Professional Fly Fishing Walk Wade Guide School

Our Fly Fishing Walk Wade Guide School is an intensive three-day course that provides prospective fly fishing guides with classroom and on-the-water instruction to gain the skills necessary to become a well-rounded and professional guide.
While you don’t have to be an experienced angler to take this course, practical experience and a strong interest in fly fishing is required.


RIGS 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
Our Walk Wade course is conducted on the Uncompahgre River at the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk area of Ridgway State Park, just 10 minutes from our shop in Ridgway. An ideal location, with clear water and great river structure and amenities for instructing groups. *Campgrounds are available at this location but must be reserved in advance.

You will gain a greater understanding of how to choose the correct equipment, tools and essentials for any walk-wade guiding situation.

In addition to great resources, we pride ourselves on our high level of professionalism and understanding the diversity that fly fishing has to offer. Participating in RIGS Guide training will give you a versatile foundation to begin your career!

Employment Opportunities
Each season RIGS trains and hires guides from the Walk Wade Guide Course. 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.


Fly Fishing Walk Wade Guide School


  • Guide Responsibilities – Understanding permit stipulations and your role in outfitter employment.
  • Client Assessment – Identifying client needs, to ensure positive outcomes with good judgment.
  • Teaching Methodology – Not all people learn in the same way. Understand how to quickly access clients and distinguish the best approach to each guests learning style. 
  • Guide Essentials – What you’ll need to guide a trip – backups, redundancies, and accessibility. Your gear and terminal tackle need and proper care. Learn to efficiently rigs rods for clients and advanced fly fishing setups. Learn which knots to use in different situations.
  • Entomology – Identifying classifications and life cycles of aquatic insects.
  • Reading the Water – Understanding trout holding waters, habitat and feeding lanes.
  • Proper Landing Techniques – Fighting and landing fish, netting, proper handling and release.
  • Guide / Angler Etiquette – Respect the other anglers on the water.  Ethical practices and seasonal sensitivities.
  • Understanding Your Environment – Timing of the river, assessing your surroundings, arrival and departure times and awareness. Understanding how varying conditions such as seasonality, water flows, hatches and weather conditions can affect your trip.
  • Organization and Cleanliness – Importance of how to prepare for each day: pre-rigging, cleanliness & organization of client rods, gear and guide vehicles. How to maintain professional attire and instill confidence in your guests.
Walk Wade Guide School WWP 800×1000


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