface of the water and give the angler a better view of both the river bottom and hopefully the fish they are looking to catch.

3. A Baseball Hat with a brim (preferably dark underneath): A hat with a brim will afford some protection from the sun for the anglers face. The dark underside of a hat brim will absorb some of the light reflecting off of the water making it a bit easier for the angler to see into the water while wearing sunglasses.

4. Personal Care Needs:

  • Sunscreen: The higher the SPF the better. Being at altitude you will find that there is less light filtration by the atmosphere. Additionally, you can still get sunburned by the light reflecting off of the surface of the river.
  • Bug Spray: If you are one of those people who attracts every biting bug in a one hundred mile radius, I would definitely suggest some kind of bug spray. You can use a product containing DEET, or my personal preference, Picaridin, which is safe for gear and clothing.
  • Kleenex or a Bandana: It can get a bit chilly at times and there are also allergens in the air which likely will make your nose run. You can bring these unless you prefer the sleeve of your shirt.
  • Feminine Products (if necessary): Ladies, if you are currently experiencing your cycle I would ask that you bring what you need for a time span of up to eight hours. I would also suggest a Ziploc bag to carry any waste products out of the backcountry to be disposed of properly.

5. Apparel appropriate to the season: Due to varying weather conditions I will give you a few suggestions that hopefully will help you out.

  • Late Spring – Early Fall (Late April – Early October): Light weight shirts, pants, or shorts, preferably made of a quick dry nylon, will keep you cool on the warmer days you will encounter during this time period. I request that you avoid cotton at all costs as it can cool the body dangerously fast in the wrong situation. I also request that you have a light weight rain jacket for the common afternoon rain storms we get on a daily basis. Along with being light weight I also suggest a natural color like khaki or a light blue or grey, lighter colors blend into the environment above the water and make you less visible to fish. I would also suggest a light weight insulating layer like a fleece jacket if it gets windy or the temperature takes a turn for the worse.
  1. Wool Socks: Socks made from a Merino wool or even a rag wool will keep your feet warm while wearing waders and boots on the rivers and streams of Colorado. You want your socks to be made of wool as the rivers you will be fishing with me will seldom get over fifty degrees Fahrenheit year round. Cotton again is a bad choice for socks as it will remain cold and not pull moisture away from your skin.
  • Late Fall – Early Spring (Late October – Early April)With variations in Colorado weather ranging from torrential downpours to hail storms and the massive amounts of snow the Rockies are known for you need to dress appropriately just like above with a few variations on the theme. Because of the colder environment you will encounter during this time period the warmer your clothing must be. I would definitely consider long underwear of some kind, preferably wool or some synthetic material like Marmot brand DriClime. I always suggest both a top and bottom in either a mid weight or heavy weight to combat your body’s core getting cold. I would also request that you have a number of insulating layers ranging from sweaters to heavier waterproof jackets. Again as with the suggestions in the last point I would request either wool or nylon as I believe in colder environs that cotton can kill. A warm pair of gloves will make for a much more pleasurable tenkara experience along with protecting your critical digits from frost bite. A warm hat to cover your ears and head is a necessity as most of a person’s body heat can be lost through the top of their head.
  1. Wool Socks: See above.

6. A Camera or Phone with a camera: A camera will help you to record the fish that you land while fishing tenkara. It will also allow you to capture memories of the places you will visit with me to take home to show your friends to make them jealous of your experiences with me.

7. Water Bottle(s): I ask that you bring water bottle(s) or a hydration bladder so that you can remain hydrated while we are fishing. I do provide bottled water to all of my clients but there are times when we will be a major distance from the vehicle and will be unable to get cold water from a cooler. I also try to avoid purchasing bottled water from the store due to the fact that there is far too much plastic thrown away on a daily basis.

8. Snacks: As your guide I will provide snacks and lunch as part of your trip. That being said, if there are certain snacks that you prefer, or if you have specific dietary restrictions, you can bring your own snacks if you wish. I find that having snacks that will maintain your energy levels are best to truly enjoy your day.

