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Fishing guides - do you tip them?

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  • Fishing guides - do you tip them?

    Howdy folks!

    My lovely fiance got me a guided fly fishing trip around the blue ridge area for my birthday (I don't know any details, it's a surprise.) Since this is my first guided fly trip, anything I need to know before I go? Do you tip the guide for showing up or only for excellent service? Will they have all the flies/gear I'll need for the river being fished or do I need to bring my own stuff?

    Any tips to make my trip go smoothly would be much appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Dave

  • #2
    Yes, you tip so long as the trip is taken. Even if you catch no fish or a hundred, the guide is working to show you a great time but they can't control the elements or if the bite is on - or off. So yes, please do.

    As for the equipment and flies it's tough to say without knowing who your wife selected. Many guides do provide everything but it just depends.

    Others will be along shortly to provide further commentary.
    "What's his offense?"
    "Groping for trouts in a peculiar river."
    ― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

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    • #3
      Always tip your guide. Always. How much will depend on how you feel he did getting on what you are after. Bad fishing karma not too. How much will depend on the cost of the trip as well what I mentioned above. Good luck.
      #JBNavy

      "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
      -Chinese Proverb

      “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
      -Norman Maclean

      "We are what we hunt."
      -PH

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Trout8myfly View Post
        Yes, you tip so long as the trip is taken. Even if you catch no fish or a hundred, the guide is working to show you a great time but they can't control the elements or if the bite is on - or off. So yes, please do.

        As for the equipment and flies it's tough to say without knowing who your wife selected. Many guides do provide everything but it just depends.

        Others will be along shortly to provide further commentary.
        George covered it pretty well. Definitely tip the guide. Many times your guide will be paying for flies and terminal tackle out of his pocket. The amount your fiancé paid covers his salary, possibly access to the water he takes you on. Your tip tells him you had a great trip, it recognizes how hard he worked to put you on fish. As George said, he can't control whether or not you catch fish.
        If you are not pleased with the guide, your tip can also relay that thought. If you are a good tipper, the guide knows he did a good job. If you "no tip" the guide may not know whether you forgot or if you were not pleased. If you tip a small amount, he knows you didn't forget AND you were not satisfied with the trip.
        Regarding the use of your own tackle, ask beforehand. Some do, some don't mind if you bring rod and reel. The guides I have been with supplied flies, tippet, etc.
        Just as a side note, I like to do something different. I tipped a couple of guides with dollar coins, rolled. Hopefully they will remember you for your generosity and uniqueness.
        BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

        Exodus 29:18
        Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

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        • #5
          Most guides I know will say "tips are never expected but they are always appreciated". You tip a brain dead waitress to bring you food, why would you not tip a guide that busted his a$$ all day helping you catch fish.
          Message sent from your mom's bedroom during pillow talk

          Buck Henry
          Simple Goat Herder
          Former NGTO President
          Hall of Fame Member

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Buck Henry View Post
            Most guides I know will say "tips are never expected but they are always appreciated". You tip a brain dead waitress to bring you food, why would you not tip a guide that busted his a$$ all day helping you catch fish.
            I wish I could thumbs up this post Buck.
            #JBNavy

            "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
            -Chinese Proverb

            “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
            -Norman Maclean

            "We are what we hunt."
            -PH

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Buck Henry View Post
              You tip a brain dead waitress to bring you food, why would you not tip a guide that busted his a$$ all day helping you catch fish.
              Wow...I hope no one on here has a spouse or family member who is a waitress. No offense, but you will have a very hard time convincing me that a guide on a given day, as hard as they do work, will work harder than many waitresses. My daughter use to be one years ago and she worked to exhaustion many days...just saying.
              BTW, just went on a guided trip & I think I tipped my guide pretty generously, we all should. You will know if they've earned it, and if so, be generous to them. That stuff seems to always come back to you.
              Just a thought...or two,
              Darryl

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              • #8
                With a guided trip you should tip at least $100.00.
                "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by narcodog View Post
                  With a guided trip you should tip at least $100.00.


