Terry Johnson – Guide

How long have you been guiding?
2018 will be my 22nd season guiding on the Bow River.


Why and how did you get started in guiding?
I had a friend that was a guide on the river and he would take me fishing all the time. When he sold his company he wanted me to buy it but I didn’t think I was ready. A couple of years later I started Reel Adventure Guide Service when he told me that there was a new shop opening in town and they might be looking for new guides.

Are you a fly tier?
Yes. It just seemed to be the next logical thing to do once you get in to Fly Fishing.

Favorite pattern(s)?
Anything Salt Water related is what I really enjoy.

What do you row? Why?
I have always rowed a Hyde Drift Boat. I have the XL edition…. I like the way this one rows.

Favorite fishing technique?
Personally: Sight fishing to big noses with big or small flies.
With Clients: Same. Sight fishing to rising fish.

Do you prefer guiding experienced anglers or beginners?
It doesn’t really matter. I like to watch people catch fish almost as much as I like catching fish myself.

Your strengths as a guide?
Some would say patience but my four boys would beg to differ. I find it very rewarding to help someone who has never fished before and watch them catch their first fish, or someone that has fished for years and catches their fish of a life time on the Bow River. I love pulling the boat back up a good run two, three or four times to get another chance at the fish. I will keep pulling them up as long as we are hooking fish. I hate leaving fish to find fish.

What do you do to add to the experience on a slow(er) day?
I will ask a few questions and see what their interest are besides fishing. We will talk bugs, old fish stories, even the weather, but I hate talking politics.

Favorite guide-related memory?
Every time I go out with Donald and Bert (two old friends) there always seems to be a story to tell. Even if the fishing is slow we always have a great time. Somehow they seem to have a nac for finding the big fish.

Embarrassing anecdote (something that happened while guiding)?
It’s never good when you forget to call your shuttle in.

This is seasonal work…. What do you do in the off-season?
I work at the shop (Fish Tales)

Given the opportunity who would you choose to fish with? Or someone who has inspired you as an angler/tier/teacher/guide.
1. Ross Purnell, He is the one that really got me in to fly fishing.
2. Simon Gawesworth would be fun to spend a day with.
3. Any of the guides that work at the shop. It’s always nice to go on a busmen’s holiday.


Back to Guiding  |  Terry Johnson  |  Mike Venhuis  |  Douglas Pippus  |  John Roggensack

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