Columbine Flyfishers
Home | Vocational Guide School Program | Adventures and Rates | Special Events and Programs | Philosophy | Events Photos | Photos | CFF Friends | Ghillies Report | Calendar of Events
Guide School Curriculum Schedule


Columbine Outfitter/Guide School

 Class Schedule and Basic Itinerary



Program Courses

        First Aid and CPR (Environmental Application)

        Casting and Fishing Skills

        Teaching and Lesson Planning Techniques

        Conversation and people Skills

        Guide Responsibility and Equipment

        Philosophy, Ethics, and Conservation

        Organization and Analysis of Short and Long Trip

        Streamside and Camp Cookery

        Working with Handicapped

        Watercraft Operation and River Navigation

        Water Rescue and Safety

        Outdoor Leadership

        Business and Management



        First Aid and CPR

        Casting and Teaching

        Watercraft operation and River Navigation

        Camp and Streamside Cookery



Sunday – Arrival at NOON and orientation

Monday – 1st Aid and casting orientation and evening lecture

Tuesday – Fly tying class and evening lecture

Wednesday – Fishing and evening lecture

Thursday – Camp and streamside cookery 

Friday – Fishing and camping orientation, field lecture, exam 

Saturday – Fishing and trip organization, field lecture

Sunday – Water rescue and safety, float and rowing instruction,  evening lecture, exam

Monday – Float and rowing instruction, field lecture

Tuesday – Float and rowing instruction, field lecture

          Wednesday – Finals: drift boat evaluation, casting evaluation, written exam

Thursday – Graduation with breakfast and departure


School lasts a total of 12 days with the first and last days being non-class days




Our schools in Colorado and in Wyoming are the same except for the watercraft training. The Colorado school will train in raft operation; the  Wyoming school will train in drift boat operation. Certification of river miles rowed with a trainer are certified and solo trips are documented for qualification in states that require documented training.

        During your guiding career, you will encounter a wide variety of people and fishing situations. A primary concern for you as a guide is your guest’s safety, and this aspect will be threaded throughout the curriculum, whether it’s walk/wade or floating.  To be successful as a guide you must be flexible and able to lead people under many different water situations and weather conditions. We will be looking at basically two different arenas of leadership such as: Walk/Wade on a variety of waters, and Float-Fishing from a watercraft. You will be exposed to as many facets of these areas as possible. You will be exposed to small streams and creeks, alpine lakes and cow ponds, and large rivers. You will finish with float-fishing from a drift boat and learning river navigation. All of these waters will expose you to a wide variety of strategies, techniques, and safety requirements. 

         The skills required of you as a guide are certified, some of the areas of certification are: 1) Casting and Teaching - developing good casting and fishing skills are essential. Also, the ability to impart that skill to your guests, by performing formal lessons or graciously sharing helpful knowledge to a skilled angler will greatly increase your value as a guide.

2) Drift Boat and/or Raft Operation and River Navigation – it is also essential to acquire and master knowledgeable operating skills so that you may give your guests maximum safety and fishing potential, thus getting down the river without incident. You are responsible for the lives of your passengers. 3) Meal Preperation and Presentation - Although this does not seem to be an important aspect to being a guide, many outfitters utilize this part of a guests adventure as a premier selling point. A well thought-out and well planned lunch on the water is a delightful experience and will gain you valuable points with your clients. 4) Handicapped Capable - Your employer will very much appreciate the fact that you have skills to deal with this potential customer. It opens up a new spectrum of business for the outfitter and your services will be well rewarded.

 Your communication skills, your ability to cope and deal with people, and how well you develop your people skills will determine the direction of your career. There are few people who make guiding a career. It is a great way to make a living for those who are footloose and fancy-free (basically fish bums) or those who want to guide on a part-time basis.  If you want to run your own show and become an outfitter, you must have a propensity to taking care of your guests. You will need to provide a quality fishing experience with the knowledge to put the customer onto fish, but PRIMARILY to provide a quality recreational experience that will out weigh any fish caught. 

You will also need to take care by tracking them, taking pictures, and corresponding with them and maintaining the relationship established during your brief time with them. Hopefully these efforts will entice them to take future trips and move up from being a customer to becoming a client.

This school will teach you these aspects of being a professional and more. Through your guide school experience you will develop a new perspective of what guiding is about. You will also develop and hone your fishing skills through application on the water. All your skills will be documented and certified and added to your resume. We will look forward to presenting you to several of our prospective employers from our data base. We have potential employers in a variety of businesses in the hospitality and service related industries. 


Call and lets discuss your goals and needs as a guide
719-592-9098 / 719-661-2354

Columbine Flyfishers
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80919
Colorado #2098 and Wyoming #703