What do you think?

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

  1. I have a little different take on this issue. Frist as mentioned here in Washington most of our rivers are dynmamic enough that fish holding water is may only be productive until the next flood. If I were to hire a guide to learn local waters I would be up front with the guide that I'm interested in his fish knowledge on how to read water - why the fish are where they are? and why they are doing what they are doing. If an angler learn the art of reading water and predicting where the steelhead will be if they are in the river you can catch steelhead anywhere. In fact learning to read water with a guide may well be best done away from your home water - stressing with guide that yes you want to catch a fish but more importantly you hope to gain knowledge to apply to your home waters.

    However be aware that not all guides have top notch river craft. It is one think to know your water just from the time spend on it and quite another matter to be able to the skills to effectiely read new water. It is not the numbers of fish caught or the how pretty the cast looks but rather an angler's ability to walk into new water and immdediately identify the "bucket" that impresses me.

    Tight lines
  2. Very interesting thread. It is one of two main reasons I haven't ever guided, even with several offers. I sat at a bar in Montana several years ago BSing an old time hunting guide. He told me about how he would take clients into remote hunting camps. Without fail, the next year one of those clients would be camped with his buddies in the exact same spot. He told me after 30 odd years, it gets old. I see his angle. Even on a big river, it would get old finding last weeks client in the honey holes every week. The only exception for me is Rufus Woods. It seems like the whole river fishes almost equally well, and last weeks fly never works this week. I have been getting alot of pressure from locals to guide on Rufus, but still haven't made up my mind on this issue. I have a business I love, and fly-fishing can remain my passion, not my job. I would love to hear from long time guides on this moral quandry.
  3. When travel to a place that I might only get to fish 2-3 times over a 10 year time period like when I go to Alaska or the Florida Keys, I hire a guide to have my best chance of getting shots at fish. If I hire a guide for local rivers I am just getting a feel for the river and the general flavor. Each day the river levels change and fish hold in different spots as the seasons change. There is no way that I can learn all the holes on any river in just one trip. I am still going to have to pay my dues on any river to be successful with regularity. As far as letting the guide know about my intentions I feel that I am paying for a trip on the water and I want to have an opportunity to get fish and I expect them to work on my behalf regardless of my intentions. For my part I will work with the guide and do as he instructs. I have seen the difference between those who work hard and those who don't. I don't tip based on the amount of fish but what I feel is the level of effort put forth.
  4. Here's my $.02 on the topic - on every trip, with every client I have, we talk about expectations. What is it exactly they want out of the experience, how to communicate with each other, and what to expect given the conditions. I am very up front with information I do know and information I don't know, and then we work through the day. If there's two anglers on the boat, they each may have different expectations, so I work with each, and it's a balance. I set out to not meet expectations, but to exceed them. After each trip, clients get a survey from Orvis about the entire experience - from booking to communication, professionalism, ability to instruct, knowledge, etc. It's my way of checking what I think happened against what the client thinks happened. I am proud to say that over the last three years I have a 100% client satisfaction score.

    So, sometimes it's "show me the honey holes" but most of the time it's "I want to learn X, or fish section X because I want to float it safely in my boat later this year" or "I bought a new boat and I need to know how to row it." Either way, I strive to provide a service and I love doing it - always respectful of other anglers, guides, the resources, and the entire community.
  5. Like I said, one trip can take months off of tooth carving, no? Any river, regardless of gained knowledge, is an ongoing learning experience.
  6. Derek, that sounds like more of a self promotion than an answer..... and real ambigous. What would you do in the given circumstance as stated in the topic?
  7. Yes, a lot of my clients want to shorten the learning curve, and there may be little about the river I guide on that isn't already known. I've never (knowingly) had a problem with a client communicating secret spots, nor do I identify them as such. I choose the section or type of water based on the clients expectations and ability, and go from there.

    I'm not self-promoting, you simply asked for a guide's perspective, and I'm sharing both that and my experiences.

