What do you think?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Panhandle, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Say you move to a new river and hire a guide to show you around. But..... the purpose of hiring the guide is to learn the runs (shorten the learning curve). Basically, you pay $500.00 to learn the water and eliminate months of tooth grinding. As well, do you inform the guide of your intentions? After all, he/she is going to see you in those runs in the days-years to come.
  2. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    Runs change. Holding water changes even if the run doesn't look different. 5 or 6 years ago I drifted the sky with a guy who was intent on fishing all the runs in Trey Combs book. No amount of logic, or crappy water would dissuade him when we came on water that wasn't worth fishing, but had a "name". As long as you don't sit there and gps while you're fishing, I don't care. I'd still rather put $500 to a really nice rod though.
  3. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    saying runs change REALLY depends on the river. tailwaters not so much. but, i see this as an interesting question and would love ot hear more answers.

    but the guides dont own the river. they just have to cope but im sure it can be frustrating for them at times.

    none of the guides would even acknowldge me on the bank of the klickitat as they floated by, because i was on really productive water and i think it annoyed them.

    but as a bank fisher, i even offer them to fish though and always was taking my line out of the water when they came by. but i still think they were pissed at me after 3-4 days :p
  4. Danny H

    Danny H Member

    I would say you would want to inform them of your intentions before solidifying a trip. Some people might say they are whoreing out there spots anyway,so I guess it would come down to what you can live with. I would feel best figureing it out for myself.
  5. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    Why not figure out who the best guides are and follow them around?
  6. inland

    inland Active Member


    Pay your cash, tip what you think is fair, and go fishing. There isn't a public steelhead river with reasonable access (talking lower 48) where all of their spots aren't already being scoped out or paid for. Might as well make a good day of it, keep your future intentions quiet, and hopefully learn as much as you can!


  7. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    Well, this is in the speyclave, so I assumed west coast steelhead rivers. They change.

    As to informing them of your intentions, I've guided. And I've been shop interface to guides. If the client is local, and isn't a regular customer, they may not get taken to the best spots. If you tell the guide you plan to go back everywhere he takes you, I'm sure you'll go to all the best spots:rofl:. As you're about to hit the water on the Sky, and the guide asks you "So where are you from?" and you say "Monroe", well I'm not saying you're going to crappy spots, but that little bathtub sized boil he knows that regularly pumps out a fish? You aren't going there.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but guides, at least good ones aren't stupid. There probably isn't a trout guide out there who hasn't bumped up an asshole clients tippet size to keep him off fish, and let the client's buddy who's been taking shit all day take the lead. And it's very easy to look like you're working hard to get someone into fish even if you aren't.

    Do what you want. But I knew guys who would fish you over sand if they thought your sole purpose was to "cut the learning curve."
  8. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    Thats pretty sad to think someone moves to Seattle, spends 500 bucks on a guide, and the guide doesn't have him put the fly into a spot that often holds fish... i hope they at least catch a fish before the guide resorts to something along that line.

    my bad, didnt notice it was spey clave i usally just browse "new posts"
  9. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Perhaps i'm not the client. Philster, I agree; a local isn't getting the ace in the holes. If I was guiding and a local indicated their intentions, I would respect their honesty, but certainly wouldn't voluntarily offer up runs that will compromise my success as a guide. On the other hand, if they withhold this info and I see them on the river in those runs, we're probably not going to have a drink at the local bar. Its really an ethical conundrum because the client paid money and deserves equal service.
  10. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    guides are supposed to put you on fish. period. If I went out with a guide and he was trying to get me to fish sandy runs or water I wouldnt consider prime, I would call him on his bullshit. They don't own the river, and should try hard to put you onto fish, no matter where they are or where you're from. Thats their job. I especially wouldnt reccomend that guide to anyone else if I thought they were leading me to mediocre water because I was local and might come back to fish it myself.
  11. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Stilly, you have to understand that putting clients into fish is 50% of being a good guide and what puts money in your pocket to pay your bills. Putting people into fish requires leg work and knowledge of pieces, some very small, that consistently kick out fish--- the ones you turn to when other weller known runs aren't producing. What happens when I find you in that run the day I need to put a client into a fish and in turn that client becomes a regular client? Its like handing someone over your secret bbq recipe knowing that dude will be competing against you in the cook off.
  12. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    I agree. It's not easy. I was lucky and did my guiding on trout and river stripers. If the client was doing everything right, and we weren't into fish, it came down to honey holes. If on the other hand fishing was good, it only made sense to alternate spots on each trip to not pound spots. I guided pre GPS. If I was pulling into one of my favorite spots, and the dude starts fiddling with his toy, is it wise for me to take him to my best bets?

