Cutthroat Anglers


Become a professional fly fishing guide



Our fall 2017 guide school is now fully booked. Given the significant interest in our guide school this fall, we may offer a second week of fall guide school from 10/9/17-10/16/17. Give us a call if you would like to attend. We expect to post 2018 guide school dates by mid-October. For more info about our school, give us a call at 970-262-2878 or drop us an email at


Want to become a better angler with a fly, as well as have one of the best times of your life? Our school will greatly improve your angling skills and you'll have a blast while you improve as an angler. Do you want to learn how to row a raft down a western style river? We'll give you the tools to safely navigate Class 2+ rapids. Considering starting down the road to becoming a professional fly fishing guide? The Cutthroat Anglers Fly Fishing Guide School will provide a solid foundation to your possible future in the world of professional angling.



Our fly fishing guide school is an in-depth and thorough course covering all the skills needed to be a world class professional fly fishing guide. Topics covered include the finer points of wade guiding and drift boat guiding. Our team of seasoned fly fishing guide school instructors draw on a wealth of knowledge and experience accumulated from decades of guiding not only in the Rocky Mountains, but from guiding in more exotic destinations ranging from Alaska all the way to Patagonia.


Making It Easier to Become a Fly Fishing Guide

Upon the successful completion and passing of our fly fishing guide school, you will possess the state required certifications to gain employment as a Colorado float fishing guide and/or seek opportunities to guide throughout the world. This course will give you a leg up on the competition for securing a job as a professional fly fishing guide.


Topics Covered

First Aid • CPR Certification • Drift Boat Certification • Walk and Wade Techniques • Drift Boat Fishing • Knots and Tackle • Aquatic Entomology • Fundamentals of Instruction • Client Services • Photography • And more.


Course Details

The guide school classes run 7 days, 10 - 12 hours a day, with a cost of $2,000 per person. We provide the instruction, boating equipment, life jackets and lunch daily. Fly fishing guide school students should be able to provide their own fishing equipment but we have some rental gear you may borrow for the week. Students need to have a valid fishing license (we sell fishing licenses at the shop). Classes are typically limited to 6 students, with a 2 student to 1 instructor ratio. A 50% deposit is required to hold your spot, with the balance due at class time.



" Your staff is amazing and the way you tailor the class to have students swap between different guide instructors all of the time is great....I feel like in the last week I have gained so much ground on my fishing ability it is staggering." Zach Stimson, Spring 2017 guide school graduate.


"The school exceeded expectations. The instructorial staff was extremely knowledgeable, encouraging and positive. Great experience." Spring 2017 guide school student (taken from an anonymous evaluation questionnaire).


"From rigging, safety, characteristics of water, rowing for fishing, bug selection, to how to be a professional on the river, I felt nothing was left uncovered." Tim Joyce, Spring 2016 guide school graduate.


"Excellent class. Exceeded expectations. Instructors went above and beyond." Spring 2016 guide school student (taken from an anonymous evaluation questionnaire).


"I just wanted to thank you personally for an incredible experience during the Spring (2015) guide school.  It was challenging and more rewarding than I could have imagined.  You have a thoughtful and experienced staff and all of the instructors have a passion and a drive to see the students succeed--Kyle West, Spring 2015 guide school.


"I have to tell you, the entire experience that I had with your operations blew me away from the 1st phone call. What you don’t know, is that I was shopping around looking for the best options in CO, WY and MT. After I called the shop and talked to Shamus I was pretty much set on Cutthroat Anglers."--Darren Sawchuk, Spring 2015 guide school.


"Very well done. Meets and exceeds expectations. I would recommend to anyone looking to improve their skills"..."Every instructor did a bang up job. Great crew of instructors"...Very much exceeded my expectations. Very Professional"..."I learned more than I expected. Not just in rowing but also in fishing. This has been the most I have ever learned about the sport, ever"--Spring 2014 student responses to the question, "Were we successful in meeting your expectations and objectives for taking our Guide School? These responses cannot be attributed to any one student as we ask guide school students to anonymously evaluate their week of instruction upon its completion.


"After the guide school, I feel very comfortable taking control and rowing safely down the river."...Allen Seagraves, Spring 2013 guide school.


"....that was a blast..thnx for everything.." Steve Anderson, Spring 2012 guide school.

Schedule For Guide School Attendees


Day 1

  • Fly Fishing Guide School Class Registration / Intro to Class

  • Fly Fishing Guides Mission Statement

  • Overview of Class and Overview of Cutthroat Anglers Fly Fishing Guiding Operation

  • First Aid CPR Certification

  • Casting Instruction

  • Proper Trailer Loading and Trailer Maintenance


Day 2

  • Fly Fishing Guides Dry Land Demonstration on Boating Equipment • Proper Fit and Types of PFDs

  • Safety Equipment/ First Aid and Emergency Equipment

  • Rigging of Dorys and Rafts

  • Fly Fishing Guide School Verbal Lesson on Boat maneuvering and Techniques

  • River Currents, Obstructions, Obstacles and Hazards

  • On Water Training • Oar Boat Training

  • White Water Classification • Scouting Rapids • Types and Causes of Rapids

  • Practical Fly Fishing Guide Experience with Rowing Techniques


Day 3

  • Continuation of On Water Oar Boat Training

  • Fly Fishing Guides Initiation of Fly and Float Fishing Training

  • Knots, Tippet, Leader

  • Fishing Set Ups (Dry, Dbl Dry, Dry Drop, Nymph, Streamer, etc.)

  • Fly Fishing Guides Rowing Strategies for Fishing

  • Handling of Boat During Fish Fights

  • Netting, Handling and Proper Release of Clients Fish

  • Reading Water and Identifying Trout Lies


Day 4

  • Continuation of On Water Oar Boat Training

  • Continuation of Fly and Float Fishing Training

  • Throw Bag Training 

  • Fly Fishing Guides Rescue Procedures

  • How to React in Adverse Boating Situations

  • Service and Professionalism

  • Lunch/Meals

  • Photography

  • Entomology and Fly Selection


Day 5

  • Continuation of On Water Oar Boat Training

  • Continuation of Fly and Float Fishing Training

  • Re-enforcement of Techniques and Procedures Taught

  • Identifying Needs, Desires and Limitations of Clients

  • Fly Fishing Guides Client Relations


Day 6

  • Continuation of On Water Oar Boat Training

  • Completion of State Required Minimums for River Guide

  • Regulations and Laws for Fly Fishing Guides Governing the Operation of Commercial Guiding and Outfitting


Day 7

  • Fly Fishing River Guide Certification

Guide School Photo Gallery