Hello, and welcome to Misty Mountains Guiding Service!
As this is the first post on this page, I wanted to take some time to introduce myself and explain what this is all about!
My name is Michael Collins. I’m 29 years old and have been a fly fisherman for over 20 years. I’m what some would call “obsessed” with fishing. I live, eat, and breath it. A few years ago, after seeing a need in the area, I started looking at what it would take to be a fly fishing guide.
Over the next couple years, I started to focus hard on what it would take: Countless fishing trips on streams that I intended on guiding one day, learning every technique that I could to be successful, and most importantly, focusing on how to teach fly fishing.
With the help of some good and willing friends, I was given the opportunity to learn how to teach. I knew I was ready when I took my wife out to a technical trout creek, with zero experience, and put her on some trout! Now sure, catching fish is fun, but to see someone get their first wild trout, or their biggest trout, or even just catch a ton of fish, is truly special! It’s not always about the fish we catch, but the experiences and memories we make.
That’s why I decided to follow through with my goal. I want to take you to a beautiful place, to catch a beautiful fish, and make some memories that last a lifetime!
So, why the name Misty Mountains Guiding Service?
I’m from Jefferson City, Missouri, which lies on the northern edge on the Ozark Mountains. When I go down to the trout waters of Missouri, I always have to drive down south, deeper into the Ozarks. It never seems to fail that on my way down, the sun starts to poke out, and fog and mist begins to blanket the valleys. It’s a feeling that I can’t seem to shake when I see that. It’s like the landscape is telling me that no matter what happens, it’s going to be a good day of fishing.
Not much! I will supply most everything you need, however you will need to come somewhat prepared. Below is a list of things you will want to consider: Your own waders. In the summer months, I like to promote wet wading, but if it’s going to be moderate temps at all, I highly recommend waders. Clothes that are quick dry, and are appropriate to the conditions. Missouri has weather that is unpredictable. It can be sunny and 80 one minute, and 40 with rain 20 minutes later. Camera. I try and get as many pictures as I can, and share them all with clients. With that being said, its never a bad thing to have your own! You are more than welcome to bring your own gear. Rods, flies, tools, etc. With that being said, I will be providing all necessary equipment to get a fish on the end of your line! You will need to provide any sunscreen, bug spray, or polarized glasses. (I have glasses that I can loan to you, but don’t count on that.) Proper shoes if wet wading.
Bear this in mind, we will be in the Ozarks. It’s not the Rockies or anything, but it’s still very steep, slick, remote, and wet! We will talk about your physical capabilities before your trip and find out what suits you best. On wading trips, expect to walk a minimum of a couple miles. As always, there are exceptions to that.
It really depends on what you want to catch, and how you want to catch it, and if nature wants to cooperate.
No. Remember, this is fishing, and not catching. Let’s put it this way, I guide places where the chances of getting into fish are good enough that I’m willing to bet my clients happiness. I want nothing more than to see you catch fish and have a great time. With that being said, sometimes it doesn’t work out. If you get skunked due to environmental conditions, we will talk about options then. To put you at ease, I can count on one hand, how many times I’ve ever had a client get skunked. Some of these places are tough, but trust me when I say, there’s fish there!
Why yes I do! I actually prefer to do my trout fishing in the winter. There’s less fishing pressure. The water temps are more consistent, and best of all, there aren’t as many leaves for you to catch on your back cast! I prefer to do the Smallmouth fishing in the warmer months, but I’ll tell ya, sometimes those winter smallies can be very exciting!
Yes! I don’t keep selling stock on hand (except for some select patterns), but if you are interested in something, I can tie them to order.
As long as I can legally guide there, yes! I like learning new water and am always down to explore!
At this time, I am willing to take a maximum of 2 people. My boat is plenty big, but has a weight cap, so that is to be considered. Besides that, with more than 2 people, it becomes hard to give everyone the same amount of attention.
Yes. This is my favorite kind of trip! I love teaching, and nothing gets me more excited than a newbie catching their first fish on a fly! If this is what you are looking at doing, I recommend that you do a 2 hour lesson the day or week before. This is to save you time, money and frustration. You don’t want to be the one out there learning how to cast, while paying a guide rate to fish!
Yes! I have all gear needed to have a great overnight fishing experience! Get ahold of me and we can work out details and come up with a price!
Rain outs happen. Sometimes it's not even the rain, but the flood waters that come after. If your trip is in jeopardy due to natural events, I will happily reschedule you for a different day, or fishery.
Yes, BUT, I highly suggest that we practice catch and release tactics. I generally won't have any equipment to keep fish fresh, and properly process them.