    And stilly stalker, good guides do try to put you on fish. You have to do something pretty awful, and demonstrate that it's kind off "who you are" to turn your guide against you. But it's a business. The guy who comes from California, and fishes with you 3 days every year, vs. a one time dude who wants to learn the river so he can fish good spots without you? I had one guy with arthritis. We didn't so much fish as drift the water, and talked crap while he smoked cigars. He was good for 15 minutes fishing at each pullout. Probably fished once a week from April to October. If you honestly think that if you were in a guides shoes, you'd treat everyone the same, you might be deluding yourself. Just like a waiter with a regular big tipper. Everybody is going to get their food. Some folks just get a little more.
  13. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

    I know I've done this. Client, not the guide. Had a guide take me on a run for the sole purpose of learning that water. Here's the thing, as I see it. If you want to learn water, you pick the water you want to learn. You hire a guild to take you on THAT water. Don't expect him to point out all the secrets he's gathered over the years. Just take it for what it is. A familiarization float. Tip him good if he does show you the "spots".

    As for telling him what your after. Yes I'd tell him. I would want him to know what it is I'm after and expect him to tell me. That way I get what I'm really paying for. And he knows what will get him a good tip.

    Yes the guild did see me on that same water. I of course gave way. He is trying to make a living after all.
  14. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    Hey Jeff. Are you talking "how to fish that water", "where do fish hold in that water" and stuff like that, or "show me where good spots are". They are very different. Most guides love the first scenario. It gives you a chance to talk crap about all the crappy clients who do everything wrong, and lets you talk real fishing all day!
  15. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

    The things I look for on a "familiarization float".
    1. put-ins & take-outs
    2. dangers
    3. where, how and when to fish this river.
    I figure the rest is up to me and thats the way I like it.

    Like I said. I don't expect to get the best stuff out of a guild, just like I don't post to much info on my fishing reports here. But I am paying him. I do expect more then a float in a boat.

    I know I sound like a dick. But how am I going to safely learn a river. I'm not big on going around a corner and finding it impassable.
  16. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Really, all they need to do is teach you how to drift a bead along the pockets while you drift down the river.
  17. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Hell, I put a guy on a nice cutty last week in the sand...... :)
  18. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Evan, what you speak of is the norm and true. If a client doesn't specifically request to swing, that's what's going down.
  19. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    I think it is an ethical dilemma. It's fraud if a guide takes a client's money and withholds salient information, like the good places to launch and retrieve boats, good reliable pools or spots that produce fish, and how to effectively fish them. Unless he is upfront with his clients and tells them he plans to just take them on a boat ride, floating 6 or 7 miles of river, but doesn't plan on sharing his expertise, given that is often exactly the reason a person hires a guide. With the thread on the main forum indicating that $450 is the going rate for guide fees, how much information can a guide withhold before he's robbing his client. And how much money should a client expect to have to pay to gain information like where good spots are and how to effectively fish them? Everything in America seems to have a price, and fishing guides are pimping a public resource pretty much no matter how you cut it. Having said that, I don't personally think badly of guides, but a little humility and objectivity about just what they do doesn't hurt.

    I've known two steelhead guides who don't take locals on local rivers for the very reason that they don't want to reveal information about specific spots and how to fish them, only to have the local show up there on his own the next weekend when the guide comes through that spot with a new client, trying to put him on a fish.

    Probably not such a conundrum on a blue ribbon trout stream with lots of trout per mile, but moreso on west coast steelhead rivers where the fish per mile can easily be in the single digits.

  20. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    I don't think Id expect to learn every secret seam or pocket. Just to get put into some fishy water. Guides are going to know which runs fish best at certain river levels. Guides are going to know which stretch of river to fish during these conditions, as wll as when the run timing will be at its best for upper or lower river. etc etc etc. You're not going to learn all their secrets one time out on the river with them. I understand the need for guides to put people onto fish, but its not their river, and Im pretty sure that every hole and riffle in every river is known pretty well by more than one guide. Its going to get fished by someone. Its just a matter of who gets there first. Having never hired a guide, I can honestly say Ive never stolen a guides secret spot. That doesnt mean that if I went out with a guide on a river I wouldnt remember good water the next time I was there and fish it.