Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Whitey, Mar 18, 2014.
After reading the book "A Good Life Wasted" the bloom was off that rose. I have a good friend who runs an outfitting business in TB's, who we stay/fish with 1-2 times/year, and they work their butts off. I think it would be fun as a part time gig, but would get a bit old for me day after day. I actually encourage guides I fish with (when one on one) to grab a rod and fish... some have and I really don't mind a bit.
If they detail my car...maybe . I have used 20% as a normal tip.
Good to hear what you have to say here. I have to say that I do not agree with the OP. If a young guy or an old guy for that matter has the balls and the gumption to get his name out there and solicit clients, good for him. Let the marketplace work for gawd's sake. Why in the world would anyone discourage a young man who thinks he can get the job done? I say if you are a guide and think you know your craft and you see a guy struggling for whatever reason, take the guy under your wing and pass some of your knowledge on to him. By the way I have never been a guide, but my brother did for over a decade out of one of the shop's in West Yellowstone. He worked his butt off. He would never discourage someone from giving it a go, least of all a young guy with gumption. Nothing to worry about here, the kid gets it together or he moves to a new trade.
I'd agree with this...for every two twenty something guides that don't know anything, I bet there's a 30 or 40 year old out there guiding that is equally ignorant, arrogant or disrespectful of other anglers. Like anything in life, one learns from experience and over rotating in one skill set does not make one guide better than the bunch...while I agree with some of the comments of the OP, most of it seems to be fairly generic comments that don't do justice to all the "kids" out there doing it right way.
I think OP in a idiot and probably never should have started this thread. Who does he think he is?
Doubtful he even guides......
Caddis Festival is May 17 2014 in down town Craig, Mt.
"Beware the advice of the successful - they do not necessarily seek your company".
FSA referenced it, but "A Good Life Wasted" should be a mandatory read for anyone considering taking the plunge.
If you don't read the fine print, guiding may sound like the perfect job for a fly fishing enthusiast. When reality sets in, you realize you're half water taxi, half babysitter.
I guided with Dave Ames (A Good Life Wasted) for many years. He's a good guy and a very funny guy.
Guiding in Montana means a lot of rowing since most is done from drift boats or rafts. It also means long days because in July you're up early tying flies (most outfitters and shops expect the guides to furnish the flies, spare rods, tippet, etc) and on the river by the time the Tricos are coming off at 0630. Many anglers expect to fish the evening Caddis hatch which normally ends an hour after sundown which means you might be on the river until around 2200. Drop off your guys, drive home, wash your boat, take care of lunch stuff, give the wife a kiss, and hit the rack. Repeat every day for 20 - 30 days straight. That's the reality of an A List guide in Montana in July.
Independent contractor guides here use their own rafts and drift boats, vehicles to tow these boats, and the gas to get there and back. The outfitters normally take care of lunches and shuttles. It's illegal for IC guides to solicit anglers independent of an outfitter, so no trips can be legally done without an outfitter in the mix.
So when you write a check to an outfitter for say, $450, know that the guide is getting maybe half to 60% of that. He pays his own insurance, license, CPR/first aid, boat, spare rods, flies, etc. unless your guide is also the outfitter.
I'm posting all this so that when it comes time to tip your guide, you'll have a bigger picture.
The upside, as I mentioned before are the stories, and a great tan . . .
I once wanted to be a guide, having been on a few guided trips. Even got to know one out fitter and did some business trading and went on a trip with him. After that trip I changed my mind. He had hired one guild that was young and allowed to also hunt. He ditched me 1st thing in the morning and shot his elk, never seen him all day. One client got lost 3 times and had to spend hunting time looking for him. The others all wined, no I did enough baby sitting in the Army. Other than that, every trip I have been on has had good guides and been great. A good guide is worth the money, when in a new area or new to fly fishing or other sport. I have learned a lot from them, I will be spending money again later this month to float the Yakama.
