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smctrout
04-28-2014, 10:22 AM
What is the customary tip rate for guides in East Tennessee?

bmadd
04-28-2014, 12:51 PM
I try to tip any fishing guide somewhere in the range of 20-25% of what my trip cost. Here's some links where guides where asked that question.
http://midcurrent.com/travel/how-to-tip-fishing-guides-and-lodges/
http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/fly-fishing/tipping-good-bad-fly-fishing-guides-accordingly/

Breck
04-28-2014, 08:06 PM
smctrout,

I know less than most, thats why I associate with teachers.

You ask a great question that I'm sure wasn't easy to post but obviously is important to you. I commend you!!!!

Having been able to acquire professional services of several guides in E. Tn., I assure you, most feel they want to show you the "Best" day you haven't had fishing. I know those I have fished with made me feel that way. I feel, you tip the absolute most you can afford. Knowing, he or she has to endure everything you do, plus make a dream come true. It's a pressure to deliver that I've not had to feel in my list of jobs. Only fair to point out, the fisherman has a responsibility to the guide as well. Be able to cast and do his or her part fishing.

If you would like my "A" list of local guides please email me.

Thank You,

Breck

breckdavis100@gmail.com

flyguys
04-29-2014, 08:07 PM
My son and I took a trip this past summer with a guide. Maybe you guys remember my post. Based on a trip of approximately 295.00 dollars give or take a few dollars, the tip paid was 60.00. When one gets familiar with prices of equipment for trout fishing, that is a small price to pay to help a fella out. thanks flyguys.

chechem
04-30-2014, 06:50 AM
My son and I took a trip this past summer with a guide. Maybe you guys remember my post. Based on a trip of approximately 295.00 dollars give or take a few dollars, the tip paid was 60.00. When one gets familiar with prices of equipment for trout fishing, that is a small price to pay to help a fella out. thanks flyguys.

That's appropriate.

Just remember to check, guys, to be certain the tip isn't already included. Such is becoming more common, and it solves the problem that initiated this thread. ;)

cockeye valdez
04-30-2014, 11:16 AM
Every time I look at guide rates, I wish the rate included the tip. I think most guides work hard but at the end of the day, it really greatly depends on my skill level. I would like the rate to include the tip. I find this too ambiguous. I have had only one guide (not local) that will never use again.
I also think about the fact that in Tennessee guides are not required to have a license. I don't know if they have insurance that covers the client. If not their overhead cost are less so is 20%-25% appropriate ?
Leads me wish they would include the tip.
c.v.

Grannyknot
04-30-2014, 01:59 PM
Every time I look at guide rates, I wish the rate included the tip. I think most guides work hard but at the end of the day, it really greatly depends on my skill level. I would like the rate to include the tip. I find this too ambiguous. I have had only one guide (not local) that will never use again.
I also think about the fact that in Tennessee guides are not required to have a license. I don't know if they have insurance that covers the client. If not their overhead cost are less so is 20%-25% appropriate ?
Leads me wish they would include the tip.
c.v.

That's a good point CV.
Something else that I always wondered about....what about guides that are running their own solo guiding business (ie not working out of a fly shop or large scale guide service)? Still appropriate to tip them the same? Just curious.

Stonefly
04-30-2014, 02:23 PM
I grew up with the idea that you don't tip the owner of a business, just the employees. However, in recent years I've gotten away from that practice, and now I tip about 20%, whoever I'm dealing with.

steve

MBB
04-30-2014, 06:20 PM
Most guides will tell you an inflated amount. Generally, I tip the same as for a restaurant server. Some guides deserve no tip. Some guides who bust their butt deserve 20%. Twenty five percent seems quite excessive unless your guide gives you a superlative day or a fish of a lifetime. After all, it isn't like they are paid below minimum wage like a waitress. They can always raise their rates if tipping doesn't help them make it financially.

Don Kirk
05-01-2014, 08:54 AM
I first became acquainted with tipping when fishing Canada in the 1970s. I learned more about it hunting Africa in the 1980s, and got a real education in tipping when we did our television show Bassin' Mexico in the 1990s. There in fishing camp everyone from the guide and cook, to the maid and her cousin line up for the "second bite" as they call it.

Frankly, to me tipping is a bit out of hand as you immediately become regarded as cheap if you are not a generous tipper with a $100 bill in your pocket. In restaurants, no matter how bad the service or food might be, a generous tip is expected. If you think fishing guide tips are a bit excessive, I can assure that elk guides who do their jobs well expect tips starting at around $500. A good argument can be made that if you cannot afford to figure in the customary tip, then you should not book the trip. Just as good an argument can be made that a guide should charge what he expects for his services and delivery them without expecting more.

A number of guides and outfitters advertise in Southern Trout. We do all we can to promote their businesses by designing attractive ads, monitoring their responses, and doing profile articles on them at no additional cost. In two years not a single guide has put a tip on their payment, nor would I accept it if they did.

Having said this, yes I tip, and usually $50 no matter what the trip or service is. I figure it into the cost of fun and business. I suppose that tips are a motivating factor, and when hunting have even tipped before the hunt can make a difference in the quality of animal you get a shot at (Yes, they usually know where the "big guy" is and understand what he is worth to most hunters).

I'm not crazy about it and really believe the whole thing is a bit out of control. However, my reputation is checkered enough without adding "skin flint" to it. It's like Harry Thurman said, "If you don't like the heat in the kitchen, then get out of the kitchen."

MadisonBoats
05-01-2014, 01:07 PM
Here is my perspective;




If a guide owns his/her service-they should never expect a tip. You should only tip them if you feel they went out of the way with your trip's circumstances to give you an extraordinary time. Maybe they shared some cool tips or techniques you have never heard about...(?) Or they worked hard to give you a photo-dvd of your trip(?) They price of the trip should be upfront and any other costs should be stated up front. People fish for relaxation and do no want any kind of anxiety on a trip they paid to experience. I guarantee that most self-guides will get equal or more business if they do not accept tips and use their stated price as the rule.

If a guide is a sub-contractor; then, they should be creative and get to know your style so they can work hard to earn a tip and they should be tipped if their effort deserves it. If you have scheduled a trip under an owners name or reputation; then, you should get a exactly that and not a sub. If a sub is offered; then, the trip should be discounted with an implied amount going to the sub.


Just because you own a drift boat and take people down the river rowing for them and give them a gas station sandwich does not equate to a tip. I think if I guided; I would charge a pretty penny because I would pool every resource I had to give someone an unbelievable experience captured in pictures and videos. For me to guide someone on the Clinch for a full day would cost at-least $400/day. Because; for me to sacrifice my fishing time and for me to give them an unbelievable day; that is what it would cost me to support the endeavor and supporting cast.

That is just my opinion! Guiding seems to have become too "Cookie-Cutter" over the years and I think people deserve and need (Experience) as the focal point and not so much catching fish!

Grumpy
05-01-2014, 10:42 PM
I've been guiding for a number of years, always set prices accordingly with other's in the area, no tip expected but it has always been appreciated.
As noted already, the day start's before meeting the client's & isn't over til the boat is cleaned & equipment taking care of, which makes for a long day.
There is a lot involved trying to get client's the trip they want & to try & make it happen, as always, it depends on the fish cooperating some, angler skill & knowing your water is a big bonus.
Boat's, equipment, flies, gas, lunch, snacks, insurance, drinks aren't cheap. Client's having a great day on the water is PRICELESS!

Grumpy

MadisonBoats
05-02-2014, 07:26 AM
I hope my post did not seem negative or condescending. I feel that there are great opportunities for guides to attract clients by making their service less vague. I believe you can make a better living with increased trips by offering discounted days and repeat discounts. Also; attract younger fisherman by offering student and teen discounts if you can swing it. These guys will be your bread and butter in the future and great advertisement!

Be creative and most of all be fun! Have a good time with your clients!

Grumpy
05-03-2014, 07:33 AM
No offense taken on my part Shawn. You do have to be creative at times, donating trips to worthy causes, group trips & more.
There's one thing about it, a lot of us aren't in a "destination mecca", i wouldn't give up the shop gig for full time guiding, that's for sure. Mother nature would keep us in the poor house, especially tailwater fisherman & freestoner's as well.
The folks i've met, friendships & wonderful days on the water showing & teaching have brought many fond memories for which i am grateful. Those are things money really can't buy in a way.
I decided this year to give it up for the most part & have already disappointed several folks in doing so, hard to believe that folks really enjoy spending a day on the water with a grumpy 'ol fart such as myself, i've assured them of several other guides in the area that will give them some great days on the water & can't wait to hear the stories once thy've taken them.

Grumpy

SmokyMt4runner
05-04-2014, 05:35 PM
I look at it this way. I also only live 20-30 minutes to my favorite stream.

$20 gas
$20- Fly Shop. Always need SOMETHING. Tippet, leader, flies, floatant...etc
$10- Food and drink

I am at $50 before I even hit my local stream!

I usually advise $100, if guide exceeded expectations.

Keep in mind. Finding the right guide, can add years of experience on a full days wade trip. Worth it???? Heck yeah.....

flyman
05-12-2014, 07:23 PM
I tip according to the service I receive. Most professional guides work very hard for their money. Guiding is not easy work. The best of them aren't getting rich, and the guys working for a shop are usually just scraping by. If you can afford to take a guided trip, you can afford a decent tip. Slipping someone a few extra bucks won't make much difference to the average fisherman who takes a guided trip, but it could make life a little easier for the average fishing guide. I expect a lot from a guide. I don't need casting lessons or someone to tie my fly on, but you better know where the fish are and how to catch them. You also need to tell me in advance what patterns I will need, or better yet have some of the patterns I need.