Guide School "Where Are They Now" Allen Stirrett December 02 2017

After spending most of his working life in a corporate environment Allen headed west, ended up in our guide school and then worked in the shop and on the river here at Gallatin River Guides. Free of TPS reports, memos and cubicles, Allen fit in well with an eagerness to learn as much as he could from seasoned guides, shop staff, and customers. Allen took some time away from the river and answered a few questions for us. 

Allen (far right) With The May '17 Guide School.         

How long have you been fishing?

Since I was a kid

When did you attend guide school?

May 2017

You recently moved to MT from what some would call a "real job", what made you want to be a fishing guide?

I was tired of the daily grind of commuting into the city and working in an office environment. I had been working in a corporate setting for 15 years and thought it was time to move on to a new chapter in my life. The decision to work in the fly fishing industry was based solely on what I was interested in doing without considering whether or not it came with a 401k option or health plan. It was definitely a big risk, but it was the right choice and I feel great about it. 

Why did you sign up for guide school?  Did you want to be a guide when you signed up or just improve your angling skills?

My goal when I signed up was to begin the process of becoming the best fly fishing guide I could possibly be.

What was the best lesson learned from guide school?  

I learned that part of being a great guide means that you have to pay attention to the smallest of details each and every day.  
What is your best memory of guide school?
My favorite memory from guide school was the support that each one of us in the class gave to one another. No one judged their classmates, we all wanted each other to get better and succeed.
Working on his spring creek guiding skills, Allen knows staying
low and out of sight can make the difference between a good and bad day.

After guide school, you started working in the shop. How did that help your guiding days and knowledge?

Being around seasoned guides on a daily basis in the shop was something that taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Asking them questions, listening to them talk about their guide trips, and watching them interact with their clients taught me so much and I'm confident it will make me a better guide. I would highly recommend to any aspiring guide that they spend some time working in a fly shop.

Why would you recommend signing up for guide school?

By the end of the week, you will know whether or not you want to pursue a career as a fly fishing guide. The school does a good job of exposing students to the daily life of a guide.

Guide School dates for 2018 are now available here.