Hey! Good Luck this season!!! I have been guiding for more years than I care to add up, most years in the summers only as I am a teacher September to May.
It’s been wonderful seasonal work for me and I have deeply enjoyed being able to spend a lot of time on the water and meet new interesting people. While I do obsessively fish year round, and in the summer we stay pretty busy, I have never guided year-round and as my sole source of income, so take my ideas with a grain of salt please.
I look at good guiding the way I look at good teaching. The river is my classroom, the clients my students (and the wind is an angry parent cussing me out on the phone. LOL.) Students mirror my attitude and enthusiasm in the classroom. I strive to find ways to connect to every kid in my room and develop a rapport with them. Some are easier to bond with than others, but it’s possible to do. So stay positive on the water and have fun!
I believe speaking negatively about clients is bad karma and unprofessional. Good guides like the people they take out. Students also know when I am not prepared or I am full of ****. So keep an organized/clean boat and gear, plenty of flies you know will work, a great lunch, have a plan for the day, and BE AUTHENTIC. Lastly, and I think this is important; Students want to feel confident in your knowledge of the subject matter and your ability to lead them through it. Clients want to know that you know your water, your tactics, your fish, etc. and can help them put that knowledge to good use so they have a great day.
Others on this post are right – this will be a good learning year for you. I wish you all the best in your endeavors! I bet it will be great!