2020 Colorado Fly Guide School

Since 1994, Fly Fishing Outfitters has trained hundreds of guides in our Guide School. We either hire our graduates to work for our Orvis Endorsed guide service, help them find work elsewhere in the guiding field, or provide them with the tools to begin their own guiding service. We have trained a variety of students, from police officers, doctors, college students, to the Orvis Endorsed Guide of the Year.

Since 1992, Fly Fishing Outfitters has administered over twelve thousand guided trips, and has one of the most experienced and successful guide staffs in the Rocky Mountains. Year after year, in a very competitive business climate, our guiding business has grown. By enrolling in our guide schools we will give you the skills necessary to be a successful and knowledgeable teacher and friend to all of your future clients.

Click here for an article Midcurrent published about our guide school

What will you learn?

We provide our students with all of the knowledge and skills needed to be a top notch fishing guide. Each day, time is divided between the classroom and outside along the rivers and lakes. The course is designed to teach you the finer points of what makes a successful guide and tactics for garnering more return clients as well as furthering your enjoyment on the river. The class should not be viewed as a fly fishing class. While you do not have be an expert fly fisherman to be a guide, a good understanding of basic skills is required. Actual fly fishing skills are not the main focus of the schools as potential guides should already possess basic fishing abilities.

Graduation/Job Opportunities

Upon graduation of the class students will receive a certificate of completion from Fly Fishing Outfitters. Students also completing the Rowing Certification will receive a signed river log showing they have met all requirements. At that time students will be evaluated, and if appropriate they will be offered the chance to work for Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Outfitters. Please note, the Orvis Company only endorses guides who work for an Orvis Endorsed Outfitter. Students are only Orvis Endorsed when they are put on an approved list of guides by the owner or manager of an Orvis operation.  Over the past couple of years we have created a group of  other regional outfitters who are always looking for guides who have completed our program.

Orvis Endorsed Guide/Rowing School Instructors

John Packer, owner of FFO, lifetime fisherman, and senior guide with FFO since 1994 leads the instruction staff for the guide school. Each instructor brings something unique to our week long school. We keep the class size to about 12-15 students for a more personal approach so signing up early is important.

Kevin Wildgen, who has been a senior Guide with FFO since 1998, administers the rowing school. Kevin has over 20,000 commercial rowing miles under his belt. Our rowing school will get you the certifications required to be a float guide on Colorado rivers, but more importantly will teach you the skills required to row for fly fishermen casting and fishing out of a boat. Several veteran guides, including Dan Houck, Joe Macey, and Matt Lewis will assist both John Packer and Kevin Wildgen in both schools.  To register for the 2018 Guide school please contact the shop directly

 GUIDE SCHOOL DATES  : May 11th-15th 2020

COST $900.00 or $800.00 if paid in full by March 1st

*Payment is required in advance to reserve a spot in either school. Each year the schools fill up fast, so booking a spot early is advised. The tuition fee is for the school only and does not include lodging or meals. We have arranged a special rate at the Comfort Inn in Avon for those students who need lodging. Evening fishing spots are close by to practice what you learn during the day.

*Successful completion of the guide school is required for employment at FFO, Rowing school is not required for employment at FFO

Join us in the Vail Valley this spring to find out why we think we’ve got the best job and most beautiful office in the world!