9. A Small Backpack to carry the above items: By carrying a smallish backpack you can carry your personal gear for the day allowing you to access those items that maybe necessary if we get seperated for some unforseen reason.

10. Personal Tenkara Gear: If you have a personal tenkara rod or rods, please bring them if you wish. You can bring lines and flies that you use on your personal tenkara journeys as well. I can provide everything if you need if you do not have any personal tenkara gear.

11. A burning desire to learn!!! I will teach you all I can about tenkara and the wonderful environments you will encounter while on a trip with me.

The typical trip with me will consist of 4 to 8 hours of tenkara fishing along with beverages and munchies. On trips of longer duration (6-8 hours) I will also provide lunch of your choice. If you have any dietary restrictions please let me know in advance of your trip as I am an early prepper. I will also provide lines and tippet material along with a number of flies if you don’t have any flies or are running low. I do not provide boots and waders but they can be rented from Minturn Anglers or other shops for a nominal fee. The going average is around $20 per day. If you do need to rent waders and boots you can either arrange rentals with me or Minturn Anglers well in advance of our trip. It is required by Colorado law that you carry a Colorado fishing license. You can purchase your license at either a local fly shop, the local Walmart, or online at the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s website. There may be a fee required to enter a specific area to fish. If there is a fee required I will cover those costs as well.

As your tenkara guide I expect a few things to make your trip enjoyable. First and foremost, safety is my number one expectation for a successful tenkara trip with you (see Safety is Number One!!! below). I expect you to come prepared with a small backpack of personal gear (see What Should I Bring above). As your guide I would expect you to come with an open mind and a burning desire to learn tenkara. If you already know how to fish tenkara, then I would love to be able to share my passion for this style of fly fishing in a much more in-depth manner with you.

The typical tenkara guide trip will look something like this depending on the duration of the trip. What you will find here is modeled on a eight hour trip beginning first thing in the morning.

  • 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM: Dependent upon previous arrangements one of three things will happen:
    1. I will pick you up at your hotel or residence.
    2. I will meet you at the guide shop where you booked your trip.
    3. I will meet you at a designated location close to our fishing destination.
    4. We will depart from any of the above and drive to our fishing destination.
  • 8:00 AM: Arrive at our fishing destination and get prepared for an amazing day of fishing!
  • 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: Get into waders and boots (if the trip requires it.) Start a basic rigging of your tenkara gear.
  • 8:30 AM – 8:45 AM: Walk to the first location to fish.
  • 8:45 AM – 9:15 AM: Instruction begins on rigging and what to look for when targeting fish. Basic casting will be covered as well during this time to make sure we are on target. This time also gives me a chance to see what we might want to focus on for the day.
  • 9:15 AM – 12:30 PM: Tenkara fishing and instruction with necessary restroom breaks and chatting.
  • 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch and a bit of relaxation to enjoy the surroundings.
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: More fishing and fun!!!!
  • 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Walk back to the car and de-rig and get back into street clothes.
  • 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Drive back to the shop our your lodging location.

Your safety and my safety are number 1!!! I am First Aid and CPR certified, as required by law, and for my own comfort. I always carry a group first aid kit for all trips. I ask as your tenkara guide, that if you have any personal health concerns to please make me aware of them. If you have any known allergies to food, plants, or animals let me know as well to avoid any major emergencies. If you have medications that you need to take during the day please make me aware of this but I would ask that you keep them on your person throughout the day. If you have medications that need to remain chilled, I do have a cooler with me at all times in the car for the duration of the guide trip.

Tipping your guide is greatly appreciated. There is an aspect of guided trips that many people are not aware of: As your tenkara guide, I provide everything out of my own pocket- snacks, beverages, tenkara supplies like flies and tippet, entry fees if required, campsite fees if required, and fuel to get to and from the water. Tips can be done as cash or added to the total charge on your credit card. A typical tip is 20% of your total trip fee, unless you felt that you got as much and more than you expected from your guide. If you are feeling generous and pleased with your tip you can tip even more. I have been known to stop talking when receiving a tip above and beyond what I was expecting. And if you do not feel that you got what you wanted out of the trip, please let me or the shop know, so that we can make things better for you.