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Thread: New guide to area. Any suggestions for rivers/regions?

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    Default New guide to area. Any suggestions for rivers/regions?

    I'm planning on moving up to AK for summer 2011 and hope to find a decent outfitter to work for. I live in CO and guide fly fishing and whitewater rafting. I'd prefer to do backcountry/multi-day style raft/fly fish trips. I would also do daily wade or boat trips as long as it's not bait dunking. Can anybody point me in the right direction? I plan to continue researching, but this seems to be a good place to get some input. Thanks!

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    Do you have your coast guard 6pak license? I don't think you will need it for just floating but if you use a motor for hire you will need one plus having that license will open more doors for you with lodge managers.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    You might try Alaska Troutfitters, on the Upper Kenai. They do day trips out of drift boats. There are others, but this gets your foot in the door. You might also drop something in our Job Situations Wanted forum.

    Best of luck!

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    bward84 Are you planning on moving here just for the summer? You seem to scoff at bait fishing, why? I need to get more of a feel for your personality, but outwardly it doesn't look like you would be a good fit in my operation. Theres quite a few fellows that fit your MO from Ketchum Idaho that come up here to be commercial sports fishing guides in the summer months they seem to work the Gulkana and Klutina

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    Hey guys, thanks for the feedback! I don't have a problem with bait fishermen. To each their own. I am only planning on being up there for the "summer season", home is Colorado. I want to work up there for several reasons. First, I know for guys like me it can be a profitable venture. But more so, I am looking for some adventure. See a new place, do some fun stuff. Which for me is boating and fly fishing(or guiding fishing.) I'm not opposed to bait fishing, but fly fishing as a sport is what interests me. I appreciate all the feedback and I am open to new opportunities. Thanks!

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    I don't know were you want to fish but if your going to run the Kenai, you better get going on your packet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bward84 View Post
    Hey guys, thanks for the feedback! I don't have a problem with bait fishermen. To each their own. I am only planning on being up there for the "summer season", home is Colorado. I want to work up there for several reasons. First, I know for guys like me it can be a profitable venture. But more so, I am looking for some adventure. See a new place, do some fun stuff. Which for me is boating and fly fishing(or guiding fishing.) I'm not opposed to bait fishing, but fly fishing as a sport is what interests me. I appreciate all the feedback and I am open to new opportunities. Thanks!
    Go to the ISE in Denver and ask around http://www.sportsexpos.com/index.cfm...cationnumber=3

    That will be just a sample, many of the lodges won't be there, like Alaska West - won't be there. You should check into them.

    There are quite a few guided float trip operations around. Usually a week at a time, sometimes very high end day trips on the inlet streams to Lake Iliamna and the streams between the chain of lakes around Dillingham - globugging for large rainbows. But it may not be all about (or even primarily about) rainbow trout neither; if for no other reason than that fish get pounded where it occurs, it isn't the target species everywhere, and there are seasons for the runs.

    There are local as well as a good number of seasonal guides, generally from Oregon and Washington, and you'll find the rafting/lodge operations often have winter bases in the lower 48. Quite alot of the guiding work is entirely in the bush - way the heck out there - for a month or more at a time (not anywhere near any city), so hopefully you enjoy the peace and quiet that comes along with the absence of internet, cellphones, TV, as well as spotty/inconsistent/expensive satellite phone coverage.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Shouldn't a guide have experience in an environment before charging clients for their "experience"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Shouldn't a guide have experience in an environment before charging clients for their "experience"?
    Ya'd think.

    But we've both seen firsthand the -insert splashing sound- reality of the situation.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bward84 View Post
    First, I know for guys like me it can be a profitable venture.
    That's a funny one....

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    But we've both seen firsthand the -insert splashing sound- reality of the situation.
    Yes, we do. Did that "guide" ever find his gear?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Yes, we do. Did that "guide" ever find his gear?
    Most of it, yes...Scattered for miles...

