Gink and Gasoline… they just keep putting out quality. They had the bit a while back about do’s and don’ts for your guided trip. That was a popular one. They just put out a list of do’s and don’ts for the guide. It is worth a read.
Of course… the obligatory disclaimer. I love fishing with a good guide. A guide who is tuned in is such an amazing way to spend the day on the water. You learn so much, about the fish, the water, the country. Every trip with a good guide leaves you a better angler.
Dwayne, calling out a fish to Jason Bourne (photo from Aaron Vanderwall) (Dwayne was a good guide, by the way)
Still… I’ve had at least a couple trips I was less than thrilled with, so I have a few pointers for the guides to add…
Sure, don’t talk politics. Don’t want to get into a debate with someone on the other side of the isle. While the US has two political parties, there are an estimated 4,200 different religions in the world. Time on the water is not time to tell me about your personal brand of salvation.
- Don’t break out the homophobia or sexims
Maybe you go around talking about how women need to be put in their place or you want to share your strong beliefs that all gay people are going to hell. While those ideas make you kind of an a-hole (something you are likely proud of if you hold those views), you should totally not share your awesome ideas with your clients. If you get that one wrong and, let’s say, talk about how gays are going to hell to the guy who has a gay son… well… he’s not going to have a good time.
- Don’t get baked, unless you get the green light
Could be your client isn’t down with the 420 lifestyle. Could be he doesn’t mind at all. Make sure you know before you break out the blunt.
- Don’t poach someone else’s water
I’ve been on both ends of this. I’ve had a guide get way too close to another boat. That boat happened to be from the lodge we were staying at and I apologized to the anglers from that boat at dinner. It isn’t the position you want to put your clients in. I’ve also been on the receiving side and had a guide motor up and put his client on fish I was working. That did not make me happy. In the Keys we had a guide come over and ask us if he was going to be in our way. Since we were just out for kicks and he had paying clients, Capt. Derek Rust told him to go ahead and go ahead of us. It was class all the way around. That is what you want people to experience.
A good guide cuts years off your learning curve. A good guide makes the trip, maybe even your year. A good guide is priceless. A bad guide can suck the joy out of one of the most joyful things humankind has yet come up with.