Being a guide

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Whitey, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Amen to that, Kaari.
    Kaari White likes this.
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  3. Ill say I have never paid for a guide and never will. A: they cost way too damn much money, don't care how good you are. I generally always find fish B: I don't care if you know where the sweet spots are. The fun to me is figuring all that out on my own. No one wants to figure out anything on there own anymore. I would say the exception to that would be if I took a trip out of the country, Argentina etc. but in the northwest. not gonna happen. ANd to be honest most of the guides ive met on rivers in the northwest will fish right through you if your wading like they own the river. that's why ill never fish the Yakima again.
    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  4. I used to think this as well, but there are times when using a guide can help so much and the $$ is worth it to me! My first guided trip was on the Missouri River (Holter Dam down to Craig). Dan Kelly at Wolf Creek Outfitters! I asked him how long we were going to be out on the river, he said about 8 hours.. we were out for 11 hours!! I caught so many fish, I stopped counting at 30.. It was a trico hatch in late July and an absolute blast. I learned so much and it has helped me catch so many fish in the past 12 years. My most memorable catch was up higher on the Missouri, up by the dam up above Holter.. I hit a caddis hatch where I couldn't breathe through my mouth without eating a bug! Fished a little eddie with dries, broke off three fish before I finally hooked and landed a 22" super fat, football sized bow! No camera, no cell phone camera... I can still see it to this day!

    So would I hire a guide? Hell yes, if they are the right guide on the right river and have something to teach me! I consider any trip with a guide an opportunity to learn something, whether it be just learning a new river, some new technique or just hearing some awesome stories and sharing time on the river. I like to offer to have my guide fish with me, but I understand why some don't. I understand that most guides will not be comfortable doing so since they don't want to make their client unhappy... They might hook that big fish that the client should have caught!

    Oh yeah, I have fished with Whitey for a while and highly recommend him! Definitely a class act! And he works with some great guys at Troutwater!!

    Yes, Whitey, I do want your bud light! :)

    Tight lines!!
    dfl, Bob Triggs, Gary Knowels and 2 others like this.
  5. Many, many well written responses above, and I like this one in particular .......... looking back in time. Never was a 'Guide' in the 'pay me' sense but it was a great way to spend a day with a valued business client. One who was, or one I wanted to be that way.

    One of the 'best days' was at a U of Washington football game and it was raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock. This was not going to be good sitting in a hard seat for three hours. Out came my 'inclement weather kit.' Huge plastic bags, small sizers (sp?) and an extra baseball hat(s).

    When we got to the stadium I dressed up in full steelhead fishing gear (sans the rod) and off we go. POURED, AND POURED SOME MORE! Out comes the 'kit,' make a rain suit for the Dad and had the 10 year old Son sit in my lap and wrapped him up under my rain coat. 'Snug as a But in a Rug.' Actually the Dad was fine, plastic bags are a hell of a 'heat keeper' even if they can make y y ou sweat like hell at times ....

    End game was he was the Registered Broker for a leading Real Estate sales firm in the Seattle area ..... we became the 'Lender of Choice' when it came to 'recommendations.' All it took was plastic bags and a bit of fore thought.

    A drift with a Client? Hours of talking about 'Shoes, and Ships, Sealing Wax and Why Cabbages are Kings.' I avoided talking "business" unless they brought up the subject. That's not what most were expecting. Frequently we even caught fish.:) A big bonus. Small Habatchi charcoal cooker, pre-made hamburger patties, trimmings and a few beers (well, did have Scotch/Bourbon on board in the cooler).

    Asked on a couple of occasions: 'Why are you taking me fishing?' Answer was 'I enjoy your company. (Probably both? ... Play on words there.) Now lets change our rigs and see if we can get some better action.'

    Can't think of one who didn't like playing with a box full of 'possibles?'

    Bob Triggs and Whitey like this.
  6. Big fan Trapper. Love your book. I take the wife to Craig every year and we've said hello a few times. We'll be at the caddis festival again this year. It's great that you take the time to come here and share with everyone.

    I love your stories!
  7. Of course I will, bring someone from the shop so we can make it a "work" day. ;)
    flybill likes this.
  8. Take my wife bird hunting with Dr. Todd and I'll be at your mercy.
    Kaari White and flybill like this.
  9. Thank you everyone! I took a bit of a risk saying this, right or wrong, it's hard to put yourself out there. At least for me. If anything, I just hope the younger generation understands I'm not against you, just do it the right way.
    dfl likes this.
  10. Whitey and Cruik, well said by the both of you!!

    Norman - "Paul what do you want to be when you grow up".
    Paul - " A professional fly fisherman".
    Norman- " There is no such thing."
    How times have changed.
    Bob Triggs and flybill like this.

  11. I'm sure as I grow older and the way I enjoy fishing changes due to age or injuries I will completely change my mind. But where I am now in life I can't justify it. Guides are definitely important for flyfishing just not to me. But they keep shops open which I love so pick your poison
  12. Yeah so young guides get your shit figured out cause I'm gonna need you in 20 years
  13. Whitey -- I'm glad you enjoyed my book and stories. I've tried a few other fly fishing forums and this one is the best I've found. When is the Caddis Festival? PM me a photo of yourself, so I can try to find you.

    Irafly, GAT, Bob Triggs and 1 other person like this.
  14. 14 hours a day times 100 plus days on the river. Guiding sick, injured or pissed off.