    He's back on the East Coast now...
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    He's back on the East Coast now...
    colorado, east coast, whats the difference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    colorado, east coast, whats the difference?
    Elevation....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    bward,
    first off, if you think guiding is going to become a long-term profession for you, keep an accurate and earnest log of all your "sea time"... this includes time on Colorado rivers, both fishing, rafting, ww kayaking... whatever... Inland Waters includes all navigable rivers and lakes and the more time on water you document looks better when you submit your app for your US Coast Guard OUPV "6-pak" license, even if it is non-motorized. Also, it looks good on resumes for potential employers.

    second, definately think about hitting up some outfitter trade shows in your area and elsewhere... make a road trip out of it. these are great venues to get your name, face, and resume to outfitters and it shows your desire and willingness for adventure. as well, you usually get to see and fondle all the latest tackle firsthand.

    third, if you're looking for work in Alaska as a "newbie" guide up here, dont limit yourself. By this, I mean consider working as a deckhand or driver for an outfitter for a year just to get your foot in the door... and learn the fishery from experienced guides and personal time on the water. Sometimes working as a deckhand on a saltwater boat can be more lucrative than as a rookie guide simply because you'll get more days on the water and more consistent tips. Also, working with an experienced captain would be a good way to learn the fishery and a few choice trade secrets. In your case, working as a scenic raft or ww guide first could be a viable option.

    best of luck to you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Shouldn't a guide have experience in an environment before charging clients for their "experience"?
    So since I'm an engineer and I work in alaska if I moved to lets say Colorado, I shouldn't charge my boss until I learn all about the city code? Experience is experience. Sure there will be a learning curve, but it will be short, if this guy knows how to fish he will learn very quickly. He is asking for help not to be mocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russp17 View Post
    So since I'm an engineer and I work in alaska if I moved to lets say Colorado, I shouldn't charge my boss until I learn all about the city code? Experience is experience. Sure there will be a learning curve, but it will be short, if this guy knows how to fish he will learn very quickly. He is asking for help not to be mocked.
    Apples and oranges.

    I hope the O.P. finds a niche up here and does well. That said, there is more than a "learning curve" when one moves from CO to AK and endeavors to run multi day, remote floats. Knowing how to fish is the least of ones worries when dealing with logistics, remoteness, sporadic sat reception, weather, bears, ill prepared clients, missed floatplane drop offs/pick ups (weather, mechanics, etc.), illness/injury, etc.etc.

    Phish and I saw firsthand what kind of "learning curve" a new (his 3rd season) guide working for another outfit experienced. Poor judgement, lack of respect for the environment, ill prepared for an emergency, and through no actions of his own, fortunately, the only thing lost was a jet sled, outboard and a lot of gear (and pride I imagine).

    Alaska has a lot to offer, it also exacts a high price for those not familiar with her whims.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russp17 View Post
    So since I'm an engineer and I work in alaska if I moved to lets say Colorado, I shouldn't charge my boss until I learn all about the city code? Experience is experience. Sure there will be a learning curve, but it will be short, if this guy knows how to fish he will learn very quickly. He is asking for help not to be mocked.
    I'm an engineer as well with a primary focus on submarine propulsion systems. The guy who works a civil engineering job is also an engineer. That doesn't mean that I, as an engineer, am qualified to build roads.

    Your statement is apples and oranges (which I'm certain that you, as an engineer, fully understand).

    I'm not mocking the guy. My sincerity is gained from experience.

    I lived and fished all over Colorado. The fly fishing in Colorado is remarkably different than the "fly" fishing here. Grayling fishing is similar to fishing in Colorado and the learning curve would be small for that species.

    Red salmon "fly fishing" isn't learned over a week with clients. Bead bouncing requires a bit of time.

    Good luck to the OP.

    Russ, have you spent much time fishing in other parts of the country (or world)?
    ><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·..¸¸ ><((((º>`·.¸¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    I'm an engineer as well with a primary focus on submarine propulsion systems. The guy who works a civil engineering job is also an engineer. That doesn't mean that I, as an engineer, am qualified to build roads.

    Your statement is apples and oranges (which I'm certain that you, as an engineer, fully understand).

    I'm not mocking the guy. My sincerity is gained from experience.

    I lived and fished all over Colorado. The fly fishing in Colorado is remarkably different than the "fly" fishing here. Grayling fishing is similar to fishing in Colorado and the learning curve would be small for that species.

    Red salmon "fly fishing" isn't learned over a week with clients. Bead bouncing requires a bit of time.

    Good luck to the OP.

    Russ, have you spent much time fishing in other parts of the country (or world)?
    I grew up fishing in Wyoming when I moved here it did not take that long to be profficent in fishing here. Learn your environment by studying it, learn from others. I'm just saying help the guy by giving him advice. He didn't ask for a lecture on fishing or being a newbie to alaska. It's up to the person hiring him to see if he has it or not.

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    Sorry if I misread what you guys are saying.

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