The Fishing Guide

Tune into an ecosystem and share your love of the river with clients. The impact you have can help perpetuate good river ethics and keep fisheries healthy for future generations. You are responsible for the happiness and success of your clients’ day, from first-time fisherman to seasoned angler. You must be guide, babysitter, educator, your clients’ best friend for the day, and (in the case of a drift boat rower) the muscle of the operation.


Professional Nomad:

Phil Hilbruner

  • Owner/operator of Catch a Drift, a drift boat guiding outfitter on the Kenai River in Cooper Landing, Alaska since 2013
  • Passionate trout fisherman and conservationist
  • Self-made success story

Must-Read: Phil Hilbruner: The Unwavering Passion of an Alaskan Fishing Guide

Phil and a client thrilled to with his catch of a big resident rainbow

Phil and a happy client with a big, resident rainbow

Advice from a professional:

“Would-be guides should make life choices to spend as much time as possible fishing the water they want to work on,” Phil says. If you are serious about guiding, move to the river you want to fish and get a job wherever you can to support yourself as you learn the fishery. In Phil’s case, he worked at a tackle shop in Cooper Landing which became a great place to glean local information.


Compliment your fishing with these resources recommended by Phil:

  •  Research fly-tying patterns and methods through Youtube. “ has hundreds, if not thousands of well done postings on Youtube about tying flies, knots, rigging rods, etc. Great resources.” -Phil


The River Why“A great novel about fly fishing and becoming part of a community” -Phil

“Since its publication by Sierra Club Books more than two decades ago, The River Why has become a classic, standing with Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It as our era’s most widely read fiction about fly-fishing.”



2 thoughts on “The Fishing Guide

  1. Pingback: Phil Hilbruner: The Unwavering Passion of an Alaskan Fishing Guide | Professional Nomads

  2. you said that a guide must be…”a babysitter, educator, your clients’ best friend” I would have to add to that photojournalist, medic and cook. I think the gratetist satisfaction I got when taking new clients on my fishing trips was their expressions when the hooked into their first fish.

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