Monday, May 7, 2012

Guide Review - Wild Mountain Trout Fly Fishing

Note the change in my review at the end. I no longer recommend this guide service.

I firmly believe that some of the best money you can spend when fishing a new location is on a guide. A local guide can put you on the fish faster than anything else. You do not have to waste half, or more, of your trip simply finding a good place to fish. After you have used a guide, you can revisit the area by yourself.

I recently went on a fly fishing trip in the mountains around Staunton, VA. I chose Wild Mountain Trout Fly Fishing as my guide. There is a lot of competition with guide services in the area I visited. I chose Wild Mountain Trout Fly Fishing because it has a very informative web site, could accommodate beginners, and was priced reasonably. I booked the trip about four months in advance. It was a good decision.

A beautiful native Brook Trout

Our trip got off to a rocky start. The day before our trip I called our guide to nail down the details. There was a scheduling problem (his, not mine) and we would not be able to fish with him the entire day. Also, we would have to fish the evening, not the morning. This was annoying, but ended up being OK. I had a great time that morning exploring and fishing a few of the local lakes.

Our guide, Steve, took us to a stream that contained both wild and stocked brook trout. The scenery was beautiful.

Mist rolling down the stream. 
I am a novice fly fisherman. I don't know anyone who fly fishes, so what skill I have is simply from doing. I know my form is bad, but have no one to tell me what I am doing wrong. Steve did a wonderful job of teaching me how to properly cast a fly. His tips were invaluable. For six hours I had a personal fly fishing tutor. As we approached each pool, he carefully explained how to read the water, how I should present the fly, and what obstacles to look out for. He watched each cast, telling me what I did right and what I did wrong. By the time the light began to fade, my casting was noticeably improved. Had I caught no fish, this would have been well worth the price.

A nice stocked trout
I did catch fish. Mostly small, beautiful native trout. Considering how poorly I presented the fly, I think I did very well. I missed more strikes than I hooked. I'm sure a better fly fisherman would have caught twice as many fish or more than I did!

All in all I can confidently recommend Wild Mountain Trout Fly Fishing. See edit below.They will put you on fish and if you are new to fly fishing, they will give you patient instruction in a real fishing environment. Just make sure there are no scheduling conflicts when you want to fish!

Edit: One year after this trip I received a phone call from this guide. He was confirming that we had scheduled a fishing trip with him for the following Saturday. I had not made this reservation. Apparently he had placed my reservation on the wrong year. When I tried to explain this to him, he got quite rude. I had to hang up on him after asking him to not call me back.

I do not recommend this guide. He is disorganized and rude.

Wild Mountain Trout Fly Fishing did not compensate me for this review. It was unsolicited. I paid for the guide service with my own money.

DreamHost Promotional Code