We’re thrilled to welcome Stuart Jordan and Ben Roberson, the brains behind the Guide Book Co. mobile app. In a world where finding the perfect fly fishing guide can be as challenging as landing the catch of the day, their app serves as a beacon, connecting passionate anglers with experienced guides.

Today, they’re here to spill the secrets on not just elevating your fly fishing game to new heights but also on how their innovative platform can streamline your journey to finding the ideal guide. So, tune in, as we dive into the essentials of matching with the right guide and making every trip to the water count!

Show Notes with Ben Roberson and Stuart Jordan on Finding a Great Fly Fishing Guide. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Episode Chapters with Ben Roberson and Stuart Jordan on Finding a Great Fly Fishing Guide

2:17 – With roots deeply embedded in the outdoor traditions of Kentucky, Stuart shares how his love for nature was ignited during a childhood hunting trip with his father, under the spectacular display of one of the century’s biggest meteor showers.

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Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/guidebook.co/

4:31 – Growing up in Kentucky as well, Ben’s early experiences with deer hunting and fishing in local lakes and ponds laid the foundation for his lifelong passion. Ben’s journey from exploring fishing as a hobby to guiding others and eventually co-founding the Guide Book Co. app reflects his deep-seated love for fishing and his desire to connect others with the beauty and thrill of the sport.

6:12 – Ben shares how Kentucky’s central location is a goldmine for anglers, offering easy road trips to a dozen or more states packed with top-notch fly fishing spots. Ben also highlights the Cumberland River‘s lesser-known trout fishery as a gem, with its trophy-sized catches just waiting to be discovered.

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Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/guidebook.co/

7:42 – Ben, a guide himself, shares some real talk about the struggles he faced—like missing bookings while out on the river, dealing with payment hassles, and the final straw, not having a place for a client to leave a review. These bumps led him and Stuart to brainstorm a fix for these common guide woes.

11:44 – Ben and Stuart tell us what sets Guide Book Co. apart. One of which is they’re not about hefty fees or underhanded tactics; instead, they reinvest a portion of their earnings into marketing to help guides gain visibility. This approach not only supports guides in managing the nitty-gritty of business but also connects them with clients eager for their next outdoor adventure, ensuring a win-win for everyone involved.

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16:15 – They share their approach to selecting guides for their platform. Their selection process is personal and thorough, ensuring each guide’s profile is a true reflection of their expertise and passion. This hands-on approach guarantees that Guide Book’s community of guides is top-notch, providing anglers with unforgettable fishing experiences.

28:15 – We dove into how they tackle online reviews and guide selection. Unlike the typical star-rating system, Guide Book opts for a more nuanced approach, asking clients to answer specific questions about their experience. They emphasize the importance of good guides rising to the top based on merit, not payment for better visibility.


36:55 – Ben highlights some of Kentucky’s prime fishing spots, emphasizing the Cumberland River and notable lakes like Green River Lake and Lake Cumberland, famous for bass, striper, catfish, and the prized bluegill.

For those seeking more information on these waters, Ben recommends the Bluegrass Trout Unlimited chapter, the Department of Fish and Wildlife website, and Kentucky Afield’s YouTube channel. Additionally, he suggests the OnWater app for exploring waterways, public lands, and access points, making it easier for anglers to discover new fishing spots in Kentucky.

40:18 – Stuart and Ben share some must-do Kentucky experiences, blending the state’s renowned bourbon culture with its rich fly fishing opportunities. Ben adds that Kentucky is home to all the big names in bourbon, like Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace, emphasizing that true bourbon comes from Kentucky.

Photo via: https://www.instagram.com/woodfordreserve

42:15 – They discuss their vision for expanding their guide service across the United States, highlighting current hotspots in Florida, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southeast, thanks to a partnership with Southern Culture on the Fly. They’re keen on offering nationwide coverage and welcome feedback from fly anglers everywhere.

44:20 – We talk about the etiquette of tipping fishing guides, and Ben shares his insights, emphasizing the significance of gratuities in the guiding industry. Guide Book has integrated a feature for tipping in its trip completion process, offering suggested amounts and the convenience of tipping directly through the platform.

47:00 – Stuart reveals his current favorite for smallmouth bass fishing in Kentucky: the crawfish pattern, which he recommends for its effectiveness. Ben, on the other hand, leans towards trout fishing on the Cumberland River, praising the frenchie as his go-to fly due to its versatility and appeal to rainbow trout.

49:30 – We go into a candid discussion on personal vices and overcoming them.

53:02 – On their road trips, Ben and Stuart have unique preferences for keeping themselves engaged. Ben, a literature major with a master’s degree in the field, prefers to immerse himself in audiobooks, making the most of his travel time by listening to literature through apps like Audible. Stuart, on the other hand, leans towards podcasts, specifically highlighting “Hardcore History” with Dan Carlin as his favorite, especially for long drives.

You can find Guide Book on Instagram @GuideBook.Co.

Facebook at Guide Book

YouTube @GuideBookCo

Visit their website at GuideBookCo.com.

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Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

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Conclusion with Ben Roberson and Stuart Jordan on Finding a Great Fly Fishing Guide

Through Ben and Stuart’s shared stories, it’s clear they’ve built something special to address the real challenges anglers and guides face. Their platform not only simplifies finding and booking guides but also fosters genuine connections and learning opportunities within the fishing community. Their dedication to improving the guiding experience, and ensuring safety, respect, and environmental consciousness, resonates deeply. It’s evident that Guide Book Co. is more than just a service; it’s a community-driven project aimed at enhancing the fishing experience for guides and anglers alike.