Joseph King

Fly Fishing Guide

My name is Joseph King and I’m an Orvis Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor. I’ve worked for Fly Fishing Outfitters long enough to know that bananas have no place on a boat. Some lessons are learned the hard way!

I enjoy teaching. I try to uncover a person’s learning needs, styles, and communication preferences so that they can get the most value from me. I can’t guarantee 100 fish days (nobody can)—but I can guarantee you will be safe, comfortable, relaxed, and you will learn something new. I also enjoy finding small ways to exceed your expectations of service and the overall guided trip experience.

Even if I didn’t get paid to do it, I’d still be doing exactly what I’m doing. In addition to guiding fly fishing, I am also a fully-certified ski instructor and have taught in 4 countries. Both jobs are terrible ways to get rich, but they provide a rich way to live. Also, I get to work with Doug. That’s almost as good as getting paid.

I got started fly fishing thanks to my grandpa and dad, who taught me to fish before I could even hold a fly rod. I learned to cast when I was about 5. It’s been an addiction ever since.

Besides the Vail Valley, my favorite place to fly fish is the Pere Marquette River in Michigan. It’s a legendary steelhead stream and it’s also where I caught my first wild trout on a dry fly. Otherwise, I will fish any water with fish in it.

As for Vail Valley, it’s a great place to fish thanks to the number of elite trout streams within such a short distance. Seriously, few places in the world have as much convenient access to Gold Medal waters in such beautiful settings. There is such a diverse selection of fly fishing experiences here. Technical tailwaters, gorgeous and wild freestone rivers, remote and pristine alpine lakes and streams. It really is all at your fingertips and we’ve got the knowledge and resources to help you figure out how to fish all of it. (Also, you can ski and fish on the same day – how cool is that?!?!)

I like working with all sorts of clients. Different personalities and skill levels keep this job interesting. Variety is the spice. My one piece of advice would be to never get frustrated. Find someone to help you and be aware that learning isn’t linear. Sometimes we get stuck at points along the way. With persistence, we can usually breakthrough. Keep it simple. Keep it understandable. Keep it patient.

Funnily enough, I was a finance major and a banker after college. Banking involved coaching a lot of other people on complicated subjects and making things understandable. It helps me relate to a lot of different types of people and also made me realize my passion for instruction. In fact, the best part of sharing my expertise with others is helping people.

Many people are intimidated by fly fishing, believing it’s too technical or challenging to learn. It is rewarding to help them discover that it’s much more accessible than they believe. It’s also fun to help a grizzled fly-fishing veteran learn something new or improve a skill. Helping people improve their casting and fishing skills is obvious, but my true guide passion is untangling fly lines and leaders. Don’t steal my joy, folks!