How Much Do Fly Fishing Guides Make? (The Real Numbers)

How Much Do Fly Fishing Guides Make

How much do fly fishing guides make? Fly fishing is a beautiful sport that attracts people from all walks of life.

But if you’re thinking about making it your career, how much money can you make as an outfitter?

The average fly fishing guide salary is $28,000 per year, and the highest earners are only raking in $50,000 annually.

You’ll be working long hours with no guarantee of success or steady income. Is this what you want for yourself?

We’ve done the task for you to uncover the truth behind fly fishing guide salaries so that you don’t have to throw away time trying to figure it out on your own.

fly guides
fly guides

Our goal was to give everyone access to information like this to make better decisions about their lives and careers!

How much does a fishing guide make?

Fly fishing guides can make about 59K per year, but the best earn as much as 85k. According to an outdoor guide job description from State University, average earnings range between 75-150 dollars a day.

Some places pay more if you are willing to work holidays or weekends, but that’s difficult for many people considering they need a day off in between.

Can you make a living from a fishing guide job?

Guide salaries vary depending on the location and season. For example, an outdoor guide in high-demand tourist areas can earn up to $400 a day, while guides who work during off-peak times may only make 75 – 150 dollars per day.

Some people may think fly guides make a lot of money. The average salary is about $28,000 per year. There are a few guides who make much more. The highest earners only bring in about $50,000 each year.

How do you start a fishing guiding business?

You’ll need an appropriate fishing license to start a fishing guiding business. You can find more details on fishing licensing here.

You can’t just open up a fly shop on your own. You’ll need some permit or authorization to guide people on public waters.

You’ll also need training in some fishing, whether it’s for fly fishing, spin casting, or baitcasting. You can learn fishing by practicing on your own or taking a class at a local college.

How do fly fishing guides get paid?

Fly fishing guides get paid by the day. Guides who work with a fishing company can make about $150 to $400 per day depending on where they work and which company they are employed.

The average trout guide makes around $40,000 a year. A select few can make six-figure incomes, but they’re exceptions within the industry or work in expensive fisheries whose daily rates don’t quite match what customers might be used to.

A tip may not seem like much compensation – until you consider how long it takes an experienced fisherman with baits and lures on their line all day every day before finally catching one little fish!

A good way for guides that do well financially is through tips because these add up quickly when given liberally by grateful clients. A good guide with 20 years of fishing experience will know how to increase his worth in this regard by catering to their needs.

How do you become a certified fly fishing guide? (Fly fishing guide school)

Becoming a certified fly fishing guide is the dream of many anglers. But how do you get your start?

With so many people wanting to become professional guides, it’s hard for newcomers to break in. 

Suppose you want to be a fly fishing guide. In that case, you must study and get a certification from the Professional Guides Association of America (PGAA) or the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG).

The Fly Fishing Certification Guide will help you pass your certification test and take your career as an angler to the next level – with over 100 pages of tips from leading authorities on everything from teaching clients about fish behavior and water safety to what gear you’ll need when starting.

Do fishing guides make good money?

The average pay is as much as $250 per day in some areas. 

Guides can earn as little as $150 a day in other cases. It’s also vital to consider how much time the average angler spends fishing compared to what the guide makes.

If you spend half a day on the river and fly guides make $250 per day, then your bill may be $250. That’s a high price for a single day of fishing.

Guides can’t legally accept tips from people they guide, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Many guides believe that rewarding them with money will skew the client’s view of what they should pay or take away their satisfaction in their accomplishments. The main thing is to seek a qualified instructor and select a reputable guide service company.

Whether you want to be a fishing guide in a popular area like Colorado or Alaska, you need to adapt yourself to local and state requirements.

How much do saltwater fishing guides make? (Saltwater fishing guide)

Saltwater fishing guides can make anywhere from $200 to $500 per day for each person they take out. Guides who manage a fishing boat can make a decent salary, but most of their money comes from tips.

Saltwater guides need to be familiar with the ocean to find an abundance of fish for their customers.

How much money do fly guides make in Colorado?

The average fly fishing guide earns $60,000 a year. You can expect to make $200 a day per guide to fly fishing guides. This varies depending on the time of the year, river conditions, and how good of a day you are having. Some fly guides can make upwards of $60k+ a year.

Do you need license to become a fly fishing guide in Colorado?

If you want to be a fly fishing guide in Colorado, you need to get your license. You do this by attending school through the Professional Guides Association of America (PGAA) or Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG).

All RIGS guides are professionally certified to ensure your safety on any trip. Be aware that there may be people who hold themselves out as qualified fishing professionals but do not have the necessary licenses and permits in place, so they cannot be covered under the insurance policy or personal license if you’re injured while with them!

Fly fishing guide salary Montana

The average fly fishing guide salary in Montana is $35 an hr. The top thing to do is to go on the internet and post ads for fly fish guides, and you will be getting in contact with people in Montana and finding out what they charge, and following your dreams.

The median salary for a fly fishing guide in Montana is $26,000 per year. Guides usually work 9-5 and make an average of $20 per hour for the first three years.

Fishing guide salary Texas

When you become a saltwater fishing guide in Texas, your salary is usually determined by your experience. The median annual pay for a fishing guide in Texas is usually around $30,000.

This is how much a fishing guide makes in Texas. The average wage for a fishing guide in Texas is $35,000 a year, $17.50 an hour. You typically make around $15,000 a year for the first year.

How much does a fly fishing guide earn in Alaska?

A fly fishing guide can earn $50 per hour if they own their boat. Guides typically earn about $90 per hour, but that number can vary depending on the time of the year and if people want to fish in certain parts of Alaska.

Despite the broad salary range, Fishing Guide, with an average annual income of $42,876, is seen as a high-paying profession. ZipRecruiter sees salaries ranging from 25th percentile ($23 931) to 90th percentile ($78772). 

Commonly Asked Questions about Full & Part-time fly fishing guide jobs (FAQ)


As a fly fishing guide, you need to answer these questions and more. The market for this type of service is very competitive, so you must be knowledgeable about your trade if you want to have any chance at being successful. If you want to know the actual numbers for how much fly fishing guides make, what they do on a day-to-day basis, and how to get certified as one yourself, keep reading. Our blog post will be your guide! What’s more, is that we have all of the information you need right at your fingertips, so there’s no excuse not to be an expert in this trade. If the idea of working as a professional fly fishing guide sounds appealing, then take some time today to learn everything there is known about becoming a fly fishing guide.

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