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Many fishermen get on a boat with a guide, with whom they might be fishing with for a week, without any formal introduction. Take the initiative and get to know your guide. Establish a rapport. Remember his name. Let your guide know the species you want to fish, how you want to fish, your abilities and fishing experience, as well as what really trips your trigger when it comes to fishing. Let the guide check your equipment, knots, leaders, tippet material, flies, rod and reel, etc. Don’t be shy. Before you begin fishing, go through the following exercise with your guide.
Get on the casting platform, with rod in hand and review the basic “clock.” 12 o’clock being the bow of the boat, 6 o’clock being the stern, 9 o’clock is directly to port (left), while 3 o’clock is directly to starboard (right). It’s imperative that you and your guide have this straight. More than likely, your guide will call out fish in the following manner, “Fish at 3 o’clock, 60 feet, moving right.”
While still on the casting platform, strip out some fly line and throw a short cast as the guide watches. Next, throw a medium cast. Lastly, throw a long cast. The guide now knows your casting abilities. Make sure you and your guide are talking the same language about distance. That is, you may be thinking feet and he may be thinking meters. Make sure both of you are on the same page for any given distance.
If you have a problem seeing fish, let the guide know before you start fishing. Good communication is most important. Anything that you can relay to the guide concerning your abilities, your wants and needs, dislikes and so on will make his job much easier and your fishing day more enjoyable.
If your guide spots a fish and you do not see it, DO NOT IMMEDIATELY CAST. Point your rod out in front you as if a pointer on a chalk board and have your guide direct your rod to where he sees the fish. Your guide might say, “3 o-clock, more right, keep going, keep going, STOP!” This is where you should concentrate your vision and again DO NOT cast until you see the fish or you are really sure of the distance and direction to where your guide wants you to place the fly.
GListen to your guide and follow your guide’s instructions. Most guides know that women are always the quickest to learn how to fly cast or fish, simply because they listen closely to the guide. When the guide says, “Strip,” YOU SHOULD STRIP THE FLY. When he says, “Stop,” YOU SHOULD STOP THE FLY. When he says, “Set the hook,” STRIP HARD TO SET IT! You’ll see that by listening to guide your success rate will increase substantially.