An Outstanding Guide

What makes an Outstanding Fly Fishing Guide?

…I was guiding an angler who often fishes with us. He spoke about a fortnight he had recently spent in New Zealand with a world famous fishing guide. The weather was really bad. The guide had his eyes set on catching trophy fish. Rivers were deeper than usual so the angler spent his fortnight fishing a tandem nymph rig and sight casting at trout some twenty-five yards away. The trout were extremely spooky. Every time the fish spotted a strange movement like an off target cast or even the angler moving out from behind cover for a moment, they disappeared.

The angler – an American – really preferred dry fly fishing, so day after day both guide and angler got more and more frustrated as chance by chance slipped away.

The first thing a guide has to do his keep his guest motivated. Catching fish helps a lot but if fishing conditions are against you, then you have to change your plans and find the most suitable conditions for your guest. If you are limited to fishing just one stretch of river then your possibilities of a flexible response are severely reduced. A good guide has a vast range of places to fish. Showing the guest a variety of techniques so as to increase his chances of success is another thing a good guide should do, however, if your guest prefers not to follow your advice, just insisting is a waste of everybody´s time and even the most enthusiastic angler will soon get disheartened.

SALVELINUS is convinced that a good guide is not just someone who can catch fish where others fail. A guide who takes an angler to waters teeming with fish without reflecting on the circumstances and technical limitations of the water and the angler is not a good guide either.

A good guide is someone who empathizes with guests, identifies their requirements and preferences and uses this knowledge to instruct and help the angler to do what he wants to do.

This underlying philosophy is only feasible if a guide is completely convinced that the worst day of fishing imaginable can become one the best fishing days of a lifetime if he knows what the guest is looking for.

Guests seek out a guide for many reasons. Some want to fish all day long without seeing another angler. Some others want to catch a lot of fish. Other guests want to discover, learn and master a new technique. Some guests are bent on catching the trophy fish of a lifetime. A good guide must know what his guest is looking for and on the basis of the waters being fished, should personalize the program.

Published on Salvelinus

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