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Thread: guides

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default guides

    How do you determine if a guide is "good?" I know guides cannot guarantee a high catch count or catching trophies. In my limited experience I have had more low catch count days than high, and more than one 0 catch count days. I think that I am a reasonably competent angler, but maybe it's me. I have been fishing since the late '70s, and I have fished in fresh and saltwater. Your thoughts welcomed.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by smctrout View Post
    How do you determine if a guide is "good?" I know guides cannot guarantee a high catch count or catching trophies. In my limited experience I have had more low catch count days than high, and more than one 0 catch count days. I think that I am a reasonably competent angler, but maybe it's me. I have been fishing since the late '70s, and I have fished in fresh and saltwater. Your thoughts welcomed.
    As a retired guide and now someone who hires them in far away destinations here would my criteria

    1. was he prepared? On time, flies, food, drinks, generally looked ready for the day.
    2. during the day did he appear to know the water in its entirety. Like see that bubble line, drop the fly 50 feet on the inside edge, or see that crease in that ledge drop it just above
    3. Did he seem engaged and genuinely focused on trying his best to bring you success.
    4. was he fun? Make you laugh, great stories, etc
    5. did he push the limits on water conditions without warning you? Was it too high, muddy, too low.


    somedays even the best guide gets whipped, and on those days just because the fishing was off doesn’t mean he did a bad job or is a bad guide.

    I tip well, guiding is hard *** work, and unless my guide was a total joke he’s getting tipped well. There are some local “guides” here that are a complete joke and deserve no tip nor clients. But there are several outstanding guides

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Norris, TN
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    2,196

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
    As a retired guide and now someone who hires them in far away destinations here would my criteria

    1. was he prepared? On time, flies, food, drinks, generally looked ready for the day.
    2. during the day did he appear to know the water in its entirety. Like see that bubble line, drop the fly 50 feet on the inside edge, or see that crease in that ledge drop it just above
    3. Did he seem engaged and genuinely focused on trying his best to bring you success.
    4. was he fun? Make you laugh, great stories, etc
    5. did he push the limits on water conditions without warning you? Was it too high, muddy, too low.


    somedays even the best guide gets whipped, and on those days just because the fishing was off doesn’t mean he did a bad job or is a bad guide.

    I tip well, guiding is hard *** work, and unless my guide was a total joke he’s getting tipped well. There are some local “guides” here that are a complete joke and deserve no tip nor clients. But there are several outstanding guides


    Jim, that is solid information. These points are great primers in identifying a guide and figuring out what you want from of a guided trip.
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    power
    to choose, to respond, to change.”



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by smctrout View Post
    How do you determine if a guide is "good?" I know guides cannot guarantee a high catch count or catching trophies. In my limited experience I have had more low catch count days than high, and more than one 0 catch count days. I think that I am a reasonably competent angler, but maybe it's me. I have been fishing since the late '70s, and I have fished in fresh and saltwater. Your thoughts welcomed.

    I have never used a fishing guide, but have used several hunting guides over the years. Some good, some bad.

    My advice in obtaining a "good" guide would be for the client to contact the guide well before hand(if possible) and talk to them. And I mean talk, not texts, not emails.

    I would explain what I am looking for first and foremost. Tell them your skill level and what you are expecting. A "good" guide should be interactive and if you and he/she are have different expectations, they should tell you that (and/or you tell them that as well) and maybe the guide could recommend someone else for what you are looking for.

    Keep assumptions to a minimum. That goes for pricing, food, gear use, etc., etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    145

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    There are several factors in my opinion that determine if a guide is "good." First, does he have extensive knowledge of the area that he fishes? He should know the body of water well. He should know what flies should be working at the time of year on the body of water. He should know what sections fish better than others and not waste time fishing poor sections of water. Second, he should have alternate plans if his preferred body of water is not fishing well. There should be at least one backup body of water in most cases. Third, the guide should be a good teacher. You should learn something from the guide that improves your fishing. Fourth, the guide should be a hard worker. If a certain fly isn't working, he should be changing flies and working hard to put you on fish. Finally, the guide should at least be reasonably personable and certainly not short tempered. He doesn't have to be my buddy, though that's preferred, but he must not be a jerk. Life is too short and money comes too hard to spend a day and dollars with someone you dislike.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    SE Tennessee
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    Curious here. What is considered a good tip? Say an all day trip costs $400.
    John Torchick

  7. #7
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    Jun 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knothead View Post
    Curious here. What is considered a good tip? Say an all day trip costs $400.
    $50 is average, $100 is good

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
    $50 is average, $100 is good
    We (fishing buddy and I) usually tip $100.00 for a $400 all-day trip. Consider this: The guide has to pay for insurance, lunch, drinks, gas for his tow vehicle, boat maintenance and repairs, tippet, leaders, flies or fly tying materials, other fishing gear, health insurance, taxes, Social Security, and other stuff I don't know about. He is not getting rich being a fishing guide, and he doesn't get to guide every day. Err on the side of generosity when tipping your guide unless he is a jerk or complete incompetent. $50.00 is only 12.5%, which is less than the accepted minimum (15%) for a restaurant meal.

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