Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Thomas Williams, Jun 27, 2012.
Bitterroot, a good guide can become a very good long time friend.
That price you quote - $350 - $450 - is typically for two people. Share the cost with a friend. As for being over-priced, the objective measure of that would be the free market place of willing buyers and willing sellers. So apparently guide services are not over-priced. Guides I know depend on their wife's job for benefits like health insurance coverage. Guiding is a pretty marginal occupation for most.
It's alot of money if all you're paying for is someone to row you around in their boat.
That's not the reason I hire a guide; I hire a guide because they have a level of expertise that I don't have and I want to learn something from them. I do at least a couple of guided trips a year, and I have learned something from every guide I've used. I haven't felt like I over paid a single time.
Fair enough. I guess that would be the best of both worlds. I'm fortunate to have fishing buddies that are much more knowledgeable than me and that's a win/win situation as well.
On that one or two times a year I can afford a guide I ask around, do research, and hire the best guides I can find. I have never regretted hiring a guide. I've had guides teach me more about a river in a day than I could learn in a decade on my own. I've had guides show me fish where I KNEW there weren't fish. Learning on your own is part of the adventure but there are times when having a guide is priceless.
The OP said $350-450 a person! I would agree 350 to 450 for the boat would be normal for two people to split. $350 to $450 A PERSON is insane no matter how you look at it - IMHO - They would not last long in the portland vancouver area. but with some 7 million people in the seattle area and so few fish I guess these prices are awesome.
I knew I would spark a controversy! Outstanding, I love it. So riddle me this. A guide using the same boat driving the same truck fishing for steelhead and salmon charge $120-$180 per day. Ive seen as low as $100. Yet some how using a fly rod increases the cost by $250-$300. Plus not every guide bases there rates on double occupany. Many do per person and ive seen double occupancy rates up to $500. I also think you guys are off while quoting daily expenses like 20$ for lunch and 50$ for insurance. Thats not a per day expense. You can pull a boat with a $3000 pickup just as easily as a $20,000 truck. Because you decided to buy an expensive vehicle is not justification. like I stated earlier yes there are times when a good guide would be worth every penny( Once in a lifetime trip or a few times a year with a good friend) etc. In fact I learned a lot about fishing for steelhead that I wouldnt have if I had not hired a guide. A true and experienced guide is worth the money. A hired rower is worthless. And by the way if anyone wants to split expenses on a fishing trip with their boat. I am more than willing and able to row my share.
Thomas-I just Googled Salmon guides in WA and the first three were $350, $400 and $400 for two anglers for a day. So maybe $50-$100 more to fish the Yak with a guide. If you have ever fished for salmon in a river with conventional gear, (like pulling plugs) it is a lot less labor intensive than what a fly fishing guide does, but like someone else said, it is a market set rate, and maybe fly fishers are more willing or able to spend the money. I do know that the shop or outfitter gets 1/2 of the fee and the guide the other half, out of that they buy lunch, usually provide flies, have nice fairly expensive fly rods for clients to use, own and maintain their drift boat, and pay for the rest of their overhead, so none of them are getting fat on this. I've also paid a lot more than this for guided salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska. Rick
Alaska I can understand. Its hard to beat that type of quality. However I can name at least 5 reputable guides who will quote you $150 or under without a 2 person minimum to chase salmon and steelhead sun up to sun down on the OP. Bring your own lunch!
If it such a lucrative market why doesn't the OP get into this overpriced gig. At his suggested price of a hundred bucks a day, even I will be lined up for a week on the Clearwater, a week on the Yak and another week over on the peninsula. I prefer Sage or Winston Rods and Abel or Sarricione reels. Tho in desperation I have been known to use pre WW 2 Hardys and modern Bougles. Waiting for the PM to confirm dates.
You should probably just hire those guys then.
Please list them so we know who to call.
Maybe it's a built in whiny-client fee.
You know, how we all pay higher car insurance rates because of wreckless drivers.
I need their names! If only one guy goes, sun up to sun down is at least 12 hours. He will pay for a shuttle (or maybe have a buddy do that), still $15-20. He will burn $10-30 dollars of gas depending on the river and how far it is from his house. He has insurance, boat cost and maintenance, so lets say he nets $100. So he is making a little over $8 per hour-just about minimum wage! You figure days when the river is blown, or he is snowed out, and your reputable guide is probably on food stamps! Rick
Obviously some of the gear boats can fit more customers so there's some economy of scale that probably results in lower prices. If you want a top notch Fly Fishing guide all to yourself you're going to pay more than if you share a jet sled with four other guys.
How about this? Tell me what you do for a living and how much you make. Id like to critique the fairness of your wage/salary vs. the value of what you do. That's legit, right? Its guys like you that I dread ending up in my boat. Go make it happen. Guides are wealthy, single, dirt bags that exploit poor flyfishermen.
Hell, If you've got it-spend it! If not just don't go. I have always dreamed of winning the lottery so I could take all my buddies on a big-assed guide trip.......but wait----I only have 2 buddies-I could do that now!
In the market for new buddies?
It was probably 20 years ago and while I had some fair success fly fishing still waters, my wife and I decided to make a trip in our camper to fly fishing heaven. After being skunked on the Bitterroot, Rock Creek (wait-I did catch a couple sub 12" bows there!) the Clark Fork and (most frustrating of all) the Missouri where fish were literally rising next to my wader clad legs! I broke down and got a guided trip on the Big Hole. At the time, probably $250 for a single. It was absolutely the best day of fishing in my life (and there have been many more since then!) The guide got me into a morning trico fall and I hooked numerous 20" plus bows and browns on #22 trikes (and even managed to land one of them!) We had mayfly and caddis hatches all day and I learned so much that day with him. The next day I went out by myself and did almost as well. That experience was worth (easily) the cost of my Sage Z-Axis and Islander reel! From the perspective of time, the amount I spent for that day is truly a drop in the bucket, but the memory (as they say!) is priceless! Rick
Years back, my family and I vacationed in MT along the Madison. As a birthday gift to my dad, I got him a guided trip for both of us. Our guide patiently taught my dad how to cast with an indicator, untangling his line over and over again, changing his flies frequently as well. Had a fantastic lunch. Gave my dad a trip he still talks about to this day. The trip was worth every penny, and would have no problem going through a guide again.