Professional Float Fishing Guide School in SW Colorado

RIGS Float Fishing Guide School is an intensive seven-day course providing students with the training and essential skills needed to become a professional float fishing guide. Our Professional Guide Instructors have been training fly fishing, float fishing and whitewater guides in Colorado since 2002. Once Certified in the State of Colorado each participant leaves with the minimum river miles to conduct a float fishing trip with a trip leader. We recommend combining the Float Fishing Guide Course with our Walk Wade Fly Fishing School to get a well-rounded fly fishing background to begin your guiding career.


RIGS Professional Guide Instructors – Our guide instructors have been training fly fishing, float fishing and whitewater guides since 2002. Our unique proximity to a diversity of waters is what makes our guide graduates so versatile. With over 40 years of combined experience guiding fly fishing and whitewater trips, each of our instructors has their own unique method of guiding. Their insights will help you to develop your own approach and techniques.

Course Location & Planning You Stay
Float fishing guide course locations are conducted on sections of the Lower Gunnison River, Uncompahgre River and San Miguel River, offering students great diversity and challenging floatable water perfect for learning oar skills. *Ridgway State Park, just 10 minutes from our shop in Ridgway, offers excellent Campgrounds over your stay and are reasonably priced.

All necessary float fishing boats and equipment, personal floatation device (PFD) and transportation are included in your course fee. *A detailed packing list of personal items needed will be provided upon confirmation of your course.


Participation & Professionalism
Our Float Fishing Guide Course training will give you the confidence to expand your fly fishing horizons to include float fishing in your guide career. RIGS is an ORVIS Endorsed Fly Fishing Outfitter and believes in training float fishing guides to the highest of standards *This is a physical course and requires active participation and physical conditioning. *Prior fly-fishing experience is required to attend our float fishing course.

Employment Opportunities
Each season RIGS trains and hires guides from the Float Fishing Guide School. Although participation in the course does not guarantee you’ll be hired, it does give you an advantage in the hiring process. If you are interested in employment at RIGS, discuss it with us prior to the course. Otherwise, we’re happy to refer competent participants to other outfitters in the industry.

First Aid & CPR Training
Must be completed by all fly fishing guides in the State of Colorado. RIGS may host a First Aid/CPR class in the month of May, please inquire if interested in receiving these additional certifications.

Float Fishing Guide School KBYG


We train students in both Rafts and Drift Boats
Our course is a progression; starting with inflatable rafts, then moving to drift boat skills, ensuring we cover all aspects of safely rowing a float fishing boat with oars.

  • How to Safely Operate Oar Boats & Float Fishing Tactics
  • Understanding River Equipment & Float Fishing Gear
  • Reading the Water – river features, eddies and hazards
  • Working with Clients – customer instruction, outfitter requirements, trip orientation & safety talks.
  • Sculling & Advanced Rowing techniques; positioning the boat for angling success.
  • Navigating the River Quietly and Efficiently to avoid spooking or floating over fish.
  • River Etiquette and Guide Ethics and Expectations.
  • Safe Boat Trailer Operation
Float Fishing Guide School WWP 800×600


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