We’ve all had fishing trips that didn’t go the way that we had hoped.
With any new experience, there’s often a lot of expectation that goes into it, and when that experience doesn’t go exactly as you had planned, I sometimes hear that it is the guide's fault. Now that may be true from time to time, but oftentimes...a lot of the problems could have been prevented through simple communication with the guide.
One thing to keep in mind with any guide trip, your guide cannot make the fish bite, the winds not blow, or alter the weather. These variables are just part of being outdoors. However, there are conditions that the guide can help with.
Here are a few tips for a successful guide trip:
- Tell your guide your abilities and be honest. I would rather have a client tell me that they can comfortably cast 35 feet, than to have someone tell me that they can cast 50 feet with no problem. It is usually then when we get on the water they have a hard time casting 30. If a guide knows your ability he will pick the piece of water that suits your ability best.
- Listen to your guide. If he suggests that you move to a different section of the river because of incoming weather, and you express that you want to “stay put,” I can guarantee that your guide will have little mercy as you are trying to cast into the wind. Most guides are better than weathermen in predicting the day’s weather. Also, if they suggest a different section of water, it could be to suit your ability better.
- Make your best effort to fish the way that you guide wants to fish. They live on that river for days at a time, and can probably tell you what every fish’s name is and where they live. They also want you to catch fish. It is not in their best interest for you to not catch fish.
- Ask for guidance. If you are not used to fishing in the wind and the wind is raging that day, then ask your guide to give you some pointers while still in the parking lot or anchored at the ramp. Once you ask for the help try to do what your guide says or ask them to demonstrate the technique. The guides want to share their knowledge. They appreciate being asked questions and having a client try to improve their knowledge base.
- Try and have a good time. I often see clients with guides and the clients are talking about business and not paying attention to the fishing. Then at the end of the day, they do not understand why they didn’t catch any fish. Now, I understand that there is a lot of business done on guide trips, I have even done some myself. But don’t sacrifice a good day of fishing for something that can be worked out over dinner at the end of the day when you are both relaxed and there is no pressure to make another cast.
All in all, the key is to be open, flexible, and communicative with your guide. Our goal is the same as yours, to have a memorable fishing experience in the great outdoors, and catch a few trout while you’re at it!