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  1. #1
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    Default So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    This subject comes up from time-to-time, here is a great discussion on becoming a fly fishing guide by Phil Monahan:

    So You Want to Be a Fishing Guide? | MidCurrent
    Larry


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Southernmost Illinois
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    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    This is a tough business and that should be the first thing anyone interested should know.

    My relationship with the industry over 33 years of college teaching came more on the hunting/shooting side and was directed more at mid and upper level site/operations management. However, all my students learned the guide/instructor thing from the get go. After all, if you are management and need to hire guides you better know what makes a good one........

    Let me put it this way; On any hunting/shooting/fishing operation, who spends the most time with a client? Simple, THE GUIDE !

    When folks are paying big bucks per day they expect a certain level of performance (right or wrong) from that individual.

    I have fished and hunted with some very good self trained individuals. I have also done the same with some schooled failures.

    I could go on for pages here but that might be another day or specific questions. Enough for now.
    Bruce A. Hering
    Program Coordinator/Lead Instructor (Retired)
    Game Preserve/Shooting Complex Mgt.
    Southeastern Illinois College
    Shotgun Team Coach
    NSCA Level III Instructor

  3. #3
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    Apr 2011
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    beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
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    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    Two of my "once-in-awhile" fishing cronies have guided fly fishermen for most of their adult lives, and both bust their hump on the river day in and day out. They break their backsides to get their anglers into fish, and I have nothing but the greatest respect for their patience and willingness to work... hard!

    Would I ever consider joining their ranks? Not now, as I'm well beyond such aspirations. Would I jump in the "Fish Truck II" and travel a few miles for one of their patented "shore-line lunches?" Damn right! I'd even bring my own plate and hardware...

    To the guides who do it right each and every time, I forever tip my hat...

    Jerry, aka hairwing530

  4. #4

    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    Thanks Larry,

    Interesting read. I have a couple of degrees in teaching and have coached for many years and always loved it......especially when your students excel.

    I was at the club last evening and a dad and his two young kids were fly fishing in a boat near me. It was obvious that the kids were new to it......and didn't have any luck. I hooked up on three 17" browns while they were near by. As I was playing the fish, their dad was pointing out the things that I was doing......things that he had been trying to tell them about.

    They left shortly after that and brought the boat back to it's mooring. I thought that they left. A short time later, they came down the trail to watch me "catch fish".

    Turns out, their dad hadn't been FF for very long so he was in a learning mode too. I fished for a while more, talking about what I was doing and why. I gave them some ideas on how to learn to cast better, choose flies and different set ups to improve their chances of catching. They were very attentive and eager to get back at it in the morning.

    What this has to do with this topic is that I'm sure that aside from the employment in doing a sport you love, in some of the most beautiful places on earth, you get to help people succeed in a wonderful pastime.

    A reward greater than money.

    Tight lines,

    Joe

  5. #5
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    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by oldnewguy View Post
    What this has to do with this topic is that I'm sure that aside from the employment in doing a sport you love, in some of the most beautiful places on earth, you get to help people succeed in a wonderful pastime.

    A reward greater than money.
    Joe: Well said!

    ---------- Post added at 11:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:51 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by hairwing530 View Post
    To the guides who do it right each and every time, I forever tip my hat...
    Jerry: I agree 100%, the guides that do it right work their tails off and I too tip my hat to the efforts they put out!
    Larry


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  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Eden, Utah
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    816

    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    There is no easy "job" it takes dedication and hard work.
    I give a lot of credit to the guides hunting and fishing. In most jobs to make it look easy there is a HUGE amount of pre work that happens before you even say good morning your guide.
    Also this type of work is altered by many conditions (can't just step into the office): Rain,wind, snow, water flows, clients, other guides, fisher people, rafters, fish,tubers, and the list goes on........A game all the time.
    Thought about it and still thinking
    Wayne
    Can one learn everything about fly fishing a lifetime?

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  9. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Punta Gorda, Florida
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    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    A friend of mine once asked me a similar question.
    I asked him if he liked sex.
    He said yes.
    I told him that being a fishing guide is like being the director for an X rated film company.
    Better to be an actor.

    Ha! Ha!

    That aside, I did think seriously about it for a long time. I spent many summers in Alaska, not as a fishing guide, but as a fishing instructor.

    I observed this.
    It could be a wonderful job IF:
    1. Clients understood that you can't control the weather.
    2. They understood that you can't make the fish bite.
    3. They understood that the fish go where they want to go and you can't make them do what you want.
    4. They understood that you can't compensate for their lack of casting ability and their lack of preparation and practice.
    5. There were enough people with a good disposition and sense of humor.

    If there were enough clients like that , I would have become a fishing guide.
    The problem is that clients like that are few and far between.

    I've spend thousands of days since I started fly fishing as an unpaid fishing guide for friends and casting students since I first started fly fishing back in '57 and the number of people who fall into that catagory are too few to make the job fun.
    Of course I know that none of you fall into the catagory of THOSE people!

    Okay, go fishing.

    Jack

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  11. #8

    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    Over many years I've met Fished & become Mates & good Friends with many & have seen how many others Work however there are 2 Sayings which I've heard.
    1 Directed at The Not The Best of Guides:
    You can fool some of The People some of The Time however you can't Fool All The People All of The Time.
    2 Which A Mate has on His Cards;
    It doesn't matter what you do there are People & you know who you are who can never be Helped as they think they already know it All & however Please don't try to make it hard for others.
    Brian

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  13. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Panama City Beach, FL
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    182

    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    I've used the services of guides twice in my fishing 'career'. Both times were to cut the learning curve in a new area.

    First time the guide did his best but the outfitter was less than honest with me. We spoke on the phone and I mentioned I wanted to fly fish. He said that's what we'd be doing. I paid good money for me and my kid to share a drift boat with 2 other anglers tossing heavy, 1/4 ounce shot laden lines into the water. When I objected and mentioned the conversation about fly fishing, I was told that is how they fly fished in that area.

    The 2nd time I ended up with a non stop BSer as a guide. He knew all these famous people and mentioned it to us several times. I guess he thought he was getting paid by the word. Blah, blah, blah.

    I've taken dozens of people fishing for the first time or after a long pause in fishing. I put them in the boat and motor over to a good spot. I have everything ready and all they have to do is make a semi accurate cast. This is done with spinning outfits as they are easier for beginners to master. Most of them have done very well. I make it nice and simple for them. We chat and have a good time.

    As much as I enjoy fishing I don't think I have the temperament to do it as a job. I'd much rather enjoy my time on the water. To each his own.

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  15. #10
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    Default Re: So You Want to be a Fishing Guide

    excerpt from the article Larry linked...

    "Do you have a passion that will rub off on clients?"

    That is it exactly it for me. I have experienced it with a couple guides. You can't fake passion and if it is there the experience will be as positive as it can possibly be given the uncertainties of fishing. If the fish aren't cooperating then teach me something I can use next week when you aren't around.

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