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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good point, but you can also spey for trout and other species as well. So, spey casting isn't exclusive to Steelhead fishing. To your second question, yes - I don't guide steelhead for personal, ethical reasons, but I give time, money, and other resources in helping to protect them.
So, are you not a steelheader? I don't mean to keep going on with this, but you seem kind of evasive. If you're a trout dude, cool. If you choose not to steelhead for conservation reasons, even cooler. You chimed in from a guides position so I'm trying to orient myself based on that perspective.