Why Take Our Guide School?

Don’t take our word for it. We asked some of our recent graduates that same question and here’s what they said:

Kara Cain ~ Dillon, Montana.

Now working as an independent guide on the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers, she logged nearly sixty days her rookie season.

I have wanted to become a fishing guide since I moved to Montana. I have a friend that is an outfitter but he just never had the time to mentor me, so he suggested a guide school. I thought by going to guide school I would be able to get the skills I need to become a guide much sooner. And, I was right!

Rick Fancher ~ Billings and Big Sky, Montana.

A retired teacher who just wanted to be a better angler has become one of Big Sky’s most respected Gallatin River fishing guides.

I actually was signed up for guide school by my wife for a retirement gift. Originally, I just wanted to spend the full week fishing and get to learn more about the rivers up here. Guiding really wasn't my top priority at the time. I just thought it would a blast to fish for an entire week after teaching and coaching high school kids in Billings for the last twenty seven years.

Wil Kiplinger ~ Oregon, Montana, and now Alaska.

Fresh out of high school and passionate about angling, Wil knew guiding was for him. His first year he guided in Montana and now he’s headed to Alaska for full-time summer guiding.

I have been fishing since I could walk and I always knew that fishing would be my life. I attended guide school to see what it would take to become a guide. I wanted to take what I learned in the Montana classes and apply it in Oregon where I originally was planning on starting a guide business. Plans changed when I was in guide school. A fellow student in the class, Mark Beattie, who was in the class to gain experience for his outfitter’s license, liked what he say in me. We hit things off and at the end of the class he offered me a guide position working for him at the The Rock Creek Cattle Company the following summer. Working for an established outfitter sure sounded better than trying to start up a client base from scratch in Oregon, so I took the job.

Corey Mason ~ Nevada, Montana, Canada, Alaska.

A laborer most of his adult life, Corey needed a change. He wound up guiding his rooking season for muskie. We think he made the right choice.

I signed up for the Montana Fly Fishing Guide School to get a good idea of what working as a guide is like from experienced individuals. Before attending the school I had full intentions of working towards becoming a guide and was much more confident in my decision after attending guide school. My favorite day during guide school was when we fished on a small spring creek with technical fishing and not the best weather. We did what we could and learned so much that day taking turns sharing knowledge and guiding each other. Just as we were on the way to a nice bank to sit and eat lunch a classmate pointed out a rising brown. On the first presentation, a picture perfect dry fly take and we landed it in no time!

Mike Donaldson ~ Big Sky, Montana.

Riding a desk and farming a cubicle was not his passion. Turns out trout on a fly was, and now that's his job.

I signed up for guide school because I was interested in becoming a guide and figured that was the best place to start. I was interested in learning more about fishing, but really just wanted to know what it would be like to be a professional guide. I was curious if it was the type of career that I would be happy doing.

We are only 7 weeks out from the kick-off of our Montana Fishing Guide School season, so you'd better get on it if you want to join us. And for you veterans who are interested, we have recently been VA approved through the GI Bill.