It definitely has to be a tough job. Especially when they have been guiding umpteen days straight and they don't get a break even though they probably have the same sore joints and pains that we get from just one day in the back country. However, the good ones I think recognize when they are falling into that trap and pull out of it mentally or maybe schedule a day off once in a while to recharge. I know I get grumpy and overly sarcastic when I get in a grind at my work. But during their busy season I am sure it is a tough decision to schedule day off. If any guides are out there I would be curious how they guard against this happening to them.
I had a bad experience with a guide up in MI. He had just finished up with a group for the two days before us and before that had been out of the country on a guide trip. We had scheduled a trout/steelhead trip. My first time steelheading. Anyways, the second day was the steelheading. After a whole bunch of driving and boating he tooks us to his "secret spot." It was a backwater area with a spring in it that had about 12 steelhead just stacked in there. Well essentially what we did for several hours was roll cast past the stacked fish and let the fly drift through. He would stand up on the bank and signal when the fish took the fly, that is how subtle the takes were. Didn't relly feel like fishing to me. I got two or three hook ups but my initial set was too hard and I would quickly break them off. The other guy that was with me had already landed two. After my third break off the guide started complaining about my breaking off and that he had investors coming in the next day (he was buiding a new lodge/resturaunt) and was bringing them to this spot and he couldn't have them catching fish with flies in their mouths. He proeeded to cast one from his perch, hook up and handed me the rod. Then when we landed it he wanted to take a picture with me with it, I told him to take his own picture with the fish, he hooked it it was his. When we got back to the launch I just got in my truck and left. I will remember the look on his face forever. He was standing there, I swear waiting for a tip. I appreciate that guides have a hard job, and you get all skill level guys out there, I certainly was a tough one that day, but I really feel like he went way over the line with his comments.
I still haven't caught my own steelhead, been a couple more times, have had hook ups and had them on for a little bit, but have not landed one yet, When I do, I will take a picture and will be tempted to send him a copy of my first steelhead. Probably won't though.
Having said all that, I had one trip in the Smokies with a well known guide about 7 years ago and I thought he was great. If I ever do Raven Fork I think I will ask him to take me there.