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What anglers look for in a fly fishing guide
– Fly Fishing

The ‘magic five’ constitutes the psychological foundation for a successful long-term relationship.

Having quizzed a number of our guests over the season on this very topic, the response has been very aligned.

In the first instance, anglers assume their fly fishing guide is experienced, can fish at a professional level, can spot fish, knows the rivers, is a good coach, and can choose appropriate beats for the anglers.

Photo: Craig Aspinall

Comments from many of our regular, experienced anglers were very precise. They want a guide who can deliver a great beat, can see fish with superior trained eyes, is efficient on the river, and, for some, a guide who can effectively choose the right fly for the conditions.

Jim Holland was the one who coined the phrase ‘magic five’. He described these as the ‘river temperament’ that forms a relationship that varies with the circumstances but can become a long-term friendship.

Photo: Sean Andrews

Jim’s magic five include the following characteristics:

  • Charming
  • Engaging
  • Cheerful
  • Encouraging/reassuring
  • Responsive

Photo: Craig Aspinall

The magic five, combined with humility and desire to coach, is also attractive to guests. One novice female angler put it this way: “The quickest smile is my choice.”

Some even added that self-promotion, ego, soberness, being patronizing, imperiousness and the like are to be avoided like a heart attack.

Food for thought!

Photo: Craig Aspinall

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