Fly Fishing Guide SchoolLand Your Dream Job! One Week Course. Excellent Job Placement
ATTENTION VETERANS! We are VA approved. The GI Bill can help you become a fly fishing guide. It's easy with minimal paperwork. Please contact us for details.
For most people Fly Fishing is a hobby, but, for a select few, it is a profession. Unfortunately, trying to get your first job in the fishing business is the most difficult step. The Fly Fishing Guide Market is a very competitive profession. It is almost impossible to get a job without a good connection or specialized training. Sweetwater Travel fly fishing guide school will provide you with the necessary experience to land that essential first fly fishing job.
Sweetwater Travel fly fishing guide school instructors are experienced, international fishing guides that have worked with Sweetwater in our international destinations and will teach you everything from rowing western rivers, running rapids in jet boats to helping you guide your clients into big fish.
We limit the size of our courses to insure quality instruction and interaction with our instructors. This gives you the utmost attention from our fly fishing guide school instructors and increases your chances of getting a job afterward.
Being a fly fishing guide is an incredible way to both spend time in the wilderness, and earn a substantial income. The average guide will earn $2,400 a month including tips. All in all the school is an investment in your future. You can pay off the cost of this school in only 3 weeks of guiding, and you will have the potential it takes to get a job in the most beautiful places left in the world. ( Note: Most students working in Alaska will be required to obtain a Coast Guard License to operate a motor boat on the fresh waters and rivers there. We will provide you with the information needed to obtain this license. The Sweetwater Guide School does not guarantee that you will be issued this license.)
The Sweetwater Fly Fishing Guide School limits class size, so spaces fill up very quickly. Classes for 2014 will cost $2,300. We require a 50% deposit to confirm your spot. This includes all your food and lodging. All you need to show up with is your fishing gear and a Montana State fishing license. Final payment is due 30 days prior to the start of the course. Deposits and/or final payment will not be refunded unless a replacement is found. We accept checks, money orders or major credit card. It is truly an opportunity that should not be missed. Join us and let us help you land the job of your dreams.
7 NIGHTS, 6 1/2 DAYS OF TRAINING, MOSTLY ON THE WATER. WE GO TO THE RIVER EVERY DAY.
Ready to get you Dream Job? Plan ahead and Call NOW! Limited availability.
1-866-GO GUIDE (866-464-8433) or email email@example.com
Learn more from a recent Sweetwater Guide School Graduate by clicking here
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Fishing SkillsSweetwater Travel will also help perfect your fly fishing techniques. Being a good fly fisherman is essential to being a guide. You must be able to demonstrate your abilities in order to instruct and explain techniques to your guests. The fly fishing school instructors will focus on your casting and presentation. It is not necessary that you be a fly fishing expert to come to this school. We will accept all levels of fly fishermen.
The rivers of Montana have excellent trout fishing. We will practice and help you perfect all trout techniques.
From a fly fishing guide's point of view, trout fishing is the most difficult and is a good foundation for guiding for other species.
A large part of being a competent fly fishing guide is being a competent fisherman. We'll teach you the following skills:
- Fly tying: Whether you are a beginner or experienced fly tier you will learn to tie flies from our professional fly fishing school instructors. We will teach you to tie nymphs, dry flies and streamers for catching trout, salmon, steelhead, bass and anything that swims.
- Knot tying: This is an often over looked skill. Losing Mr. Big because the knot you tied failed will put you in the doghouse in no time. We'll teach you the knots you need to know and how to tie them quickly and confidently.
- Fly-casting: As a guide you are also an instructor. Many of your guests will need assistance with their casting. We'll show you the best methods to get your guest casting like a pro in no time. You'll learn the roll cast, reach cast, false cast and the double haul for gaining more distance.
- Fishing Skills: In addition to the above skills you will learn entomology, fly selection, where fish hold and why they hold there, how to fight and land fish and much more.
- Guiding skills: Guiding is more than helping people catch fish. Client interaction is very important. Our experienced instructors will show you how to deal with the many different situations that will occur during your days guiding. You'll need to be a part time priest, psychologist, guru and marriage counselor.
