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 Marcel Siegle photo
Getting the most out of your angling holiday
Getting the most out of our limited angling holiday time is the goal of every angler. So, finding the right spot is important. We know that.
THE FACT IS THAT veryfew fly fishermen actually use or hire (less than 15%, or about 1 in 7 anglers) a professional guide.
Most of us are familiar with the rivers and streams where we spend our weekends and just don’t need a guide. A few are expert enough that, when faced with new fishing, they can figure it out in a hurry. Frankly the self-reliant approach is part of the at- traction to fly fishing.The challenge of finding the right spot, figuring out the right fly, and searching through our quiver of angling tools and experi- ences, then finding the key to success often feeds our passion. Each of us can remember the elation, the thrill, and the tremendous sense of accom- plishment at having put a bend in the rod after figuring it all out.
But once in a while, getting some help is the best thing to do.
When most anglers hire a guide the reasons are predictable. For the majority it’s when they are unfamil- iar with the water, and don’t want to waste time “spinning their wheels”. For those of us who place a real premium on our limited vaca- tion time, it’s a wise decision.
A good guide can get you up to speed with the access points and the subtle, locally effective tech- niques,that come only with time on the water and will usually make the difference between a day of great fishing and a less pro- ductive day on the water.
On places like the Lower Sacra- mento and Fall River, having the right float craft is essential. Neither fishery can be comfortably waded and the most successful method by far is fly fishing from a drift boat (on the Lower Sacramento) or a motor equipped jon boat (on Fall River). If you’ve got your own watercraft, it still makes sense to get a guide on your first trip on ei- ther fishery. Ask his advice with re- gard to put-in locations and the different waters at different times.
A good guide should not just acceler- ate your learning curve with regard to understanding his home water, but at the end of the day, they should up your skill level and you ought to be a better fisherman. So, pick his brain with regard to tackle and technique opinions; and the best spots to access his “drift fish- ery” for a few minutes of wading on your own or the next time,And, of course, the best time to return.
IF you plan on coming back to the same haunts on your own, be “up front” about it.These professionals share their rivers with a wide range of other anglers and should be open about giving you the information that will make your return visit a success.
Here at The Fly Shop® our staff are full time professionals. They’re not sea- sonal summer help, or weekend guides. Most have been with us for years and all of them get together almost daily to share information that will make every- one on the team, and our angling guests more successful. s phone 800-669-3474 9

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