River Fishing Guides: Who’s In Your Area?

A top river fishing guide with a fly fishing client

River fishing guides are experts at the methods and the spots in their area and they can offer you many things that make their daily fees well worth it.

River Fishing Guides: The Experts You Can Trust

A great river fishing guide can cut your learning curve down by years, and that can actually save you a lot of money.

I think back at all the junk hooks, bad flies, wrong rods and reels, and other gear I bought when I first started.

A good river fishing guide has already figured out what works, and that is what they will teach you.

With all the information on the internet, I see tons of bad advice coming from non-experts, with a good river fishing guide, you will get the right advice because the advice comes from years of research as well as on stream trial and error.

A good river fishing guide will use the right gear, the right methods, and be in the right spots, and that is what they can teach you.

Read all the books you want, watch all the YouTube videos you want, nothing beats having someone standing beside you all day watching you, seeing where you need improvement, and then coaching you along to ensure you improve and do it right.

A good river fishing guide can be invaluable!

Tips When Hiring Guides

My number one tip when getting out with a good river guide is to be observant, ask lots of questions, and be open-minded. Being prepared for your trips helps too.

Also, be patient and make sure your expectations are not set too high. After all, pro athletes didn’t become great after just one time out with a coach, it takes years of coaching and practice.

This page is a work in progress and I will be adding new guides as fast as I possibly can.

If you have recommendations for a great guide in your area, let me know in the comments section below.

Should You Tip A Fishing Guide and How Much?

Every fishing guide is going to have a different opinion on this, but the general rule is that yes, you should tip your fishing guide 10 to 25% if they provide good service.

Good service doesn’t mean lots of fish, sometimes the fish are there but they just don’t bite.

If your guide teaches you a lot, works hard for you, and does everything possible to try and get those fish to bite, then that is good service.

I have always said this I still believe that tips are not expected or required, but they are always appreciated. I know many guides that feel exactly this way, so don’t feel like you must tip your guide if you are short on cash or are already over your budget.

Don’t let not being able to afford to pay a tip to be the reason why you don’t hire a guide!


Ohio Fishing Guides

Alley Grabs Guide Service
A couple of Alley Grabs Guide Service clients with a great steelhead. Be sure to look out for tips, tricks, and articles provided by Gareth.

Alley Grabs Guide Service – Run by top guide Gareth Thomas. Specializing in fly fishing for Ohio Steelhead using single-hand and Spey rods.

We are lucky to have Gareth as one of our contributing guides and writers for our Ohio Steelhead Fishing pages.

Be sure to look for head guide Gareth’s tips, tricks, and recent articles: Here.

Pennsylvania Fishing Guides

Coming Soon

Michigan Fishing Guides

Coming Soon

New York Fishing Guides

Coming Soon

Wisconsin Fishing Guides

Coming Soon

Ontario Fishing Guides

Two happy clients from A Perfect Drift Guide Company
Two happy clients from A Perfect Drift Guide Company releasing a double header of steelhead.

A Perfect Drift Guide Company

A Perfect Drift Guide Company has been Southern Ontario’s top river guide service for over 12 years.

Their guides specialize in traditional and modern fly fishing methods, centerpin fishing, and spin fishing for trout, steelhead, and salmon.

They guide 13 of Ontario’s best trout and steelhead rivers, so if you are in the area, check out their website for more information.

Matt Martin From Smooth River Guiding Co.
Matt is a friend and fellow guide as well as a contributing guide on this website. Look for Matts tips and articles.

Smooth River Guiding Co.

Matt Martin is one of the top fly fishing and Centerpin guides in southern Ontario and runs Smooth River Guiding Co.

Matt specializes in river fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon, and carp, but also offers bass and garpike.

Matt is well versed in Euro nymphing for trout and steelhead, has done fly fishing competitions, and is a contributing guide.

If you need a great guide in southern Ontario, be sure to check out Matt’s website for more info.

Salmon Lure fishing can be effective on giant salmon like this
Great river guides like head guide Cody from Reel Fresh Guide Service catch huge salmon in rivers using salmon lures, flies, jigs, and baits.

Reel Fresh Guide Service

Cody Burden from Reel Fresh Guide Service is one of Ontario’s top fly fishing and centerpin fishing river guides in southern Ontario.

Cody specializes in steelhead, trout, salmon, and bass fishing on the great rivers of Ontario and is one of the best centerpin anglers I have fished with.

When in Ontario, be sure to look them up for your next fishing adventure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Anybody know a good instructor for float fishing? New to float fishing but have been bottom bouncing for trout over 40 years. I live next to the Saugeen in Southampton so lessons can be done there anytime.

  2. Great content!

    Who’s Graham?

    There’s no contact information. How do I subscribe to recieve the next publication?

  3. I would like to contact a guide(s) that would consider using spinning gear. Also, are there any guides that offer float trips? There is a lot of info in your article but only 1 Ohio company to contact. Thanks

    1. Hi Steven,

      Spinning gear guides are sometimes hard to find. I am currently in discussion with some other guides in the great lakes area and will be updating the guide page as soon as possible. Check back soon.

      Maybe someone else can recommend a good spinning gear guide.


  4. Hi, i am from Montreal, Quebec and would like to come this month september 2022 to ontario for salmon our steelhead. Do you have any guide to recommand ? Even you Graham 🙂 I have all the float fishing equipment and a centerpin. Have lines, trout eggs and all. I am interested !

  5. I would like to catch Great Lakes Steelhead using Euro Nymph gear. I would travel from out of the area, so all rivers are possibility. Any recommendations for a guide?

    1. It depends on the area you will be fishing in whether or not there are guides that are capable of Euro Nymphing. It’s a relatively new method for steelhead, and most guides do not offer it, yet.

      In Ontario, contact Jordan at A Perfect Drift Guide Company or Matt at Smooth River Guide Service. Both are listed on this page.

      Good luck, Graham

  6. I live in Utah. No one here fishes with a Centerpin. I am very interested in learning this method. I have purchased what I believe is good equipment. I would like some coaching. I love your website and believe you are the person I am looking for. Would it be possible to arrange to have you guide me? I am willing to travel to your area.

    1. Hi James,

      The Centerpin is growing in popularity so I’m sure you will start seeing more and more guys using them.

      I don’t live near you so I will not be able to guide you there. I will have a Centerpin fishing series starting soon on Youtube. Watch for that.

      Good luck,


    2. Hi James,

      The Centerpin is growing in popularity so I’m sure you will start seeing more and more guys using them.

      I don’t live near you so I will not be able to guide you there. I will have a Centerpin fishing series starting soon on Youtube. Watch for that.

      Good luck,