So, up WAY early, packing a picnic lunch, cleaning out the boat, rigging up gear, gassing up the truck and driving to the rendezvous. Consult the Ouija board to find the fish. Meet your dude(s) and exchange pleasantries over coffee. Hopefully they know how to fish and aren't assholes. Most know a little and are out to have fun. If it's boyfriend/girlfriend, he's gonna be an expert. Rowing most of the day and trying to get them into casting range. Teaching them to cast more than 20', read water, unhook themselves, not hook you, read water, wade, mend, etc.. Lunch in splendor, unless it's not. It is the hump though. Row hard all afternoon, searching for magic. FINALLY, the ramp, late, and hurray, the shuttle made it ($50). Hope you get that back in tips at least. Say goodbye to your swells, "maybe next time". You're exhausted physically and mentally. Tough work constantly trying to befriend the average Joe, or other. Now, back to the cave and some Top Ramen. Repeat. What's not to like.
In truth, I'm ill equipped to accurately portray the life of the guide. I don't have the patience, but am thankful that some do. Seems like it could ruin a perfectly good passion. My glass is half empty.
I just threw the whole 90 feet of line out! !!!!!!! I'm destined to be a guide. Honey, make some s'amiches, I got people to get over on
Ok, sure I've had plenty of anglers who couldn't cast past the end of my oar blade and plenty who snapped my flies off on their backcast with a "Pop!" and then told me it was my fault because of a faulty knot. But for every one of those I had at least 5 or so very positive days and stories.
First let me say, I turned down every single fly fishing show request. I could find no reason to guide multi-millionaires for free. I had no such hesitation guiding combat wounded soldiers for free, but Mr Over the Hill celebrity on an ESPN Saturday morning fly fishing show? Nope. Not going to happen.
It was a typical Montana summer day. I picked up my anglers - a middle-aged father, Frasier and his young son, Jack. Frasier wanted me to teach his young son to fly fish. He'd had a couple casting lessons and a knot tying class. I took their non-residents license to log them in. Frasier Heston and Jack Heston. Southern California. I looked at him and started to speak. He replied, "Yes, Charlton Heston is my father." I'm thinking "Oh, crap. Rich Hollywood Yuppie and his spoiled Yuppie spawn brat."
Not even close. Frasier was one of the very nicest guys I've ever had in my boat. And Jack? What a great kid. He was excited to learn, polite (nothing but "Yes sir." "No, sir.") and was a joy to be around. Jack gave me a big hug when we left and thanked me over and over.
Wow Trapper. How many guys can say that they guided the son of Moses?
That's funny. I hadn't thought of it that way. If you think of it that way I guided the son of a guy who battled Apes on a futuristic planet.
I told Frasier my two favorite movies his father made were Will Penny and Big Country. I liked Will Penny for several reasons - a great cast with Slim Pickens as the cook (where in the opening scene he smacks Will around with a oatmeal coated cooking spoon), Donald Pleasance, Ben Johnson (the perfect cowboy) and Bruce Durn. I liked the movie because it was more like what I imagined real cowboys would be like. Instead of Will duking it out mano y mano with his antagonizing young cowboy, when the trail drive is over he works the whipper snapper over with a cast iron skillet.
I like Big Country because of the great cast, but also because it wasn't the typical White Hats vs Black Hats Western. Heston wasn't the lead in it, but he did a great job in the film.
As far as tips, ask what they claim on taxes and tip that amount!
Research, filling the truck up, knowing where and when, fishing til dark, washing boat, fishing for everyone else. Many of us with drifters have done this our whole life and never asked for or taken a dime.
They sell guide lic. like candy bars at 7-11 and now there are way to many crowding our rivers. For every good guide not low-holing - being an ass - thinking he owns the river there are just as many bad ones!
I tip between $50 and $100. For guys I know I might bring a bottle of scotch and or cigars! But most would prefer the cash.. Can't spend the former!!
If I tipped scotch two possible things would happen. 1. I'd no longer have a tip by the time the float started. 2. I'd be the guy asking "why is the boat spinning in circles?". I guess those are closely related.
I've always know when and where to fish. I just sucked at doing anything else. But I never ever thought I could do what they do, so I never did. But I can tell you where to go to catch fish.