THE MT. WASHINGTON VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HIGHLY RECOMMENDS THE HIRING OF A GUIDE FOR ANY OUTDOOR ADVENTURE THAT LEADS YOU INTO THE WOODS. NOT ONLY WILL YOU BE SUPPORTING THE VALLEY'S LOCAL ECONOMY, WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY MADE UP OF THOSE DEDICATED TO OUTDOOR RECREATION, BUT YOU'LL ALSO BE ENSURING A SUCCESSFUL TRIP THROUGH SAFETY, AND TECHNICAL TRAINING. CLICK THE LINK FOR A LIST OF GUIDING OUTFITTERS.
Randy is the real deal when it comes to fly fishing guiding in the White Mountain National Forest, (WMNF). Not only is he an expert, with over twenty years of experience fly fishing throughout New England, but he’s also a champion for conservation efforts and the ethical use of natural resources.
He is a registered New Hampshire Guide, Federally Accredited Guide Outfitter for the White Mountains, SOLO certified in wilderness medicine, a member of many local organizations dedicated to community development and land conservation, is Vice President of the NH Trout Unlimited, and is a past officer of Saco Valley Trout Unlimited. Randy combines a love of sport with a deep respect for nature, and offers years of expertise in a really fun and engaging way to all his guests.
Wade trips are a great option for the beginner fisher to the intermediate. Those that book the wade excursion can expect to wear a range of minimal gear such as water shoes to wearing a full get-up of waders and boots. Randy will take you to spots on the Saco and Ellis Rivers to enjoy a mild and low-key day of fly-fishing, where new fly fishers learn the fundamentals and rules and regulations of the sport, safety training, and spend part of the day on a wade trip testing out techniques, and hopefully catching some fish.
Fly Fishing 101 is a four to five hour excursion and great for beginners, small groups looking to try something new, and past fly fishers wanting to shake the dust off and regain muscle memory.
More experienced fly fishers, and those looking to deepen their knowledge of fly fishing in the waters of the White Mountains will find a great match in Swift River Ghillie’s “Straight Wade Trips” or “Drift Trips.” These trips are a more technical experience that borders on a fly-fishing intensive, Swift River Ghillie offers half-day and full-day Drift trips, where you’re taken by boat to fishing spots on the Androscoggin or Connecticut River.
Backcountry trips are offered as single-day or overnight excursions where Randy sets up your camp, takes you to some truly hidden gems in the WMNF, and gets you there by inflatable kick-boat. It’s a back-to-basics way to really connect with nature and improve your fly-fishing skills.
Twilight trips are also available, and make a great option for younger kids. This trip lasts roughly two to three hours, and takes place during the early evening when the “hatch window” is at its prime.
Randy takes a “come as you are approach” with each of his clients. His goal is to tailor each guest’s fly fishing experience by asking “what do you want to get out of this?” By narrowing down what each guest is looking to achieve he ensures an experience that leaves each person feeling empowered on the river, and excited to come back for more.
There are many guiding principles that Randy lives by when heading into a river, but instilling a sense of respect for the natural resources of any area that he fly fishes in is definitely at the top of his list.
As a licensed New Hampshire Guide - amongst many other certifications - Randy believes that if he’s going to use the resources made available to him in the White Mountains, then it’s his duty to help protect them in any way he can.
His conservational ethics are a huge part of the equation when it comes to the value of hiring a guide in the White Mountains. The White Mountain National Forest, and everything it encompasses cannot be replaced. Randy’s dedication to continuing his education, supporting local organizations that protect the WMNF, and educating his guests are imperative to ensuring the White Mountains stick around for generations to come.
When you hire a guide, and spend a day with someone like Randy of Swift River Ghillie, you’re ensuring three things:
Support of the Mt. Washington Valley’s local economy - both economic, and outdoor. Not only do you help a local guide’s business prosper, which means dollars back into the valley’s local community; you also ensure programs on a non-profit and state level are able to continue critical work in conservation efforts.
Safety. One of Randy’s biggest pieces of advice for anyone looking to explore the White Mountain National Forest is to “never underestimate where you are.” Mount Washington did not earn the title of “Home of the World’s Worst Weather” for no reason; weather can change on a dime in the WMNF, and so can your circumstances when you’re out on a trail, or out on a river. Enjoy the WMNF, but take it seriously when you’re out there. Guides can ensure this happens by teaching you how to read weather patterns, navigate trail and water systems when digital options fail, and more.
Technical insight and personal anecdotes from a network of guides that have been exploring the White Mountains and gathering expertise for years. Of course we’re all looking to that super secret spot that only locals know of when it comes to hiking, skiing, swimming, or fishing - but here’s the thing, locals know about them, because they’ve invested in the community. One way to find them yourself is to invest in the community as well! By hiring a guide you do just that. Not only will you become better at your chosen sport, but you’ll get to know guides that have been living locally, and will take you to off-the-beaten-path spots in the WMNF - places you won’t find in a brochure or in a blog.
Randy has been fishing since childhood, and his passion as fly fishing guide in the White Mountains is fueled by how technical the sport can be. He spends over 100 days on the water each season improving his craft, and putting his own spin on it. He loves the fusion of the technical expertise and creative license that fly fishing offers, and then sharing that outlet with his guests. People can expect a one-of-a-kind outing with Swift River Ghillie, where your individual goals are at the forefront of each lesson.
His season runs from May to mid-October. Guests looking to plan their 2023 White Mountain fly fishing trip are encouraged to book now! Reservations are filling up already. It’s no wonder why, when you realize the resources and access Randy provides as a guide in the White Mountain National Forest.
For complete trip planning resources and information, explore this site, visitmwv.com,or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk to a Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce rep. To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to www.VisitNH.gov.
When recreating in Mt. Washington Valley, please remember the 7 principles of Leave No Trace, and make the MWV Pledge to yourself, to the locals, and to the upcoming generations that you will help preserve and protect the land so we can all enjoy it for years to come.