Is it worth it to pay a guide?

F

fishnquest

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Jan 22, 2009
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9mi beyond end of the world
Last year a friend here reserved 6 spaces for two days in a row with his favorite guide for steelhead fishing on the smith (ca) and the chetco. I went on that trip. I have been fishing most of my life, but this was my first time steellhead fishing. There were 3 guides for the six of us, all nice willy boats. I teamed with another guy who has been fishing most of his life. It was raining the first day, but neither of us cared.
Right off the bank, our guide started complaining about how upset he was with his 16 year old son (or stepson, or something):confused::think:. The guide starts telling me how stupid I am, "don't cast there", "what are you doing", "aw, you're jerking at nothing", etc.
I am losing gear and notice that the line is not breaking, but rather the knots are coming out (I can see the squirrelly end of the line where the knot came undone!) This happened no less than 3 times to both of us before I made a comment about it, then the knots got better. The guide would not let us tie a line or bait a hook; he insisted on doing everything for "his gear" and had plenty to brag about how great it was. The rig was nothing more than a hook on the end of the line with an egg or a piece of shrimp, with a splitshot somewhere above the hook.
In less than an hour I had the first fish on, the guide yelling at me to "PLAY IT, PLAY IT, PLAY IT". I ignored him, and brought the fish to the boat; a big, beautiful chromer hen (the guide kept the roe, fine by me). Shortly thereafter, my partner had one on that was obviously even bigger than mine, and the guide starts the same tirade. Paul lets the fish run and it immediately takes him to the gigantic snag we can all see and he loses the fish. That night, Paul told me how he regretted doing that.
My point is, even with the fish caught, that was the most miserable day I ever had fishing. The second day is not worth talking about, either.
$200.00 per day to get told how stupid I am, no answers to any questions, everything is a secret.
Is it worth it to pay a guide?
 
M

mikeredding

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Jan 17, 2009
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Springfield, Oregon
What a story. Sounds like a crummy day. As far as this case,
I think you answered your own question!:clap:
 
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O

Obsessed

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Feb 4, 2007
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St. Helens, OR
Not all guides are created equally. I'm sure there are some that are worth every penny and some that are not worth a damn.
 
R

Razz

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Jan 28, 2009
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Hoh
I went with fishawk guide Brookings last year great person never raised his voice when another guide would not get out of the way when we had a fish ,that was lost. Harvey just said we'll get another.
 
A

ArcticAmoeba

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Jun 5, 2008
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Oregon
a lot depends on who takes you out. I have a strange feeling I am familiar with your guide. Chetco, and Smith, in nice Willy's? I am positive. But there are plenty of great guides. Best way to rectify those power problems, is to bring the fact of payment, gear issues, or experience to his/her attention, and shove it down their throat. If you are not having a good experience, the guide needs to know. Otherwise the problem carries over to other clients.
 
J

JeannaJigs

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Feb 8, 2009
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Eugene, Oregon
Last year someone bought me a guided trip down the McKenzie, The guy was easy to get along with and made it a relaxing experience, but ultimately, i felt like i learned nothing, and would have had better success going it on my own on the bank. We were targeting summer steel and while we landed a buttload of nice trout, they were hatchery trout. While it was nice to get off the bank and drift the river, ultimately the day had a lackluster finish. He only pulled plugs, and said he didn't mess with any other presentation. So I pulled the SAME orange and silver hotshot...all damn day, while my brother pulled a cop car hotshot. It was late in the season, there were plenty of steelhead in that river, they were jumping even. I pulled one out the day before banking it drifting a tiny red corkie. The whole purpose of a guided trip for me was so that I could maybe learn some new techniques, as the person that taught me to fish (my parental unit) only uses one method, and, well, I hate drift fishing generally speaking as i suck something fierce at it, and the loss of gear is sometimes infuriating, even though that's how the game is played.

So i went with a guide to learn something, and learned nothing...but it was still an enjoyable day on the river, and i killed my quoata of braindamaged hatchery trout.

I think the only perk to a guide would be to get me in a boat and off the bank, as, i don't know anyone that has a drift boat anymore.
 
L

luv2fish

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Apr 29, 2008
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Portland
i'm kinda skeptical about guides....if you have good bait ( which guides usually have..-and even then they get skunked sometimes).....there's not a whole lot which people don't know...the only positive part being with guide ( which helps to learn the river) is that they know the river very well and know where the fish gonna congregate..or are already there....they know the contours of the river and they know what kind of bait works in certain area...other than that....there's not a whole lotta "tricks" in the guide bag.

again..still i'm not against guides, since its a profession and a living ( though a lil bit over priced )
 
C

Catch 22

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Jan 13, 2009
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The real O.C.
From an Ex guide:

Before you hire a guide, spend no less than 15 minutes on the phone with them. You will usually figure out whether you want to spend 10 hours in a boat with them.

Let them know what you are expecting before you book. Guides are not mind readers. A good guide will ask. Many just assume you want to catch fish. They will not assume you want to learn the river or learn a technique. Most clients I had were from out of town and were looking to spend a day on the river between meetings and wanted to catch fish. They didn't care what the name of a hole was or how to rig the gear. If you do, tell them.

Some guides are jerks. Actually a lot of them are. I always tried to be fun and outgoing. I liked to teach when clients wanted to learn. A good guide reads his clients. He notices how they react to suggestions.

fishnquest: Many people would have been happy with your guide. You wanted something different in your adventure and were left feeling unsatisfied. And I'm sure you were. I would not have taken that well myself as I won't put up with that kind of client handling. Please take this as some helpful criticism for the future. Your enjoyment should have came first. He may have thought he was doing the right thing. But he couldn't know because he didn't ask and I'm assuming you never told him.

Also, I've noticed that type of guiding more so down there. We have them up here too but not so many. There are many great guides out of the Portland area. I would love to give you a referral.

Also, some guides still practice the "eggs stay with the boat" deal. I always asked for them and never had anyone say they wanted them. But if someone did, I would have bagged them up for them with a smile. I wouldn't lose a future trip over a skien of eggs. Some are just dumb business people. What can I say?
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Fishnquest, sorry you had a bad expierence. Like any other occupation in life there are the good guys and the bad guys. There is another thread on this subject and Troutski made a comment that crystallized the issue for me. He said something to the effect ....as a boat ownwer going with a guide gives him a chance to kick back and relax..........I like that idea. I believe getting the right guide for what you desire is the way to go.
 
H

halibuthitman

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Feb 12, 2009
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guides

guides

sounds like a lack of research, I have drifted the canyon on the yakima in october and the situk in alaska in april... both guides were awsome! my only recomendation would be to pay for a one on one float.. head boats never have good storys.

"most of my money I spent on beer, boats and trucks... the rest of it I wasted!"
 
K

Kodiak

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Jul 7, 2008
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Mill City, Oregon
Guides

Guides

Guides can be worth their weight in gold if they are willing to teach not preach. I have been with guides that take the time toteach you the whys and hows of what their doing, others are more geared to killing fish rather than the expierience, they have an agenda or are trying to build a name. Take the time to talk to them before you go out with them, get a referal list of clients and call them and ask.
 

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