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Is your guide a stud or a dud?

Sometimes in the fishing business you book a trip with someone and they stick you with the guide of their choice.  You are often at the mercy of ‘luck of the draw’ at this point.  Its like when you go to a trout lodge and half the guides are young, fresh out of college kids, taking a year off to full fill a bucketlist dream job for a year before they get a “real job”.  You know you are going to catch less fish that day than the guy who has been guiding there for 10 years and is a lifer.  Day in and day out, first year guides on a new body of water will be out performed buy the vets.

So how can you tell if your fishing guide is feeding you a line of crap about his experience or not? Well its easy, follow this list.

  • When you jump into his truck have a look a the windshield, if it doesn’t have a massive crack that he can barely the road see while driving than he probably is more of a “highway guy”.  Most likely he isn’t trekking the backroads in search of fresh water and secret access.  The worse his windshield looks, the better the guide he is.

  • Check out his waders and boots.  If hes a legit guide his boot laces will have broken at least twice on the river, and you should see a couple surgeon knots where he spliced them back together on the spot.  Brand new boots, laces? You have ended up with a dud. Brand new waders, no aqua seal or patches visible to the eye? Next please!

  • When your guide pulls in to pick you up, do you notice a dog poking a head out of the window?  If not you may want to think about calling in sick this day.  If your fishing guide is a cat person you may quickly find some very quirky behaviour and a recluse personality than can only equate to one thing….No Fish!

  • The easiest way to find out how experienced your guide is has always been the same. A new guide will always spend the first hour telling you how much experience they have, where they have fished, and who they know in the industry. A great guide has no time for this and really could care less.  The top guides know that they are giving you the best possible chance at catching fish each and every day with them on the water.  Beyond that its up to the fish gods and the anglers themselves.

The next time you find yourself with a new fishing guide, just use my checklist to find out right away how your day will go. People always have a contingency plan on a blind date in case your stud turns out to be a dud, maybe consider having the same thing for your fishing guide.

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