August 12, 1990, changed my life. Dressed in neoprene waders and a fishing vest loaded with flies, I accompanied two anglers on the frigid waters of the Frying Pan River in Colorado and provided them the opportunity to catch trout on a fly rod, and I got paid! So began this magnificent odyssey of fulfilling my dream as a fly fishing guide. Over twenty years later the passion still flows through my veins with a vigor that is relentless and innovative. My heart thumps when a client hooks into a fish, and “set, set, set, set” will always be part of my vocabulary. Fly fishing is my life and guiding is my career. Each day I look forward to going to work, seeing old friends, and creating new memories. I look forward to seeing you out on the water!
                                      Fish Hard, Captain Mike Costello



2014 marks my 25th Year as a professional fly fishing guide. 5500 trips ago, back in 1990, I was just getting started and I didn’t quite know where this magnificent journey would take me. Today I still wake with same passion that has been burning inside my since I was a young child. I love fish and their environments, and I hope to spend the rest of my life catching them and teaching others the magic and mystery of fly fishing.


2014 Fishing and Product News

My latest book, "Where A Trout Calls Home” is now available at selected fly shops throughout California as well as on Amazon. The children’s book is also available in e-book form on both I-Books and Kindle.

This past year I added a new boat to my guiding fleet, trading in my Hyde drift boat for a bigger, more comfortable 17ft. Pavati Legacy drift boat. With padded knee braces, comfortable high back chairs with arm rest, and side doors to get in and out, I am planning ahead for the golden years for me and my clients.

Guiding 260 days a year would not be possible with out the support from equipment sponsors, Simms Fishing Products, Loomis Fly Rods, Abel Fly Reels, Air Flo Lines, Seaguar Leader Material, and Oakley Glasses help my clients and I catch more fish and look good doing it.




Looking back on the past year I would say it was a very productive and informative. Starting with the California Delta, my clients and I saw an slight improvement on double digit fish and I personally caught my largest striper to date, a huge 35 to 40 lb. specimen that I managed to subdue last February, only to have it come off my 30 lb. boga grip after it pegged it to the very bottom of the scale, and then descend back into the murky water without so much as picture of a goodbye. In 2013 we targeted stripers 212 days landing 2676 fish over 18 inches for an overall 13 fish a day average. We finished with 65 linesiders over 10 lbs. up from 2012 but still a long way from the glory years of big fish from 2003 to 2008.

The smallmouth bass fishing was exceptional last summer in the North Delta with some quality 2 to 4 lb. fish being caught. We also had some afternoons that produced upwards of fifty fish.

Our local valley rivers had low flows for most of the summer but that was actually a blessing. My clients had incredible fishing on the Lower Stanislaus River drifting from Knights Ferry down to Oakdale. This year is was all about fishing a hopper / dropper combo, and it resulted in many 40 fish days and even one day where we landed over 50 wild rainbows up to 21 inches. We also subdued some quality stripers on clousers in the crystal clear river. The Mokelumne River below Comanche Dam also produced some great days fishing the dry / dropper combination.

A little further north, the Lower Sacramento River fished excellent and the hot fly combination was size 6 Fat Albert with my tungsten birds-nest as a dropper nymph. Using 5wt rods, we had some memorable days in the lower river between Jelly Ferry and Red Bluff landing feisty wild rainbows up to 22 inches. In mid-September the King Salmon started dropping eggs and the bead bite was going strong from the Posse Grounds to Anderson.


Fish Hard, Captain Mike Costello





Below are some recent photos:

Fish Hard, Captain Mike Costello


Mike is the Author of
"Fly Fishing the California Delta"
and the new children's book
"Where a Trout Calls Home"

Buy them now at your local fly fishing pro shop, Amazon or download them on I-Books or Kindle.






Here is a list of stores that are carrying my books:


The Fly Shop



American Fly Fishing Company

Bob Marriott's Fly Fishing Store

Caddis Fly Angling Shop

California Fly Shop

Fishermen's Spot

Fly Fishing Specialties

Kiene's Fly Shop


Check Out These Short Videos:

Delta Top Water Catch

Landing the Big One


I love to read, especially books related to the outdoors and fly fishing, so I wanted to share some my favorite books with my friends.


1) A River Never Sleeps (Roderick Haig-Brown)
2) Trout Bum (John Gierach)
3) Trout Madness (Robert Traver)
4) The River Why (David James Duncan)
5) The Earth Is Enough (Harry Middleton)

And, the book every trout fishermen should own: In the Ring of the Rise by Vincent Marinaro.



   I have had the pleasure of fishing the Loomis NRX 9 ft. 9 wt. prototype for the past year and my clients and I agree, it is one of the best fly rods ever designed.

   20 % lighter and stronger than the GLX Cross Current, this rod has handled some huge linesiders over the last 12 months and its performance has been nothing short of perfect.

   I am pleased to announce that the NRX is now available to the angling community from 3 wt. to 12 wt and should be on everyone's wish list.

Product Review: The winter has been miserable this year but what allowed me to guide day in and day out in such adverse conditions was the new Simms Extreme Rain Suit. The bibs and jacket left me dry and comfortable and even though the fish were not always eating, my equipment help me fish longer and harder.

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