Wade vs Float Fishing


One of the most frequently asked questions our shop staff gets is:”Should I wade or float fish when I book my trip with a guide”.  There are a number of answers to that age old inquiry.  Most often when hen faced with that very question you may get a different reply based on who fields your inquiry.  As someone who is on the front lines every day the first  aI ask is “what is your Fly fishing experience?”.  If the person on the other end of the conversation is a Never ever the its a pretty easy response.  A walk wade trip will allow your guide to be right there on your hip to direct you. Thus as a fisherman you will get better instruction on casting techniques and more of a repetitious approach  that will help install better habits that can later be translated to the boat.  I also state that the boat adds one, sometimes challenging variable to the equation.  Many beginner Fly fishers feel that the boat is a confining situation.  To those who are maybe a bit of a newbie,but with enough experience to make the want to try something new, the boat can be used as more of a transportation devise.  Moving from one uninhabited spot on the river to another, while doing limited fishing from the moving boat can help build confidence while still doing something the angler is familiar with. As anglers become more advanced very few want nothing to do with wade fishing and feel that a boat is the only real option.  As a predominantly float guide myself i have more then once made the mistake of putting some one in the boat say up on the Colorado River with the feeling that I can teach anyone to fish from the boat.  This situation has backfired on me more then once.  After repairing and retying rig after rig and realizing i have spent 3 hours and only covered a mile of  river myself and ny client are at a level of frustration that isn’t good.  I have heard shop staff say that wade fishing gives you more opportunities at the group of fish while float fishing gives one less opportunities at more fish.  While that maybe a true statement it does not necessarily qualify an angler for what might be best for them.  many shops will try to push newer anglers to the more expensive float trip.  As the owner of a very large outfitting operation it is easy to ignore the better sense for the bottom line. But as a guide i have been on the wrong side of a good up-sell.  Athe end of the day we need to be asking ourselves if we are doing right by our client in that are we providing the experience that matches their skills.

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