    I will take that over an office job any day, but by about day 45 straight, I start to question my sanity.
    dfl, Bob Triggs and Luke77 like this.
  15. Reminded me of my old home town - a long time ago.
    They used to have the annual "Cabbage Festival"... complete with the crowning of the Cabbage Queen.

    Guide on, all you old timers!
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  16. Guiding is not all the cake and eat it too that some claim they have, just like teachers don't always work part time and have summers off, both are tough professions and I respect both. Just like the teacher who has a few class clowns I'm sure(and know ;) ) the guide puts up with some real a**holes at times but they remain poised and professional throughout their encounter. Thank you all!
    Irafly and Bob Triggs like this.
  17. I think that it helps if you like people to begin with, that you enjoy their company. This work should be approached as a life long craft, with an endless opportunity for learning. Being a serious conservationist and naturalist will improve your own participation in the game. It would be nice to see more guides getting involved in some of the restoration programs we have in here Washington. People want to learn about the places you are taking them, the natural history and social culture of the region, the wildlife and forests etc., and about the fish too. And if you are studying the history and status of your fishery, you may have to make some well informed but tough decisions, like when and where to fish, and when not to fish. My hat is off to you Whitey.

    There is so much to learn of any fishing environment, and from the people, and your fishing, that one could never really know it all. I have guided some of the wealthiest people you can imagine, people who spend well in excess of $100,000 a year chasing wild trophy trout across the planet. And I have guided some of the hardest working "working stiffs" as well- people who could barely afford a guided day on the water anywhere, and they were delighted to catch any fish at all. I have spent weeks and months in wilderness camps, deep into the most beautiful places on earth, working with some of the best people I ever met, and also with people so boorish and inept that it was a struggle to survive being on the water with them. I have experienced only a few rare instances of guiding anyone who could ruin my day on the water. One of the better head guides that I worked for, at an Alaska lodge, reminded me one September morning as we were loading gear into the float planes at dawn, while the guests were still at breakfast, while most of the rest of Alaska was still sound asleep, while our backs hurt and we were sore all over and end-of-season tired, while we were slipping and sliding on frost covered docks and ramps: "Don't forget that while they are here, every single day is their Opening Day." On more than one occasion, as we met the arriving guest anglers at the airport at the beginning of each week of an Alaska summer, there would be a few people who we weren't so sure that we wanted to spend a week in a float plane and jet boat with. And always we were judging them by the shallowest of details. By the end of the week we were sorry to see them leaving so soon. Some of these people are still my close friends almost 20 years later.

    I think you have to love seeing people try something new, discovering a way to catch fish that they had never tried before, and being happier to see them hook a fish than you would be if you had caught it yourself. You have to like helping people at any level of experience, encouraging the beginners, and biting your tongue with the experts. And always putting them first. I was lucky to work for some good people in the beginning, and their attitude was always that the people who we were guiding were our Guests, not our clients. So a lot of it is your attitude, how you see people and how you want to relate to them. I have learned a great deal from my guests, and some of it was about the fishing.
  18. As a relatively young guide (in terms of age and industry experience), I partially agree with the OP, as well as disagree.
    I fall into the age bracket of the OP's post description, but not necessarily into the skills or personality.
    I grew up as the only person in my family who fished- and still am- and had to teach myself a lot of stuff. I was obsessed with it, and always will be. As a kid, I would watch fishing shows and take notes on everything. I have folders with info about the date of shooting, what gear, what baits and structure they were fishing in the episode- all on bodies of water I'll probably never fish; but as a kid, I thought and dreamed that one day I would and I wanted to be prepared and know everything about it.
    As my angling life progressed, so did the social interactions of those who shared my passion. I've actively pursued this life from recreational and sport angler to industry professional- retail, sales, and guiding- but that's because I can, and feel I should (along with others who know me).

    But there are people who I've met along the way that do the same as me that I feel shouldn't. They're great anglers, incredibly knowledgeable about the resources and bodies of water that they fish. They know the hatches, the dates, water and air temps, and what stretches of the river require you to crawl and kneel.
    But are they a people person? Nope!
    Should they be ambassadors of our sport or lifestyle? Nope. Should they be the first person for someone who's never fished before to meet? Hell no. NO. Never.

    I feel if you're passionate enough about the resource, knowledgeable enough to the level that you can be successful on the water (regardless of fish cooperation) in terms of hosting as well as teaching, and have the people skills to teach and encourage, then if you want to be a guide, then you should try it.

    And as a guide, I've gotten mad at other guides who have the paperwork to guide but none of the actual people and fishing skills to be a guide. I've had lines run over, low-holed, and fish come off because of other guides. And from one professional to another, we should also show that professionalism and share the water. Take wide berths when drifting or passing actively fishing people, or slow down as not to wake.

    Like I said, the OP made some incredibly valid points- many that could have come out of my own mouth, but I don't think age was one of them.

  19. Based on all the reports I've seen that show statistics of retirement savings rates, 90% or more of baby boomers who saw their retirement accounts "tank" didn't have anywhere near enough in them to retire for more than about a year or two to begin with. They were all counting on selling their houses to their children's generation at 1000% markup to finance their retirement, and when it became apparent that that wasn't going to happen, they started blaming everyone else but themselves.
    Lugan, bhudda, Cruik and 1 other person like this.
  20. Question for the guides - What does gratuity look like on a day-float trip? I have my first ever float this weekend on the Yak with an out of town friend and am unsure. I've done trips on charter boats in Hawaii (some good and bad) but am not sure what the going rate is. Appreciate any input.

    - Troy

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