Classic Podcast: Becoming a Fishing Guide, with Mike Dawkins


How do I become a guide? Should I get a job as a guide? How do I train to be a fishing guide? What skills do I need?

I get these questions all the time on podcast requests, and because I have neither the skills nor the temperament to be a guide, I asked our good friends at WorldCast Anglers, specifically Mike Dawkins, to talk about the guiding life. They should know, as they probably employ more fly-fishing guides than any other operation, and they have also been running a guide school for years. Listen to this week’s podcast about the pleasures and perils of being a fly-fishing guide.

In the Fly Box this week, here are a few of the questions I try to answer:

  • How do I land giant alligator gar?
  • Where should I put my weight in relation to my tippet ring?
  • What are your top three suggestions for teaching someone to fish with a fly rod?
  • Should I get a weight-forward or double-taper fly line?
  • Can I use tightline nymphing techniques when fishing downstream?
  • How do I simplify and lighten up my gear when backpacking?
  • I get corrected—a listener has seen seen trout eat adult early black stoneflies and yellow sallies.
  • How do I fish a long, clear, shallow stretch with no riffles without spooking fish?
  • Is it OK to put a perfection loop in my fly line?
  • Can I use a sinking poly leader when indicator fishing?
  • Why am I losing fish that I have hooked while fishing nymphs during the winter?
  • Why did I not catch fish while fishing nymphs during the winter?

If you don’t see the “Play” button above, click here to listen.

Mike Dawkins is all smiles as he cradles a fish of a lifetime on Patagonia’s Rividavia.
Photo courtesy Mike Dawkins

One thought on “Classic Podcast: Becoming a Fishing Guide, with Mike Dawkins”

  1. Had the great privilege of floating the Teton Canyon with Worldcast guides a few years ago. Those guides were challenged with everything from whitewater to extreme weather (hail). Our guide even managed to recover my buddy’s brand new Helios flyrod that somehow got stuck behind a huge rock in the river. The guides were first class professionals in every way, even first class storytellers. This float was literally one of high points of my life. Terrific podcast Tom!

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