Profile: Ben Rioux

Hometown?

Fort Kent

College Attended?

The University of Maine

Degree received?

BS in Secondary Education and a BA in History

Occupation?

Marketing Manager for Daigle and Houghton Inc. and Libby Camps and a Registered Maine Guide

Instagram?

@maineflycastings

How did you become a Maine Guide?

I loved fly fishing and I thought it would be great to be a fly fishing guide. I had to apply and send them money of course, then I received my testing date. The guide test is three separate parts, there is a 100 question written test on the laws of the state of Maine, safety, and fishing information. After the written test you do a map and compass test. The written, map, and compass tests are the hardest and that'swhere most people fail. Thankfully I didn’t! After that, you have an oral test with two game wardens where you go over different scenarios. They want to make sure you can make common sense choices so you don't get anyone killed.

Why did you want to be a Maine Guide?

The money is wicked good honestly. I just really liked fly fishing and wanted to be able to show other people what I know and the different spots I fish at. I get to meet people from all over who share the same passion as me. As much as it is about fishing, it 's a job and it's a lot of work.

Why do you think Maine Guides are important?

I think Maine Guides are important because it is a part of our history and what gave Maine its name. Back in the day wealthy businessmen were coming to Maine from out of the state to hunt, fish, and escape everyday life which you can still to do this day. You can go up to a camp, explore, hunt, fish and do what people have been doing for hundreds of years. It's important to show people you can enjoy nature and escape the busy aspects of life. If you can teach someone to appreciate nature, the fish, and where they live, they'll be more likely to vote to protect those things and in turn keep Maine pristine.

How does guiding help the economy?

It is absolutely important to the economy, especially in the northern part of the state in The County. Without bear hunting, moose hunting, and fishing so many would be without a job. It is important in Maine because some of our remote parts can be intimidating, with this people have the option to hire a guide to take them through the complicated trails and road systems.

Why is guiding in Maine different from other places?

I would say access, it is very easy for someone from the general public to go out in the wilderness and there are so many different places to experience the outdoors. We have a lot of private land in the northern part of the state that people pretty much have free range in the wilderness. We have people come to spend a week in the wilderness and there are not a lot of places you can do that anymore. We get the four seasons and everything. You could spend five days at a hunting camp and have completely different days during every one of them. Maine is just a dynamic state with a lot of variety, thats what makes Maine special and why I love being a guide.