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  1. Default Proper Tipping for Guides?

    I'm hiring a guide this summer for some Muskie fishing in Minnesota. I was wondering what the proper etiquette for a tip would be.

    Thanks, ahead of time.
    Not as Lean, Not as Mean, But still a Marine!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?

    15% is standard for a good day on the water. Tip more if the experience was above and beyond what was expected.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Merrimac, MA

    Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?


    Welcome to the forum!

    I've found that the "expected" tip for a good guide; one that you enjoyed fishing with, was very knowledgeable and that may have gotten you into a large number of fish, can range widely; depending on what's considered a standard tip wherever you're fishing.

    As MP suggests, a percentage of the daily guiding fee is a good benchmark. But, when we fished the Yellowstone, a good tip was more in the range of 25%, the same was true in Chilean Patagonia. On the other hand, when we fished recently in Belize, it was about 15%. I'm not sure what it will be in MN, but would bet that it will be close to MP's percentage. I'd recommend that you ask one of the local Fly Shops where you plan to fish; they'll put you pretty much in the ballpark for tips.


    PS "308" is an interesting designation for me; it's not related to an Italian sports car by any chance, is it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?

    ss308: Checkout this thread, there was a pretty good discussion last year that might shed some insight: How much to tip a guide?


  5. Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?

    Thanks for the ideas.

    SS308 stands for Savage Striker 308 (my favorite caliber). I also do handgun hunting.
    Not as Lean, Not as Mean, But still a Marine!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?

    Any time we can get a tip it's nice. I never expect one, so that makes it even more special when I do. LOL

    When I visit a fishing lodge, they usually have a list of what to bring as well as tipping information. If the guide did a super job and we had fun, I usually tip a little higher.

    Something funny... the Japanese bass fishermen bring their own tackle and usually give you a lure or two as a tip. Considering how well they care for their tackle and the high price of Japanese fishing lures....
    that ain't such a bad deal.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?

    Personally, I've always considered the reason for a tip was to compensate exceptional service and help bring the server up to a decent and liveable wage. When it comes to a guide, it would make a difference to me if the guide was being paid by someone else like an outfitter or lodge, or if he was a self employed guide. If he's being paid a wage from someone else, he may very well need tips to make a decent living. If he's solo and charging $400 per day, he's set his own price to what he feels he's worth and how good of a living he wants to make. If he thinks he should make 15% more, he can charge 15% more. I may be out in left field here, but I feel the same about beauty shop owners that charge women $120 for an hour and a half work on their hair and then expect a tip. I've been self employed most of my life and never received a tip for any service rendered. However, I always charged what I wanted to. Forgive me if I've ruffled anyone's feathers. It's just the way I feel. I also don't give my mailman a Christmas present. I'm sure he makes more money that I do.

  8. Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?

    For a day on the water I give $100 unless the guide is a total jerk. Yes that is even at $400 - $500 a day and to someone eles's point, those are guides that are part of an outfit or are "Orvis endorsed".

    Then again I fish towards the end of the season and I imagine that this is a nice bump for them... Makes me feel good.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Colorado's Western Slope

    Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?

    The problem arises when the fishing is unproductive with the guides flies but mine work, getting a last minute fill in/part time guide who may or may not know the water, isn't outgoing, in a hurry to finish up, isn't forthcoming about other techniques or spots that may work and then mentions something about the tip. I agree they have to somewhat earn and make the trip enjoyable to his ability.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Proper Tipping for Guides?

    I have used a guide only one time in my life. I went solo and the trip cost me $497; based on my experience that day my guide got $120 for his tip.

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