You don't have to spend, as I have, twenty years of day trips in a McKenzie boat with Michael Padua to sense how much he loves the river, how mindful he is of every nuance of its management (not to mention its management of us), how close his affection is for everything from its blue herons to its hummingbirds, and how he seems to know the home addresses of all the bald eagles between Hancock and Port Jervis. Have I mentioned fish? He can see them in the water with a skill that takes the breath away — my breath, at any rate, because I can't see them. With the whole spectrum of lures from dry flies to scented-plastic worms, he knows where and how to interrupt the fishes' busy days, and how to help you improve your techniques for doing so. The guy loves his work. He is exceptionally good at it, as is his son, Evan. - John McPhee, Princeton, NJ
“My boys’ first experiences on the River were with Mike and Sweetwater Guide Service. From the very first trips, they acquired such a love of the River. They never came back without fish and new tales to tell of how they caught them. Waiting on the banks of the Delaware at our pick-up spot, I loved hearing the laughter coming down the River and seeing the smiles on their faces as they pulled the boat up on the shore and started showing off their catch. Those are memories we still talk about and treasure.” Joanie Stein, Hankins, NY
I've been fishing on the Delaware since I was a kid, at no time have I had more success catching all varieties of Game Fish then the day I took a guided trip with Mike and Evan of Sweetwater Guides. These guys KNOW where the fish are and they know the entire river like the back of their hand; not to mention that the lunch and snacks they provide on full-day trips always hit the "Spot" too. I fish on my own some, but I wouldn't use any other guide service anywhere on the river, I book several trips a year, every year, with Mike and Evan the Sweetwater Guides. - Frank Atkins, Narrowsburg, NY
I have booked trips with Sweetwater Guide Service since 2010, and every trip has been exceptional. Mike's attention to clients of all skill levels, and his ability to find quality fish on one of the most picturesque rivers in the country is what keeps me coming back ever year. Sweetwater Guide Service is second to none on the Delaware River! - Craig Norris, Eatontown, NJ
I have been guided by Mike Padua of Sweetwater guide service for over 20 yrs. His knowledge of the Delaware River and its tributaries is truly extraordinary. I have ALWAYS enjoyed my days on the river with Mike and Evan. They always find fish and feed me too! Their experience with fly and spin fishing from spring through early winter is the best available. I am looking forward with great anticipation to my 2015 trips down the Delaware. - Peter Larkin, Warwick NY
I’ve been fishing the Catskills for many years, and in my experience, Sweetwater is simply the best guide service on the upper Delaware. Mike and Evan know the water and the fish on both Branches and the Mainstem inside and out, and are reliable, positive people who are a pleasure to fish with. You can’t do better than these guys. - Bruce Safford, New York, NY
Over the last 12 years, I've used Sweetwater Guide Service several times. They are responsible for my personal record brown trout AND walleye: What differentiates Sweetwater Guide is simple: They have that "extra sense"--the right lure in the right place at the right time! -Greg Hull, Mt. Pleasant, SC
If you have plans to fish the Upper Delaware River this summer for Shad, Trout, Smallmouth Bass, or perhaps Walleyes or Muskies, don't do it without making careful plans. Your plans should include hiring a notable fishing guide. I like to fish with Sweetwater Guide Service. Their two guides, Michael Padua and son Evan Padua will make your fishing day enjoyable and successful. I am an expert fisherman and book my trips with Sweetwater Guide Service whenever I need a guide. I always catch plenty of Shad and Smallmouth bass. - John Punola, Madison, NJ, Outdoor Writer
For the past 20 years, my father and I have been fortunate enough to be regular sports of Michael Padua, often booking a few trips annually. During the past two decades, there are several things that have stood out to me that I believe allow Mike to be one of the very best guides I have ever spent a fishing trip with. Firstly, Mike still has the same enthusiasm for fishing and guiding that he did the day we first went fishing with him as he began his career as a guide. Mike’s love of fishing is obvious is only equaled by his love for guiding as he offers tips on tackle, bait, and presentation. Furthermore, he works endlessly to position you in the best possible location to hook into your aquatic target.
Something, else that struck my father and I was that a fishing trip with Mike is not just a fishing trip. The hours with Mike drift by as he regaled us with fishing tales and local history alike. Mike’s knowledge of the local community and the waters on which he guides is as extensive as it is impressive. Equally important to me, as it should be for all outdoorsman, are Mike’s stances on conservation, nay preservation. Mike clearly understands the importance of responsible conservation for local ecosystems and the community at large. I can honestly say I was thrilled when Mike informed me, prior to a trout fishing trip one April, that all trout caught will be photographed and released to protect the integrity of this pristine fishery.
Thirdly, my father and I are regularly amazed by the fact that vast majority of Mike’s business seems to be generated by word of mouth and sustained by repeat business. There is an expression that a fishing guide is only as good as his last trip; the quality of Sweetwater Guide Service has kept my father and I coming back for two decades worth of floats, stories, laughs, cherished memories, and yes, more than a few boated fish. We hope to have many more years of tight lines with Mike and were excited to hear that his son Evan has joined his father to help make your fishing experience one that you will not forget. While we have not yet had the pleasure of fishing with Evan, he has shown himself to be a fine young man who clearly shares his father’s passion for guiding. I am sure that Sweetwater Guide Service will continue to represent the apex of freshwater fishing guides for many years to come. - Gary Maerz, Westbury, NY
I’ve been fishing with Michael Padua for more than a decade. That’s ten happy years of “Fish on!” and “Rule No. 1: Do Not Hook the Guide” and “You shoulda been here yesterday” -- all part of the Sweetwater Guide Service charm. . . . Evan Padua, on top of everything his old man taught him, is a homegrown Upper Delaware River natural. Drifting in either of their boats, there’s no such thing as an unsatisfying day on the river. - Mark Singer, New York, NY
"In over 50 years of fishing, I have had the opportunity to be on the water with numerous professional guides. Sweetwater Guide Service has reached the very apex of the craft. They are able to accommodate the serious fly fisherman, as well as the family-oriented trip that includes spinning equipment as well as live bait. Their knowledge of the river and its nuances, along with the mythology of the local landscape, is truly remarkable. I have caught 6 species of fish in one afternoon, and enjoyed stories of previous fishing trips by renowned anglers from all over the country. This is a top-rate, professional operation. Feel free to contact me for a personal reference. - Dr. William Moore, Cincinnati, Ohio
These are REAL stories from REAL people, Thank you for your kind words and support over the years. " We'll find em', You wind em "