Hiring A Guide

By Lefty Kreh 

Hiring a guide can benefit anglers of all skill levels.

You can learn about the different forage and entomology of a certain body of water. You can also spend valuable time getting casting, and fishing advice.

However this can present opportunities of failed expectations and disappointment.

Consider some reasons why would you hire a guide, especially if you are an accomplished angler.

A guide will know when and where peak hatches occur and how best to imitate them. They can also be a valuable resource to refine casting and fishing technique.
©Nicholas J. Conklin

If you are fishing an unfamiliar area, a guide can be invaluable when seeking a particular species. They can also advise you on the best season to fish a specific body of water.

Are you an angler in search of quantity of fish? Or quality? Do you want to further develop approaches such as nymphing, dries or streamers? Are you wishing to improve conventional techniques?

The guide will know when hatches occur or what insects are prevalent. They will know where to search for bait and where and when those schools will likely show up.

When selecting a guide, honesty is the best policy.

It is best to lay out what skills you are confident in and which may be shaky. It may be tough to admit that your double haul needs work, or that you need practice pitching baits or casting lures. But, that will all come out while on the water, so it is best to have that conversation beforehand.

By indicating your skill level and the skills that need to be refined, your guide can put you in the best possible position to not only land fish, but also improve technique.

Topics as simple as explaining how you want to fish can also greatly improve your guided time. Do you prefer to wade or fish from a boat? Are you physically able to navigate fast water and make long hikes? Age and physical condition are vital considerations. In New Zealand some of the top lodges helicopter you into a remote area to fish. It is not uncommon to hike and fish several miles on your way to the next extraction point.

A guided trip—even near home can be expensive.

Add on travel, motels, etc. for those trips away from home, and the costs can quickly multiply.

Unfortunately, there are both high quality and poor quality guides. Some guides with bright personalities and other more reserved, introverted types.

When hiring a guide, ask for references. Previous clients can provide some insight into a guides personality and guiding style. A rule of thumb is to try to contact four people. It will help separate ‘buddies’ of the guide, from those with a neutral, unbiased point-of-view.

What about fees and charges?

A guide can be a vital tool in the process of locating and landing fish. 
©Jim Shulin, Temple Fork Outfitters

What does a guide charge for things such as fuel, bait and tackle? Consider the hidden costs that may arise. Will a guide charge for transporting a boat to and from the water? Is there a fee for lost or damaged tackle? Is there a fee for providing lunch and/or beverages? Does the guide furnish all tackle? If you need flies or lures are they available and are they free? Or will you have to pay for them –and how much?

Also consider asking about some of the non-fishing related concerns? What type of boat does the guide operate? What about life saving gear, life jackets, radio, and a first-aid kit? Are there inclement weather policies in place?

The quickest way for a guided fishing trip to turn sour is to not have done proper research before selecting a guide. Choosing the right guide will give you the greatest opportunity to expand your fishing knowledge and get a shot at a trophy fish.

TFO at the St. Paul Ice Show Nov. 30-Dec. 2

Come visit Temple Fork Outfitters on Nov. 30 at the St. Paul Ice Show, as we unveil the new line of Hard Water rods.

With a series of ice fishing rods, TFO is looking to expand on its reputation for high quality rods at affordable prices.

The show will last four days at the St. Paul RiverCentre, in Saint Paul Minn.

Unveiling the new banner for the TFO Hard Water series of rods. 
©Temple Fork Outfitters.

There is much to experience whether you are an avid angler looking for new accessories, or totally new to ice fishing. You will find what you are looking for at this show.

Show Hours will be: Friday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults, $4 for children six to 12 and free for children under five.

For more information please visit: goo.gl/ksHPh 

High Stick Rod Breaks


A broken rod can cause an abrupt and frustrating end to a day of fishing.

When that occurs, most anglers will curse the rod manufacturer, thinking they purchased a defective rod.

Unless you are in the minuscule two percent of anglers that actually experience a defective rod, the blame should be on angling technique.

Poor technique constitutes the majority, (98 percent) of breaks.

©Temple Fork Outfitters.

An angler demonstrates two common rod angles while fighting fish. The rod in the right hand is getting dangerously close to the 90-degree angle, where most rods can fail.
©Temple Fork Outfitters.

“High-sticking,” is the most common break that is serviced by the TFO warranty department, but, also one of the most avoidable.

A high stick break occurs when the tip of the rod—the weakest part—is forced to bear the brunt of the pressure. As the bend of the tip increases, the graphite on the inside of the curve compresses until it snaps. When a graphite fly rod is bent, the fibers on the top of the bend are stretched, while those on the inside of the bend are compressed. Since the tensile strength of carbon fiber is higher than the compression strength, a fly rod will almost always fail on the compression side.

