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I often have guests that are world traveling fishermen.   While I get a lot of fishing days under my belt, they are all concentrated on the streams that are within reach of our lodge/ranch.   I fish the Klamath, Trinity, Cal Salmon and that is about as far as I get to go due to my life constraints and guiding logistics.   As well traveled fishing guests spend the day with me, the conversation sometimes goes to the topic of that incredibly great guide on the SUCH and SUCH river, or that horrendous guide on the So and So river.   The obvious questions I have are:   “Why was one a great guide and the other a poor guide?”
River Guide and Throw Bag

It seems that once you get past competence to put a client on to the fish, the most common responses relate to poor public relations and non-professional aspects of the service.  Other issues some mentioned included poor lunches and dodging the game wardens after confessing that the guide was not licensed.  The poor guides often have a sense of arrogance and intolerance of the guest’s fishing weaknesses, they may provide only limited service in the day, or cut the day short, and might actually fish in competition to the guests who have paid to be there.   These things are all amazing thoughts to me and somewhat hard to understand.   It seems only fair to assume that if a client has paid to have me guide them, that they demand every conceivable talent and asset I might posess to assist in the success of the day, and that we darn well better have an enjoyable day…..regardless of the weather or if we have fish in the stream.

I’ve been in one form of the guiding business or another since I was 14 years old (1968) and it is my career choice as well as my passion.  I love my job and I have a clear vision of what I think my guiding priorities ought to be.   So for the record, here we go:

Prime directive:   SAFETY – I require all of our fishing guests to wear a life vest in the boat, and it is a comfortable fishing vest that is easy to fish while wearing.  All of my guides have CPR, First Aid, and are fully licensed and bonded.

Second directive:  Put the guests on fish without being overbearing, arrogant, or demanding.   In other words – Just relax and have fun.    Have LOTS of fun mixing up the day with varied fishing tactics and good conversation.

Third directive:  Professional courtesy to all neighboring fishermen, local residents, and any people encountered in the trip.   I give a hearty smile and thumbs-up to that wade fisherman who happened to be in my favorite fishing hole with a fish on the line.   No fishing spot or different fishing tactic or divergent politic is worth losing the good karma of a perfect fishing day.   It’s fishing and it’s supposed to be enjoyed rather than argued about.
OK<   so how has the fishing been?   GREAT!   During the last two days we picked up around half pounders/boat and connected with 1 – 2 adult fish in the 5 pound range.   Wind has been somewhat nasty, but we have managed.

Here are some pictures of the days:

Later, Doug

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