There is a lot to know about fishing for Steelhead but you do not have to know it all otherwise this person would not have survived 37 years on the Babine River! How the fisherman rates his guide is what matters. It would be interesting to hear their view of what constitutes the “perfect” guide. My hunch is it might be quite different from the guides’ view of themselves. A guide first should realize the client knows his capabilities and his expectations coincide with his knowledge. He or she may even be happy with one fish for the week whereas others go for the big numbers. I like to give everyone their space allowing them to do their own thing then diplomatically give a bit of advice here and there if needed instead of like this: YOU are wading where you should be fishing! And, gimme that rod so I can show you what you should be doing with it! Why in the hell didn’t you learn how to cast before you got here it was nine months ago when you made your reservation. You have just wasted $8000!!
I admit sometimes that is what I am thinking but my patience overrides. (thus far) haha
When a new Steelheader hooks-up for the first time it is our job to make the occasion the most memorable. First of all, consider what is going through his mind. For sure, his concern is to do everything right to minimize the chance of losing his trophy. If the hook is, hopefully, set well and he doesn’t have his drag set to tight give him some space. You have done your part by showing him where the fish lie and which pattern to use. If he wants your advice he will ask for it. This is a huge moment in his life and the more he can do on his own the more valued the experience will be. I know it is tempting to jump right in beside the fisherman and start giving sage advice but he needs, at least, some time just between himself and the fish.
Guiding is a lot of fun for me because I make it that way. For the most part, the fishermen enjoy someone with a good sense of humor. Even though they take their sport very seriously having a lot of laughs throughout the day is important and makes for good evening conversations. In the background, I have heard someone say “Bob must think he is very funny” but I just ignore it.
I guess every guide is entitled to a “pet peave” mine is when I transport a fishermen to a run and they say: “is this a good spot”? I used to try to convince them it was but after hearing this to many times my reply would be: “it used to be but one of the other guides had some luck here a couple of weeks ago so it may come back one of these days”.