When fighting and landing a heavy fish, it’s important to be aware of the amount of stress being put on the rod. The closer a rod gets to a 90 degree angle with the water (think of a candy cane), the closer it is to failing.

Anglers fishing out of boats often high stick as they try and slow a fish from running under the boat.

Wading anglers are equally susceptible to this kind of break as poor habits, or the lack of a landing net can lead them into compromising a rod. Poor habits can appear in anglers who catch and land smaller fish and begin lifting or dragging fish in. When they are placed into situations with larger fish­–common among steelhead and salmon anglers–poor habits translate into broken rods.

It’s also possible to high-stick the rod when not fighting a fish.

Many rod tips are snapped by anglers who rig their rods by threading the fly line through the bottom guides, and then bend the rod to thread the line through the remaining guides at the top.

The angler demonstrates the proper rod angle when fighting a fish. Remember! always fight a fish off of the butt of the rod.
©Temple Fork Outfitters.

For other insights into “high-sticking,” check out what those in the industry have to say about this type of break:

-Fly Rod & Reel Magazine: goo.gl/OA9mH

-American Angler weighs in:goo.gl/FXs0I

-Rod builders talk about high stick breaks: goo.gl/RxLU5 and goo.gl/FIupL

Dam Removal opens Steelhead Habitat

According to NOAA Fisheries, the California Department of Fish and Game and the Fishery Foundation of California recently completed removal of a 7-foot dam, re-opening more than six miles of spawning habitat for federally protected steelhead.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, fish barriers have been identified as a limiting factor for the steelhead population. The removal of this dam on Bear Creek, a tributary to San Francisquito Creek, will allow steelhead for the first time in decades to access historic habitat for spawning and rearing, and improve ecological connectivity for other fish and wildlife resources.

The dam at Bear Creek was on private property in Woodside, Calif. and blocked fish passage for more than 60 years.

The removal of the dam took two years to complete and cost approximately $30,000. Funding for the project was provided by both the private landowner and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s San Francisco Bay Salmonid Habitat Restoration Fund. To see a video of the project, visit: http://goo.gl/1WWgi

–compiled from the NOAA restoration group and a DFG communications report. For more information on NOAA restoration and their projects, visit: http://goo.gl/xE7Ui  

Ed’s Tips: Casting Heavy Flies

By Ed Jaworowski

Heavy flies with cone heads, large beads, lead eyes, or lead wire around the shank affect casting aerodynamics.

The difficulty arises when a weighted fly must change direction.

By adjusting your stroke, casting large, weighted-flies can become an easy and thrilling approach to attracting big fish.
©Brandon Powers, Temple Fork Outfitters.

If you pause too long on the back cast, when the leader straightens, the fly will tug against the rod tip and bounce back, releasing the pressure on the rod tip. This creates slack, causes loss of control, and makes loading for the forward cast difficult.

Here’s how to eliminate the bounce, and smooth out the transition between rear and forward movement. With your rod off the vertical, perhaps at a 45 degree angle, make a long, smooth, back cast and, without stopping, come forward before the line straightens with the rod more overhead, tracing a long, smooth, elliptical path. This will eliminate the fly’s abrupt change of direction.

For a cool video from Finback Films on casting heavy flies and sink tips, check out: http://vimeo.com/7744950

TKAA Tournament Set’s Record in Donations

The 2012 Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association Kayak “Fish for Charity” Tournament raised a record amount for several charities, including Project Healing Waters.  

A record 275 anglers competed in the 8th Annual Kayak event which was held in Virginia Beach, Va. in late Sept.

Over $15,000 was raised for the various charities. The amount represents a 50 percent increase over the 2011 tournament contributions.

The TKAA would like to thank all of the sponsors and participants involved. They also would also like to encourage anyone interested in competing in the yearly event to visit: www.tkaa.org/tournament, for more information.

About TFO and Project Healing Waters:

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, is a national nonprofit organization that teaches disabled veterans to fish and tie flies. TFO has long been dedicated to serving those who serve, and contributes a significant portion of their Project Healing Waters rod sales to the program.

Cabela’s to Open First Ohio Location

Cabela’s Inc., the World’s Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear (and TFO dealer), announced plans to hire 195 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees to staff the new Columbus, Ohio, store. 

The 80,000-square-foot store–Cabela’s first Ohio location–is scheduled to open in spring 2013.

Applications are being accepted now and interviews will begin Nov. 27, running through Dec. 1.

To apply, visit www.cabelas.jobs, click on “Apply Now,” then “United States Jobs.” Then follow instructions to log in. Applications must be submitted online.

Most employees are expected to come from Columbus and the surrounding area.

Currently, Cabela’s operates 40 retail stores across the United States and Canada. The company has announced plans to open an additional 12 locations by the end of 2014.