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Thread: Ever had a grouchy guide?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Ever had a grouchy guide?

    I decided the last time I hired a guide it was more trouble than it was worth. This guy, who will remain unnamed, is one of the more prominent guides in the GSMNP.

    I had used him before, and each time it seemed he would give some odd responses to me, as if he was irritated. But this last time, he seemed rather irritated from the get-go and really acted a bit "put out" to be guiding that day. Almost like he crawled out of bed and thought "oh crap I've gotta guide again."

    totally understand that everyone's job can get old, but guiding is an entertainment business as much as anything. i decided i wouldn't be doing any more guided trips - when i'm fishing on my own free time/vacation the last thing i want to deal with is some stranger's ticks and foul moods.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    I've never been good enough to guide anyone. I would like to give it a shot in the next couple of years (doubt it happens though). I can see how difficult it could be, especially with those just taking up the sport. However, I agree; A guide should be nice to their client, even on a bad day. Word can spread and soon he/she might not have any clients.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Nashville, TN


    Quote Originally Posted by HuskerFlyFisher View Post
    totally understand that everyone's job can get old, but guiding is an entertainment business as much as anything.
    You hit the nail right on the head...
    Guiding is more about customer service than actually catching fish and if someone doesn't recognize this, they are in the wrong business IMHO. Even the most skilled guides are unlikely going to be able to produce every single time they take someone out. However, if the client still has an enjoyable and memorable experience, then you at least stand a chance at repeat patronage in the future. Doesn't sound like that happened here...

    Sorry to hear things didn't live up to your expectations but don't necessarily shy away from hiring a guide as it can often be a very rewarding and informative experience. Now, on the other hand, just fishing along side some of the folks on this forum can also be a rewarding and informative experience as well. Just sayin'...

    Tight Lines,
    Last edited by tnflyfisher; 05-04-2012 at 04:01 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Knoxville, TN


    Only once. In Florida on a mangrove flats Snook trip. The guide was pointing to snook under the shadow of the mangroves and we were casting to them. We weren't seeing a lot of fish and I wasn't good enough at casting long distances to them. The guide started getting really pissed at my casting and frustrated that we weren't seeing fish. My dad had to tell him to calm down once and that it was just good to be out fishing. He didn't speak a word to us on the way back in and yelled at me to "tie the $%&# boat off" at the dock. We had prepaid, so we just packed up and left without tipping. I felt it justified.

    As far as the GSMNP guides, there are a handful of them that can't be beat as far as experience and friendliness goes, so don't get discouraged and give up on them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    SE TN


    Yes, their are bad apples in every bushel. Mine was on box canyon of Henry's Fork (Snake).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    I am sorry you had a bad experience. I am starting to hear and see this much more often. A little like i experienced tonight....

    Within the industry you hear things not going to go there.......not now.

    As Granny stated...there's some GREAT guides in the area. Although...if your not a complete some research...get a good map....and ask questions here. Then go fish!!!!!!

    Im just sayin.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Excellent Guide North Carolina Side

    Had the opportunity at least 11 -12 times to get associated with Ronnie Parris - Bryson City on a very thorough basis. Enough times to have the opportunity to have a bad time. As I searched for a smallmouth guide on Fontana I found a picture online of him on a boat Jan. 1st with it snowing and holding a fish. I was sold instantly. If this guy can fish and guide in those conditions----he's my guy!!!

    This fine gentleman is passionate about what he does. When I find passionate in any endeavor I usually find pretty greatness at what they do.

    Forte is for sure fly fishing and an excellent smallmouth guide on Fontana.

    Very reasonable prices and a great teacher.

    HuskerFlyFisher or anyone for that matter, if you would like his contact info for future learning and great memories shoot me an email.

    tnflyfisher, your statement about "by the side" of some on this board couldn't have rang the much louder.I would like to meet you sir.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011


    I had never used a guide prior to this year and after some research have used the same guy twice , once by myself and then with my adult son who is a newbie at flyfishing. we fished in the park both times and did pretty good , but the guide was a real great guy who worked with my son primarily as requested and was very helpful to me in helping me wade some tricky areas for me due to my being somewhat
    handicapped. Anyone wanting his name can email me at

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Andersonville, TN


    Thanks for not naming the guide. I'd hate to see someone tossed into the mud over a bad day.

    Keep in mind that guides see it at all some point - from the client who is enjoyable and who thinks of the trip as an investment and learning opportunity to the client who has never fly fished and knows it all. I've seen both sides in people that I have offered help...I spend more time with the folks looking to learn.

    jasonkelkins at yahoo dot com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    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.

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