Guiding SkillsThere are many complex aspects of fly fish guiding which can only be learned through experience. We will teach you: how to interact with clients, how to instruct fly fishing, what guests expect of you, and, of course, how to get them into fish. You will learn what knots to tie, how to net fish, guiding strategies, drift boat fishing, spotting fish, jet boating, motor maintenance, and advanced river reading. The school will also include CPR and First Aid certification, which is required by all guiding operations.
Drift boats are the most common form of fly fish guiding in the lower 48. Jet Boats are the primary form of transportation used on Alaskan rivers. By learning both jet boating and drift boating skills, you will increase your chance at getting a job.
The fly fishing guide schools are operated on the Big Horn River near Fort Smith, Montana and the Yellowstone River near Big Timber, Montana. Both are perfect rivers to train for both jet boating, and drift boat fishing.
By learning how to run a boat on these rivers, you will gain the experience and confidence needed to be both a jet boat, and drift boat guide. During our fly fishing guide school instructions, we will focus on reading water, driving techniques, rowing, and on-river outboard motor repairs.
We will also show you how to deal with common jet boat problems such as water in your gas, draining your carburetors, repairing broken pull cords, bad spark plugs, etc. Being able to both drive a jet boat and to fix most problems on the river is an invaluable experience as a guide. This is a skill that very few, if any, new guides have when they apply for Jobs.
ScheduleWe run eight schools a year. Three schools in mid March, three in June/July, and two in October. Please contact us for exact dates and availability.
Upon arrival at the lodge, everything is covered (except your fishing license). This includes room and board, airport transfers and everything needed for training. You will need to bring your own fishing equipment, waders, etc.
You should arrive at the school Saturday afternoon/evening or Sunday morning. After unpacking and settling in, we will start training Sunday afternoon. Monday to Friday will be full days of training. Saturday, we will train during the morning, and the school will end mid day. A typical day begins at 8:30 and we are off of the river at 6:30. Depending on the focus of that particular day, many hours will be spent on the river, to practice our fishing and guiding techniques. Evenings are spent tying flies, practicing knots, watching fishing videos and swapping lies.
The course will consist of six and one-half days of thorough training at the cost of $2,300 per person.
Last year’s students had a very high job placement with lodges in Alaska and many states in the lower 48 including Montana, Colorado and Wyoming. The average pay including tips was $2,400/month.
- Day 1 (Sunday): Arrive by noon, Lunch, CPR/First Aid Training, Casting
- Day 2 (Monday): Drift boat training, Jet boat training
- Day 3 (Tue.): Knot tying, Drift boat training, Jet boat training
- Day 4 (Wed.): Fly tying, Drift boat training, Jet boat training
- Day 5 (Thurs.) Overview of instruction manual, Drift boat training, Jet boat training
- Day 6 (Fri) Overview of entire class, Drift boat training, Jet boat training
- Day 7 (Sat.) Final interview, Course ends
School Dates 2014
March 30-April 5
June 29-July 5
Receive your License for the LIMITED OUPV GUIDES RESTRICTED TO THE FRESHWATERS AND RIVERS OF WESTERN ALASKA. Sweetwater Guide School, together with Alaska Rescue, will be offering a 3 day course April 5-7, 2014. Contact us for details.
Ready to get your Dream Job? Plan ahead and Call NOW! Limited availability.
1-866-GO GUIDE (866-464-8433) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Student and Employer Comments
I just wanted to shoot you a quick email and thank you. I just finished my first season in Alaska and it was everything I wanted and more. I guided full time and learned more than I ever envisioned. Thanks so much for working your butt off to get me in touch with the lodge there. I've been wanting to work for that lodge for years and wouldn't have been hired without your help. I can't wait to return next season! Thanks again!
K. S. Sept. 2013
I can't thank you enough for the amazing program you have put together at Sweetwater's Montana Guide School. From the top-notch instructors to the food and lodging, every part of the experience is as enjoyable as it is informative. I'm proud to call myself a graduate of such a strong program.
D.T October 2013
Hey Guys! I'm so excited to be going to Jackson. It looks like an awesome lodge! Thanks for the heads up and finding this job for me. I've even found a job for this winter guiding on the San Juan near Durango. None of this would have happened had I not attended the Sweetwater Guide School. I can't thank you enough.