  8. I'm with Jeff Bandy and Derek Young on this one. I floated with Derek, in an open seat too. Before going out we had a talk about expectations and I told him that I wanted to learn. It was my first venture for trout in flowing water and I also wanted to learn river safety and as much about reading water. He knew I was seeking self sufficiency, and he deliverd so much knowlege. He also had another open seat, and I filled it again, learning more and a different stretch of his home water. I have done sections of the Yakima on my own now, much to his credit of excellent knowledge and teaching. I consider Derek a friend and would fish with him anytime, anywhere. I have even invested some of my hard earned cash to book Derek for two days to take me and my father in law fishing when he visited for a while. I have floated with him for free and as a playing customer. Every one of those days were informative and amazing.

    I think that if you are honest with the guide, lay out your expectations and are with the right guide that you will not only learn what you seek but forge a quality relationship. I wish you the best.
  9. Derek, I hear what you're saying, and respect your input. However, you are dismissing the circumstance where a client approaches you with this exact desire.... " I'm new to the river, live here now, and my intention is to use this trip to learn where the steelhead are."
  10. i think he guides for trout :)
  11. If you're really concerned about losing a secret spot to someone, you've probably already lost that battle, and likely not to a guide. :)
  12. Derek, you're not a steelheader, huh?
  13. This thread is about steelhead? I did not read that in the opening post.
  14. Before this thread dissolves into a pissing match and gets shut down, I really would like more guide input.
  15. Be up front with the guy before the trip. If he's not comfortable with it, hire someone else. But if he's smart he'll take your money. You're a-coming no matter what and he might as well get a trip out of you before you become a legend. :)
  16. I don't think you have to worry. No guide bashing going on. And if Derek (I don't know him) isn't a steelheader, saying he's not isn't an insult, it's an observation which changes the argument. I guided on a ridiculous trout rich (big trout at that!) river system. I could hold the boat mid river on a seam and you could indicator fish it to your heart's content and if the fish were on, we didn't have to move until I got tired of pulling, or you'd stung every fish there. I don't care who saw me, or who I took anywhere.

    Stripers were different. Not only was it "where/when" it was also heavily "how" It was more like florida back country fishing where you had to hit tight targets alot of the time, and you often had to hit them one way, and one way only. Getting a drift under a submerged branch you couldn't see, or scraping just over the top of a gravel bar. If I told you "aim for that duck, and when the swing gets down 45 degrees from our position, if you don't feel the line dragging over bottom retrieve and cast a little higher up river" it wasn't a suggestion. You had to KNOW the river like the back of your hand, and with numerous draught years, there wasn't a whole lot of change.

    Those two scenarios are very different for a "businessman". When you're trying to build a base you give away everything, including the drink in your lunch. Later? That's up to you.
  17. I don't think this discussion is about steelheading, or else (Panhandle, sorry, I don't know your first name) would have said so in the original post. No, I don't pursue or guide for steelhead, out of ethical reasons. This discussion is simply about what a guide's role is in the community - whether they "pimp" the resource as has been stated previously, or provide a valuable "service" within it, which has also been stated previously.

    We don't have to restate that all guides are not the same, behave the same, or that all anglers are either. This is the same argument as gear vs. fly. If you want/need a guide, hire a reputable one that does more good than harm. No-one pisses on their own shoes.
  18. By posting it on the spey forum I assumed it was a given that I was referring to steelhead. You don't guide steelhead for ethical reasons?
  19. Back to the original question of asking whether you should tell your guide your intentions. I don't think it is necessary to tell them your intentions, they already know by how you act and conservations had before fishing. The first part of the day the guide will ask you a bunch of questions, expectations, etc. I realize that this scenario happens a lot and I have had it bite me several times for showing a client a certain subtle consistently producing honey hole. Most times when you run into your client in that spot you showed him they give you the right a way and that's the way it should be. Nothing wrong for going to those spots to try and catch fish, just remember where you obtained that information and act accordingly.

    Now, on another note....showing a friend is a whole different ball game. Because they are your friends they seem to take more advantage of your guide knowledge. They probably have a real job and don't get to fish that much so they figure "oh he's my friend he won't mind" This has been way more of a problem than a paying customer. Just my experience. I understand the ethical dilemma with fishing and for guiding for steelhead Derek. Good for you, I personally am too selfish to make the ultimate sacrifice.
  20. Hey Rick, I would pay money to see your "Honey" holes.:rofl:

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