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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Raftas

New Beginnings: Wild East Outfitters

Updated: Jun 5, 2018

Nick Raftas

As some of you may know I have been guiding since 2011 under the banner of Sky Blue Outfitters. In 2013 I walked away from a teaching career and decided to pursue the guiding lifestyle as it is something that I enjoy immensely. SHHHHHHHHH! Don't tell anybody but one of the main reasons I got into teaching was so I could get summers off and pursue my piscatorial pursuits a little more fervently. What's not to like about being outdoors in the fresh air, on the water and doing something you love? Let me just clarify that guiding does not mean I get to fish more. If anything I get to fish a lot less often.

A guide, if they are doing it right should have very little time to fish. When I am not guiding, my down time is spent preparing lunches, rigging rods, tying flies, tying leaders, cleaning boats, working on trailers, making boat repairs, emailing clients, updating social media, sending out stream reports etc.... there is no time to fish. If we do find time to fish it is usually on a day that we have a cancellation due to inclement weather or the rare time that someone just has to cancel a trip due to extenuating circumstances. I just need to be around fishing. It's in my blood. A lot of people want to isn't always glamorous. I won't get into details here but I have plenty of stories... feel free to ask me about them.

Over the years I've supported Trout Unlimited Functions by providing presentations, I've donated countless trips to local Trout Unlimited Clubs for fundraising purposes, I've attended shows and I've done my very best to set myself apart from other guides in the state by offering some unique angling opportunities to a wide array of people. I've done all of this because I wanted to elevate the guide outfit I worked with which later became a TU Gold Level Business, because I love fishing, because I love guiding, and because I believe in conservation. There is no corporate fund, trust fund or petty cash fund that supported any of this.

As I've become busier with guiding and business has continued to grow it has become more and more evident that I would need to create my own guide service. I am looking forward to continuing to provide top shelf fly fishing guide services on the Susquehanna River, Juniata River and the Lehigh River and countless other streams. Not only will Wild East Outfitters offer fly fishing guide services on the Lehigh, Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers we offer fly fishing guide services on the Tulpehocken, Bushkill, Little Lehigh, Brandywine River, Pickering Creek, Monocacy, Saucon, Brodhead, Pohopoco Creek, Hickory Run State Park, Lehigh Gorge State Park, Penn's Creek, Spring Creek, Big Spring Creek, Letort Spring Run, Yellow Breeches, Clarks Creek and more. As a guide service we will cover a lot of different rivers so keep us in mind if you have some fishing adventures you are planning. We would love to accompany you on the water!

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