Do You Need a License to Be a Fly Fishing Guide in Colorado?

Fly fishing in Colorado is one of the most popular activities for tourists and locals alike. The state is home to some of the best fly fishing in the country, with a plethora of rivers, lakes, and streams to choose from. If you’re interested in becoming a fly fishing guide in Colorado, you’ll need to have a few things in place before you can legally offer your services.

The first step is to obtain a Fly Fishing Guide License from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). This license is required for anyone who plans on guiding fly fishing excursions in the state.

To get this license, applicants must pass a written exam administered by CPW that covers topics such as river safety, fish identification, knot tying, and angling techniques. Once applicants pass the exam they will be issued their license.

In addition to obtaining a license, aspiring fly fishing guides should consider joining professional organizations such as the Federation of Fly Fishers or Trout Unlimited. These organizations offer educational resources and networking opportunities that will help guides hone their skills and market their services.

Finally, it’s important for aspiring guides to understand the laws and regulations governing fly fishing in Colorado. The CPW website includes detailed information about regulations such as bag limits, catch-and-release guidelines, and seasons for specific species.


In conclusion, if you are looking to become a fly fishing guide in Colorado then it is important to understand what is required of you. You need to obtain a Fly Fishing Guide License from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) by passing an exam.

Additionally, it’s beneficial to join professional organizations like Trout Unlimited or Federation of Fly Fishers for education resources and networking opportunities. Lastly, make sure you understand all state laws and regulations related to fly fishing so that your clients have an enjoyable experience on your guided trips!

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Daniel Bennet