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Old 04-19-2009, 08:24 AM
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Default How much to tip a guide?

Assuming you are happy with all of the guide services, what is the "proper" tip? Do you all use a set amount of money, or like any other service a percentage of the guide fee?

I'll be using a guide in the near future and want to make sure I'm using the proper etiquette.

-Paul
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

Paul

Personally, I tip a guide around 15-20% of the cost of the trip assuming I was happy with the service he provided. I hae heard of it happening, but in my case I have never experienced a bad guide, not sure what I would do in that case.

Larry
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

I go by about the same guide line. I even tip when (only happend once) we dont catch fish, but the guide worked his butt off putting us on fish(striper in a lake) they just wernt eating. I watched 3 other boats (with guides) 9 fishermen and only two fish were caught. Now if your the only boat on the river, lake, bay, whatever that isnt catching fish and your guide isnt working to put ya on fish or changing tactics and flies/lures/bait, whatever your useing and is just an ass, tahts a diffrent story.
Bear
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

Gratuities are a tough question to answer because there are a lot of different variables. The most important thing to take into account when you are done with your trip is how hard did the guide work to insure your day was enjoyable. The guide can only control a few things throughout the day and it is up to them to make adjustments and do everything within their power to help you through the day. As a guide I love when the fish bite, the wind doesn't blow, the clients are great anglers and have a personality that fits with mine. All the planets align themselves about a dozen times out of a hundred on a good year. The fish don't bite some days, the mosquito's are bad, the fish require a better presentation than the skill set of the anglers posses and the list goes on and on. There are really three things that I feel I have control over on a day on the water and those include teaching my clients and helping them improve their skill sets in one form or another, pulling hard on the oars and working as hard as I possibly can to give them the opportunity to get their flies in the proper locations and serving up a great lunch with a few laughs to keep the day enjoyable. Other than that everything else is up to mother nature, the fish and many days having luck on your side.

A good guide who makes sure you have a nice day typically gets a customary gratuity of 10 to 15%. Which on a $400 trip is usually between $40-75. A great guide who takes the extra oar strokes, jumps out to retrieve flies from an errant cast, pulls the boat back up river because the fish were going nuts on the bank, helps you achieve greatness with a skill you were lacking in usually gets a bit higher tip in the 20 to 25% range ($75-100).

The one thing that I have learned in my years of guiding however is that there is no set rules in gratuities. I have busted my rear for clients and watched them each catch 40 fish and they gave me a handshake and thank you for such a wonderful time. I have also had days where the weather was tough, the fishing even tougher and we were done by 2 pm and the guy breaks out three crisp $100's and walks away without even saying a word. Some people tip and others don't. My best advice on tipping is that they are something the guide should earn, if the guide just expects a gratuity and didn't do anything beyond rowing the boat from the put in to the take out keep your cash in your wallet. Have a great trip and be sure and communicate what you are looking for on your day or days on the water with the guide.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

Biggie: Well said, I couldn't say it better! That is exactly what a great guide is all about.

Larry
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

VERY well put
Bear
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

I go along with the 15 - 20 % normally but will boost it up to 25 % for an exceptionally good time. I once had a guide that was into a sixpack by 10 AM
& became sullen & critical by noon. He put us into a lot of fish but gave us a not so happy memory with the trip so he only got a 10 % tip. I had another guide in the Keys that busted his butt trying to get us fish, but it was one of those blustery days with a cold front moving in & we struck out. We had a good time anyway because he was a real character & he refused the tip when we tried to give it to him. He set us up for another open day he had later in the week for 50 % of the cost. The weather was bad so we cancelled out that second trip anyway But I'll use him next time we get down there. My daughter & I were down in the San Juan a few years ago & I told the guide to make sure she caught fish. He put her in the front position of the boat & got her fish after fish after fish all of them good size. He got my daughter hooked on fly fishing & he got 30%. My point is that if you have a good time & feel that the guide did his job or went beyond expectations tip accordingly.
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

Thanks for the replies. I was actually on guided day 1 of 2 today (roaring fork and frying pan in Colorado) and I really appreciate the responses before my second day ends tomorrow. I took the your advice today and based my tip on how much I observed the guide working.

Today, he worked hard. This was my first float fish and he never even appeared frustrated with my lack of float experience. Conversation was great and he had a consistently good attitude. I know that he had a long day the day before (major snow storm in CO front range past two days) and yet he never appeared tired or frustrated. Just so happened that he put us onto a good number of fish. Perhaps most importantly, he took to time to explain and answer every question I asked. I tipped according to the great time we had, number of fish being a secondary concern. Thanks again for the replies!

-Paul
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

If he gets me into fish and the day went well I will throw him 100.
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: How much to tip a guide?

I got off the water last nite after a hard day on the water with two clients. The water was cold and the browns were not active. I know it's a hard day for the clients as the expectations are high and the fish not buying into the plan but it is a hard day for the guide as well. When the fish are active anyone can guide and when they are not it is discourgeing for the guide and clients. Tips are for service rendered above what was offered and not automatic. Nor should it. Automatic 10-20% seems to be automatic in North Amarica but in my experiance not so in other parts of the world. As a guide one should not expect a tip but when one is offered accept it with thanks and as a reward for good work not as part of the fee for service offered.
Oh yes the guys yesterday tipped well. I hope it was for good service provided and not an obligation.
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