C.N. March 2012
My week at Sweetwater Fly Fishing Guide School was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Ron and the highly experienced staff provided our group with all the fundamental skills we need to become proficient guides at any lodge or outfitter across the country. The school is structured in such a way that the participants, whether they have literally no experience or are already active guides, will walk away as exponentially better fishermen. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about fly fishing, boating, and the guiding industry as a whole. Even if you may be unsure if guiding is in your future, the Sweetwater School is a perfect escape and a chance to try something totally new while enjoying the beautiful Montana wilderness. This is a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
- AC, North Carolina October 2012
I just wanted to thank you again for the great week. I learned so much and made some friends that will last a lifetime. Your professionalism, attention to detail, and sense of humor during the week made it very special. Getting off on the right foot is so important. Your school has done just that. I feel like I can hit the ground running next summer. I know that I still have a ton of things to learn, but I know I have the confidence to pursue my second career. I had a great trip home. Stopped off in Jackson Hole and saw my daughter for a couple of days. I fished below the Jackson Dam on the Snake river with my daughter's boyfriend. We took his canoe and did a 2 hour float. We caught some nice cuts. The next day I had the opportunity to take him and his friend down the lower section of Snake in Jackson in a drift boat. I found mysel\f being the guide and drift boat rowing instructor. It was a great opportunity to practice and pass on what I learned from the Sweetwater crew. Again, I can't thank you enough for everything. Please pass this on to everyone that helped make the week so memorable.
Sincerely, K. Q. July 2013
I just wanted to thank you for everything last week. I had a remarkable time and learned more than I had hoped. You and your staff were extremely welcoming and well rounded, as well as very professional. The whole experience was incredible for me and is something I am very grateful of.
I used the training, contacts and recommendation you gave me to land a position at one of the premier fishing lodges out west. I’m certain that without the Sweetwater Guide School, this dream would have never come true.
Once again, thanks to you and your staff and I will definitely keep in touch.
Over the years I have hired several students of the Sweetwater Travel Guide School. Without an exception, these employees have been very well prepared to face the challenges of guiding in Alaska. Their work ethics have been outstanding and their boating and fishing skills are well above average. Most importantly, they have all had the communication and teaching skills necessary to excel in a guiding career. I will not hesitate to hire a student of the Sweetwater Travel Guide School in the future.
Dear Sweetwater Guide School,
I talked to a lodge you recommended in Colorado numerous times after the guide school and heard the final word at the end of last week that they wanted to hire me through the end of August (right up until I go back to school). I leave tomorrow morning to drive to Colorado and get right into things when I arrive. Thank you for all that you, Sweetwater Travel, Carl, and Jeff did to help me develop and learn the necessary skills to land this job! Without the credentials of the Sweet water guide school I surely wouldn't have gotten this job. I am also very appreciative that you spoke as a reference for me. I'm sure that made a huge difference.
This is a dream come true and I can't thank you enough. The information I learned from you and the other guides and students at the school is priceless. I'm a little intimidated about being thrown right into the fire, but I'm sure I'll learn a lot really fast and get off and running fine.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!
"All the instructors were great! After the guide school I went to work at a lodge in Alaska. It was a dream come true. Thank you very much for the opportunity. You guys kick ass!!!”
Mitch Jones, Oregon
Your guide training course was very thorough. The jet and drift boat training was invaluable. Sweetwater Travel truly teaches people to become competent fishing guides.”
Peter Blackman, owner American Fly Fishing Co., California
I was a student at the March 2010 guide School and guided in Alaska last summer. I want to thank you again for providing a great experience at guide school along with the means to find employment in the best industry in the world. Working in Alaska was a huge learning experience, not only about fishing and guiding, but about myself. You guys truly did make my dreams come to fruition.
M. A 2011
I am starting my third season guiding out west. The lifestyle of the fly fishing guide has been a great change for me. At a time in my life when many of my peers are just waiting on the sofa for their retirement checks to start arriving I am "Living the Dream". Thanks so much to the instructors for their patience and willingness to help and "old guy" like me. And thank you for getting me hooked up with my first job as a guide. I couldn't have done it without Sweetwater Travel.
D. P 2011