Corey Mason attended Montana Fishing Guide School in March of 2015 after spending years in the Mines of Nevada. After seeing friends get hurt and not seeing the sun for days Corey started to think that maybe it was time for a career change. What better change than to get some fresh air and become a fishing guide.
We sat down with Corey to ask some questions about his experience with the Montana Fishing Guide School and where it has helped take him. A season in Alaska is not a bad way to kick off a guiding career!
Corey out of the mines and in the Missouri during Guide School last March
Why did you sign up for Guide School?
I signed up for the Montana Fly Fishing Guide School to get a good idea of what working as a guide is like from experienced individuals. Before attending the school I had full intentions of working towards becoming a guide and was much more confident in my decision after attending guide school.
What made you want to become a fishing guide?
I have always enjoyed taking friends and family fishing, or just passing local knowledge and technique to an angler passing through the area. Just seeing the excitement and pure bliss of a person holding a fish you helped them to catch has always felt right to me.
There is a lot of information to take in at Guide School. What was your biggest takeaway?
By far the most valuable information gained at the guide school is that a good guide is a good entertainer. First and foremost to always ensure that your clients are happy and they are not on the boat with a "dead fish" as a guide!
Well said! We prefer both our guides and fish to be alive as well! You get to do a lot of fishing at guide school, but can you pick out any moment that sticks out?
My favorite day when we fished on a small spring creek with technical fishing and not the best weather. We did what we could and learned so much that day taking turns sharing knowledge and guiding each other. Just as we were on the way to a nice bank to sit and eat lunch a classmate pointed out a rising brown. On the first presentation, a picture perfect dry fly take and we landed it in no time!
How did your life change after Guide School?
I moved to Montana and after few short months of being there I took some advice from local guides and instructors from the school and began sending my resume to numerous lodges in Alaska. I had a special interest with Midnight Sun Trophy Pike Adventures. Something about catching monster Pike intrigued me. I received a call from them shortly after sending my resume and headed to Alaska guiding for monster pike in the Yukon Drainage. I was fortunate enough to get close to 30 days of guiding in for my first season as a guide. I plan to try and guide in western Idaho this season in order to be closer to my family but am still open to guiding in Montana or anywhere in the world for that matter.
We are happy to hear that you were able to land your job of choice after attending guide school. Obviously guide school was a good decision for you. Any advice for anyone thinking about guide school?
I feel signing up for Montana Fly Fishing Guide School is a great investment for anyone looking to become a guide. It shows you just what being a guide entails. It's not just about fishing. It's attention to detail, planning, communication, client relationships, and everything in-between. If done properly guiding can be such a rewarding career and the school gives you a good solid foundation on which to start, even down to the paperwork you will need to do so.
Guide School turned out to be an amazing and eye opening experience to the world of guiding. Not only did I meet some amazing people, I gained so much invaluable knowledge!
Thanks and good luck Corey! Keep us updated with where you're fishing, we're glad you're out of the mines and on the river full time now!