What is included in the cost of a guide trip?

The trip cost is for one or two anglers and includes all required fishing tackle and lures, ice and drinking water, instruction, digital photos, and boat fuel and oil. Trip length is “dock to dock” and does not include launch time, etc. A third angler is an additional $50. All trips are strictly “catch and release” of all species.

Which Fishful Thinker guide will I fish with?

Dan Swanson and Ronny Castiglioni handle the bulk of the guiding. Both are professional, courteous, and very skilled at what they do. Former professional walleye tournament angler Dan is more relaxed with a broader knowledge of traditional walleye fishing tactics. Ronny is a fast-paced reaction bite specialist with extensive Horsetooth Reservoir knowledge. Both will focus on your education.

Chad’s filming and media responsibilities keep him from guiding as much these days. He tries to accommodate requests, but a full schedule limits his time.

Please contact us ahead of time before purchasing a trip to arrange the appropriate guide for your goals!

What kind of fishing can I expect?

Our fishing is done by casting artificial baits or flies. Dan does some trolling as well. We don’t use live/dead bait. We fish for bass, walleyes, and trout as the seasons allow, and the focus is on teaching you to catch fish while having a great time in the boat.

What kind of equipment can I expect to use?

We have all late model top quality tackle including St. Croix rods, Abu Garcia reels, and Berkley lines and soft baits. Fishing is done in one of our newer boats, including Chad, Dan’s or Ronny’s Evinrude powered Rangers (Z521, 620  or Z185 respectively). All are equipped with Lowrance HDS electronics.

What do I need to bring?

Appropriate clothing, including inclement weather gear, is a must. Please do not underestimate Colorado weather! A brimmed hat and polarized sunglasses are strongly recommended. Anglers must posses a valid Colorado fishing license. A good attitude is required!

What can I bring if I’d like?

Anglers can bring light snacks or lunch appropriate for boating (ice and small cooler provided as noted above). You may use your tackle if it’s appropriate for the conditions, though we recommend you use ours. Please let us know ahead of time if you’d prefer to use your own. Feel free to bring a camera, note pad, or lake map. Our insurance prohibits alcoholic beverages on the boat.

What if I cancel my reservation?

We will return your deposit if you cancel by phone at least 7 days prior to the scheduled trip. Deposits will be returned on trips cancelled with less than 7 days notice if the scheduled day is rebooked (we try to accommodate). If we are unable to rebook, the deposit will be forfeited. “No shows” will forfeit the deposit and be billed for the full scheduled time.

What if the weather gets bad?

Prior to launch, trips will be rebooked or deposits refunded if the weather becomes unsafe or unfishable at our discretion. If weather becomes unfishable or unsafe in our discretion during the outing, we will prorate the fee based on actual fishing time. Again, please dress appropriately and don’t underestimate Colorado weather! We try to be as flexible and realistic as possible with regards to weather, scheduling, and time on the water and ask that you do the same.

What if we don’t catch any fish? (We despise this question but everyone asks!)

We work very hard to put every angler on fish, but occasionally we have “one of those days” and the fish don’t cooperate. If our anglers fail to catch a fish, we will book a second outing within 12 months at half price.

Gift Certificate Details

Due to variability in yearly fees beyond our control, all trips and gift certificates purchased are good ONLY during the calendar year they are purchased and cannot be carried over to the following year.