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Re: fishing with a guide?

Joined:
2006/9/11 7:26
From Indiana
Posts: 62
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I don't HIRE a guide, I just hang out with Paul G and Maurice and Jack M. They point and I cast. Honesty I can see where a guide would beneficial to a person learning the sport or on new water with limited time to fish. When I first started fly-fishing I hired a guide to learn the ropes fishing for River Smallmouth Bass, strange, it was almost the same as Spin fishing for them.

Merle


Posted on: 2007/1/23 15:55
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Re: fishing with a guide?

Joined:
2007/1/23 20:26
From Emigrant, Mt
Posts: 620
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Interesting thread, especially for a full time guide in Montana. However, I am from Pa and Penns was my home stream for many years.

There were some interesting comments on why to and why not to hire a guide. What I was glad to see were the positive experiences from those who have hired a guide. So, I was thinking that you guys may be interested in a few thoughts from a guide???

I guide a couple hundred fishermen a year, mainly on the Yellowstone and occassionally the Madison rivers. The rest of my guide days are on the spring creeks of Paradise Valley. Also, I have been a fly fishing addict for thirty years now. Each year I see fishermen with all skill levels, from the first timers, to old timers with more days on the water than me.

What all these clients have in common is that they get to fish a precious few days a year out here. Many have never fished out of a drift boat before, and most are intimadated by the larger rivers. So, they hire a guide to help them get a jump on the learning curve. And, yes there is a learning curve coming from the east to the rivers out west.

A good guide should have encyclopedic knowledge of their water, the bugs and the fish. They should be patient coaches, have a sense of humor and be able to relate to a wide variety of personalities. Also, a good guide should be very willing to share some under the radar locale knowledge. They should be well equiped and have plenty of anything needed for a good day on the water.

Every piece of water has its own nuances and it takes time to figure things out. If you have only a few days to fish new water a guide gets you going full speed out of the gate. Sure, most fishermen can figure a new river out, in time. But, I know what it felt like to stand on the bank of the Yellowstone and Madison for the first time and think to myself, "What the heck do I do now?"

So, do I think that someone who only has a few days to fish out west should hire a guide? Heck yes, and not because I am a guide. Here are just a few reasons. Our rivers are big, they can overwhelm anyone the first time they try to fish them. Most of our rivers are hard to get around on. A drift boat will get you to water you will never see on foot. Boat rentals, yeah, I can just rent a boat, toon, raft. Every year rented and borowed boats get dumped. All it takes is a split second at the wrong place and wham. Happens every year, over and over. The flies, I have my own and I read this artical, etc. Sure, some of our eastern flies work well out west. But, many eastern anglers would ever fish a size two (or bigger) bugger or streamer. How many big, foamy things with rubber legs do you have? Every river and every guide has their own "special" flies that seem to work when all else fails.

Every time I get to fish a new river, or stream, I do my best to go with someone who considers that to be their home water. They know the best places for the time of day, weather conditions, time of year and flow levels. Sure, most guys can come out west and figure things out for themselves. And yeah, that is a fun and rewarding way to learn a new river, if you have some serious time.

Time. When it all is said and done that is the main benefit you get by hiring a competent guide. The knowledge gained with a guide on his water can make the difference between a good day and a couple days of flailing, trying to figure that river out yourself. When you only have a few days wouldn't you want to get a good start?

Posted on: 2007/1/23 22:48


Re: fishing with a guide?

Joined:
2006/9/9 19:37
From aliquippa
Posts: 618
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I remem,ber staying at a bed and breakfast in livingston montana, and the lady running it said that if we were going to fish the spring creeks we had better get a guide or we would not have any luck and i showed her the flies that i had and she said they probably wouldn`t work, well it took a liittle while but we all got a dozen of fish or so...but fishing the clark fork in missoula, having a guide for one day was worth it

Posted on: 2007/1/23 23:16


Re: fishing with a guide?

Joined:
2006/9/10 7:44
From Enola, Pa.
Posts: 2312
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I have never fished with a guide!

Last year Padraic and i fished the WB and we have are troubles with the big new water. I think we would have been better off getting a guide and doing a float trip. You just don't have enough time to get to know the area.

That's a lot of water up there!

PaulG

Posted on: 2007/1/24 7:26


Re: fishing with a guide?

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4269
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Paul G:

I assume you are talking about the West Branch of the Delaware - those fish have driven me nuts many times, although more so on the main stem from Hancock down. I have had at least a few good days on the WB. But it's certainly one place where a guide would be prudent

Flybop:

Nice to hear a guide's view on this. I've fished the Yellowstone and Madison - they certainly can be very intimidating.

I didn't start going out west until after I had been flyfishing for 10 years, so I guess I thought I knew everything, and didn't need any help. I also fished the Bighorn river my first 3-4 trips out in the early ninties. That river was so full of big fish then, that doing well there was no real accomplishment. So I guess that i just got it in my head that I didn't need a guide.
However, on my last western trip - to the San Juan River in Sept 05- I had a pretty tough time. A buddy and I spent a week there. We caught plenty of fish in the 10 -12 inch range, but not very many of the big guys. I thought I was a pretty good midge fisherman - I tie and fish them down to #32. But those fish humbled me. We actually gave some thought to hiring a guide for a day. Then we watched 2 other fisherman with a guide get skunked just below the dam one day. So we kept going on our own. We still had a great time there though.

As per the original post here, it sounds like you guys are split about 50-50 on this. I'm a little surprised that that many of you think as I do on this. Enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts.
Thanks for all the replies

Posted on: 2007/1/24 22:48


Re: fishing with a guide?

Joined:
2007/1/23 20:26
From Emigrant, Mt
Posts: 620
Offline
partial quote from dryflyguy,

"Then we watched 2 other fisherman with a guide get skunked just below the dam one day."

So far I have not gone through an entire day without any trout being caught by my clients. Some of those days were very tough, for me though. It is hard to believe but I have had so called experienced fly fishermen who could barely cast far enough to keep their flies out of the oar sweep. I am talking less than 10 feet. In that situation I am essentially casting and mending their line with the boat. At that point, as someone said, who is really fishing?

The vast majority of the guides I know work their butts off for their fishermen. Personally I know what it is like to live in Pa and dream about fishing in Montana. So I think that I relate to my client's overall excitement about being here.

There is one point that was made throughout this post. Sometimes it was right out in the open, other times it was implied. It is the ego thing. The way I look at this is fly fishing is a never ending learning experience. I still read books, use the web, watch casting videos and yes, try to fish with guys who know their river better than me. Wherever you go it is hard to beat local knoweldge. Nobody's ego should be bruised by hiring a good guide to take them down a big western river. I am planning a bonefish trip in the near future, and yes, I will be using a guide. I have done a good amount of saltwater fishing, but never for bones.

Anyway, it is nice to be back on a Pa board. It has been a while. As you all know, Pa has some great fishing. When I do come back to Pa I always bring my rod and go back and fish my old home waters. Spent a few great days on Penns around Christmas. She was fishing as well as I remembered.

Posted on: 2007/1/25 2:54


Re: fishing with a guide?

Joined:
2006/9/10 7:44
From Enola, Pa.
Posts: 2312
Offline
DFG

Sorry, yes that was the WB of the Delaware!

Posted on: 2007/1/25 8:14



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