I have never hired a guide but thought about it when I first got started. My dad flyfished when I was very young about 5 to 10 years old. Then we fished the warmer lakes of East TN, mostly trolling for Walleye and stripers and whatever would hit.
Then in my early thirties my stepdad gave me ###mart rod and we went after the blue gill like there was no tomorrow!
I tried it in the park after tiring of catching the gills so easily and could not make it cast well enough to put the fly on the spot. After about six months I bought a Penn rod no. 4, 7ft. and Orvis reel. Caught my first trout in the park the first time I tried it. Needless to say from there on I was hooked.