U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Bradley Wells, left, with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Fleet Week New York, reels in a trout with Rick Alampi, a volunteer guide, during a fly fishing event hosted by Project Healing Waters in Long Valley, New Jersey, May 26, 2018. The service members attended the fly fishing event as part of Fleet Week New York, which was hosted to give Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen the opportunity to interact with the public, demonstrate capabilities, and teach the people of New York about America’s sea services. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Bethanie C. Sahms)

‘Guiding for the Future’ Program Educates Fly Fishing Guides in Montana

A conservation-focused educational program aims to create a community of fly fishing guides dedicated to respecting the resource.

Fly fishing is booming, especially on the blue-ribbon rivers of Montana. The Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana — aptly abbreviated as FOAM — responded to this new growth with a certification program that will inform experienced guides on the principles of sustainable watershed and fisheries conservation.

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Guiding for the Future

Aerial shot of Paradise Valley in Montana

Guiding for the Future (G4F) is a continuing education program developed around four principles: knowledge, professionalism, ethics, and stewardship. The program is in its first year and comprises eight online modules that cover a swath of subjects, from entomology to fish ecology and increased professional skills. The guides will also attend a 3-day field practicum in Montana’s Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Finally, upon completion of the course, guides and outfitters will be credentialed with a G4F certification.

G4F aims to build on the experience that already exists on the water. Guides and outfitters need at least 3 years of experience in order to apply for the program.

Applications must be received by March 25, 2019. The online modules will open up on April 1, culminating in the 3-day practicum May 6-8.

Nicole Qualtieri

Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.