                  ^? That's an interesting thought


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  "I don't hate trout fishing, just the people who trout fish."
                  -Our friend Nam, but secretly Ret

                  "Stop Whining"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by troutrookie View Post
                    Wow...I hope no one on here has a spouse or family member who is a waitress. No offense, but you will have a very hard time convincing me that a guide on a given day, as hard as they do work, will work harder than many waitresses. My daughter use to be one years ago and she worked to exhaustion many days...just saying.
                    Was thinking the exact same thing.
                    I'm so old I remember when men wore tattoos and women wore earrings.
                    -Lefty Kreh

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Trouter23 View Post
                      Was thinking the exact same thing.
                      +1, Worked as a waiter my whole time during high school and 2 years of college. As did my gf throughout college. To be fair, I don't think Buck directed this towards those who work hard and are pursuing an education, yet need the cash. He probably intended to direct the comment towards those select individuals in every occupation that do the bare minimum and "go through the motions" yet are usually compensated. Everyone's had a bad waiter before, (Late night Waffle House is usually my culprit of this haha)

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                      • #12
                        Not to hijack the thread but I’m curious about tipping in a certain situation. You are fishing private water and the rod fee for the water is $200. The guide fee is $150. So the total is $350 but the cost of labor is $150 and the cost of access is $200. Having a guide is optional. Do you tip off of the $350 or the $150? Or something in between? What’s the appropriate amount? $30? 50? 70?

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                        • #13
                          Another question comes to mind as to tipping a Guide working for a Fly Shop/Outfitter vs tipping a one man solo Independent Guide. The Guide working for the Outfitter/Shop has to share the money with the owner and it may be a larger chunk if the trip is on private water with an access fee. The Independent Guide gets the entire trip fee on public water. Obviously a tip to the Shop/Outfitter Guide would help make up what he had to share with the owner. On the other hand would you tip the Independent Guide on public water that is getting the entire fee thus just adding on to the cost of the trip ? Or would you tip the Independent only if he took you to private water and he had to pay an access fee?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Ole Man View Post
                            Another question comes to mind as to tipping a Guide working for a Fly Shop/Outfitter vs tipping a one man solo Independent Guide. The Guide working for the Outfitter/Shop has to share the money with the owner and it may be a larger chunk if the trip is on private water with an access fee. The Independent Guide gets the entire trip fee on public water. Obviously a tip to the Shop/Outfitter Guide would help make up what he had to share with the owner. On the other hand would you tip the Independent Guide on public water that is getting the entire fee thus just adding on to the cost of the trip ? Or would you tip the Independent only if he took you to private water and he had to pay an access fee?


                            Buck put it the best I have seen. " tips are never expected, but greatly appreciated". I can tell you there is a lot more that goes into a trip then you expect. When I've taken people out there is a good amount of prep time that goes into any trip, private or public waters. I actually just spent 2 hours tying for a buddy who is taking out some people tomorrow. He would normally tie himself, but circumstances did not allow for it. Some guides will also fish the water the day prior to survey the bite (hone in on the right flies, but not fish hard). I also know some that will run off 4 hours of sleep a night during prime time when they are booked up solid. They are cleaning gear, tying flies, travel time, getting the right supplies, scheduling trips, following up on upcoming trips. The list goes on. Then there is the unseen costs. Insurance, rod fees, supplies, ect.

                            Guiding is not easy. That is why you will typically only find the truley passionate guys that are guiding and fewer older guides that have stuck with it. Whenever I have had the luxury to go out with a guide its best to absorb as much knowledge as you can and hope half of it sticks. Everyone guides differently as everyone fishes a little differently. Learn what you can do o better yourself and have fun!
                            Check out my personal Facebook page Tight Lines Joe of North Georgia and my Instagram Page Tightlinesjoe where I give tips on different tactics, stream reports and pictures of Georgia trout!

                            Team Georgia Competitive Fly Fishing Team now has a Facebook Page and an Instagram Page . Check them out for great information, pictures and events!

                            New to fly fishing? Check out Monthlyfly.com For localized Match The Hatch Flies mailed to your door!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Buck Henry View Post
                              Most guides I know will say "tips are never expected but they are always appreciated". You tip a brain dead waitress to bring you food, why would you not tip a guide that busted his a$$ all day helping you catch fish.
                              I'm going to awake from my board slumber to say this "brainless waitress", brought you food while working 40+ hours a week on top 15 credit hours a semester. JUST TO PAY FOR RENT, RAMEN, AND FISHING TACKLE.

                              I could tell you too, the rest of my crew at that restaurant. One is now a licensed civil engineer, I am now a LEED certified green associate, two nurses, one on the way to law school, and yes... a couple of class A braindead idiots.

                              Alot of times its actually the braindead clientele that treat you like crap late on Sunday night, RIGHT before you have a Calculus III final on Monday at 8am that are the real jackwagons. Simple because they think you are the scum of the earth for being a waiter.

                              How's the view from 1%er mountain?
                              I like em big fat and sloppy.

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