Getting the Most from a Guided Trip
|On a fishing trip last week I became involved
in a discussion concerning fishing guides and outfitters. Most of the conversation
focused on what differentiates a great trip from one that needs to be permanently
erased from memory.
At the very top of the list of favorable results was that the trip met
or exceeded expectations. This means that information conveyed to the
client was both accurate and complete. Moreover, the outfitter was able
to deliver on the promised agenda. Everyone had horror stories about trips
that turned sour due to a failure to communicate and/or accommodate expectations.
||A knowledgeable and accomplished guide can make a big difference. Bob Bush put this client (on the left) in a position to catch this nice rainbow during very difficult conditions on the Yampa River.|
In many cases, the failure was a joint problem. The client failed to ask the right questions and/or had an unrealistic image of the trip. I've actually encountered clients that have never been fly fishing yet ask "how many fish over 20-inches will we catch today?" On the other hand, the outfitter may over promise or fail to explain what the client can reasonably expect.
Expectations problems occur with all fishermen irrespective of experience. On a trip to Chile some years ago I was told we would do some streamer fishing. I didn't bother to ask how much and brought only one mid-weight rod and a single intermediate sink tip line. 100% of the fishing was with heavy steamers using high density sinking lines. Even worse was the fact that the outfitter and his guides did not spare gear to accommodate clients. I had a good time but it could and should have been a lot better for the $3,800 expenditure.
You need to identify:
The second key ingredient of a good trip is matching the right guide to the right client(s). A year ago a good friend had a guide who added virtually nothing to the experience other than rowing the boat - a $385 a day chauffeur. The client had forgotten more about fishing than his guide had learned in his limited experience. In another case, the client was paired with a guide in Belize who spoke no English. The client had never fished for Bonefish and did not know about slip striking. He hooked and lost 30 bonefish before one of the other members of his party explained the technique. The assistance provided by the local guide during this frustrating period was to say in broken English: "trout fisherman."
You need to know:
The final component of a good experience is to be a good client. All of my companions had a few stories about how one or more individuals made a trip miserable for other fishermen and the guide.
A good client: