How to Find a Fly Fishing Guide in Texas

| September 17, 2023


Finding a fly fishing guide in Texas can be a great way to enhance your fishing experience, especially if you’re new to the area or fly fishing in general. Here are some steps to help you find a fly fishing guide in Texas:

  • Online Search: The easiest way to start your search is by using search engines like Google. You can use search terms like “fly fishing guide in Texas” or “Texas fly fishing guide” to find a list of guides in the area.
  • Fishing Forums and Communities: There are online fishing communities and forums where anglers share their experiences and recommendations. Websites like Texas Fishing Forum ( or Fly Fishing Texas ( can be great resources for finding guides and getting recommendations from other anglers.
  • Social Media: Check social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Many guides and outfitters have profiles or pages where they share information about their services and post pictures of recent trips.
  • Fishing Outfitters and Tackle Shops: Local fishing outfitters and tackle shops often have information about fly fishing guides in the area. They may even have brochures or business cards from guides they recommend.
  • Guide Websites: Many professional fly fishing guides have their own websites with information about their services, rates, and contact details. You can use search engines to find their websites or check directories of fishing guides.
  • Fishing Magazines and Publications: Look for fishing magazines and publications that focus on Texas or the region you want to fish in. These often feature advertisements and articles about local guides.
  • Guide Directories: There are online directories and booking platforms specifically designed to help you find fishing guides. Websites like FishingBooker, Orvis, and TakeMeFishing can help you search for guides by location and specialty.
  • Ask Locals: If you’re in the area where you want to fish, don’t hesitate to ask locals or other anglers for recommendations. They can often provide valuable insights and personal experiences.
  • Check Reviews and References: Once you’ve found potential guides, be sure to read reviews and ask for references from past clients. This can help you gauge their reputation and the quality of their services.
  • Contact Multiple Guides: It’s a good idea to reach out to several guides to discuss your needs, availability, and pricing. This allows you to compare options and find a guide that best suits your preferences.

When contacting potential guides, be sure to ask about their availability, the types of fishing they specialize in, their rates, whether they provide equipment or if you need to bring your own, and any other questions you may have to ensure a successful fishing experience in Texas.


There you go! It seems simple enough, right? Let’s just take a second to complicate things, muddy all the waters, so to speak.

Did you know that any guide who works guiding on the Texas Gulf Coast, by the laws of the State of Texas, must have a captain’s license? Walk, wade or kayak. Obtaining a captain’s license is under the control of the federales – the United States Coast Guard – US Department of Homeland Security. That should be enough to stop my conspiracy loving readers alone, but read on …

Typically, what is called a “Six-Pack” license is all you need to hang out your shingle, whether you are a coffee bean barista, or a salty old fly guy with tons of time in the salt, actually in boats. Here are your requirements for how to become a Federally licensed Six Pack Captain (2023). My RECENT experiences on the Lower Laguna Madre (LLM) indicate to me that many young fishers have made that effort to get their captain’s licenses, many as in hundreds of legitimately licensed captains running around the Lower Laguna Madre. (Be sure to notice the word, “all” in “all you need,” is italic! Read those requirements and realize they stop most people – dead in their tracks. Wanna’ be randomly drug tested? Wanna’ have to pass a physical every so often? Even the Six-Pack is the real deal fly fishers.)

As the profile of that pristine water body was raised significantly by my recent work, and will obviously capture the minds and souls of more businesses and wayward fly fishers in the coming years, YOU can expect more guide licenses to appear on that scene. So many of the guides I met on the LLM were so young, you can expect what I call the typical “falling away” of these people, as life in the form of relationships, reality and real earning potential – force or entice them away from guiding. It’s only natural.

Then there is this other topic. Forget the green bean baristas for a minute … how about high profile personalities, guiding on the Texas Gulf Coast without licenses? How does this happen, one would rightly ask? Is this accurate, I would ask? How is a fly fisher to know whether the “Top-Shelf,” or, “Top-Tier” personality guide, they want to meet and hire, is actually a license carrying USCG Six Pack captain? Here’s what I found …

Nothing. Nothing is what I found when it came to trying to determine if a name existed in a USCG DHS database for captain’s licenses issued by those departments. Is it any surprise that when a tiny voice contacts the Feds, they get zero response – in any form, in any way? I am old enough not to be surprised by very much anymore. That includes the last year, the last day and the last minute.

Take Pride Texas

There are still other, less strenuous requirements for freshwater guides, requirements imposed by the glorious State of Texas. Mind you, many other states, where freshwater fishing is a larger part of the outdoor economy, have more strenuous requirements and much more active policing. And yes, some states have lower standards for sure. Here is what TPWD requires for the licensing of a freshwater Guide in the State of Texas. That’s it. Pay $132. US dollars, and you too can be a freshwater guide in Texas. That’s it though, just FRESH WATER. Well, I am sure they will tack on some “fee” to the $132. but you get the point, right? Now when you see a mob of guys walking a raft down the mighty six-inch-deep Brazos River, supposedly guiding, and you are wondering to yourself; are they all licensed guides? Are any of them licensed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department?

Good luck to you, as you once again find your knowledge beholden to the State of Texas and it’s governmental agencies for that information. Does your Gulf Coast fly fishing guide have his Texas guide license as well – called the “All-Water Fishing Guide License?” Again, good luck with finding that out. And let me know if you find that database!

Does it Matter?

To some individuals it (licensing) matters. To guides who make the effort to be legally licensed, it matters. But to celebrity stalkers, and weekend warriors? Does it matter? I would say it matters less, to SOME, than a great selfie with a “Top-Tier” celebrity matters.

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Category: Adventure

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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