Wanna be a fishing guide?

Lewis Chessman

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Lovely, Andy, so pleased you had a grand time guiding - most of the time, anyway. It can never be all good, can it? :) But it's a great thing that friendships formed in a few hours on the water can last a lifetime. As I mentioned before, our sport is a great leveller and seems often to elicit a simple honesty between client and guide/gillie.

Interesting that you should mention the word, 'hosting'. I did wonder whether 'host' might suit tdf if his dream comes true?

If I may return momentarily to tdf: I did suggest fine food as a USP for your guests. If that could be sourced locally it could benefit several of your neighbours as well as yourself, which would only help the community and help you being accepted/welcomed.
Don't offer too much wine at lunch, though! ;)
Another positive might be to take a first-aider's course. I often ask my guests early on if they have any medical conditions I should know about - and if so where they keep the pills!
 

Reg Wyatt

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@BobP (and ACW if following): Bob, I thought Jack Shepherd used to guide for Dermot Wilson's company, operating out of Nether Wallop Mill, back in the 1970s.
Does that ring any bells with you?
Lewis forgive my interruption but giving my age away here, I remember well fishing on the Itchen with Dermot Wilson. It was always at Martyr Worthy with Dermot, Ron Holloway and a lovely American Larry Solomon. There were always a few others there, Jack Sheperd may of been one of them I don't recall although I do remember Pat Fox there who looked after the stretch below Easton Bridge - may have been Orvis water? Donny Donovan was working there as an under keeper and being the youngest was the driver to the pub, The Chestnut Horse. What an education that was! Some fantastic fishermen although sad to say the pub did them no favours. Wonderful times.
Sorry Lewis I digress and haven't helped you with Jack!

Reg Wyatt
 

Lewis Chessman

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No apologies necessary, Reg. I think it must have been a very interesting time to have been in the business. The more I know the happier I am.
If it was 'the Orvis water' then Dermot must have already sold his place to them (c. 1980?). I've been told that ''Jack worked for Dermot'' by Steve Wedlake, formerly with Veals, but quite in what capacity I don't know.
I have a D.W. rod, 'The Ishbel Shepherd', named for, and probably once belonging to, Jack's wife, hence my first heading down the Nether Wallop rabbit hole. :)
 

blithfield2

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The OP was related to the FB Guide School, which I think I don't like the idea of. Not because it may create more competition for my business, but rather that it's intimates that you can become a fishing guide after a weeks course and that there are no real entry requirements.
Similar to driving schools providing an intensive week long course to enable learners to pass the DVLA test. There is no way the students undertaking the course can be called experienced drivers after a week but they are taken to a level that they can consolidate upon.............and become experienced.

If the market is there, then good luck to FB for identifying it.
 
Last edited:

Reg Wyatt

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Forgive me Lewis, I meant the beat below the Easton road bridge was I think Orvis water looked after by Pat Fox, immediately downstream of Martyr Worthy beat which was looked after by Holloway and Donovan.
Another of the fishers was Simon Cain who used to do lots of rods with Dermot - maybe yours? Pretty sure I would have had a beer with Jack but my memory was somewhat hazed by being in a pub with that lot but the lessons learnt watching them on the river was more than worth it.

Reg Wyatt
 

BobP

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Another positive might be to take a first-aider's course. I often ask my guests early on if they have any medical conditions I should know about - and if so where they keep the pills!
All of us have done a 1st aid course. My top-up was last February, not long before all this started off.

Asking about what health issues the clients may have was rammed home a couple of years ago on a corporate day when one of the group casually announced at close of play that he was allergic to wasp stings, this in mid-summer! Never told us until close of play. Lord knows what would have happened if he had been stung. I always ask now.

Three years ago we had groups of Americans over for the mayfly. I was paired up with two of them for five days and one of them was quite elderly and had back problems along with several other health issues. Not the fittest that was for sure.

We were fishing a beat of the Test and in the afternoon he decided to take advantage of a bench and have a rest. He said he was fine and I should carry on with the other client. About 45 minutes later I felt I ought to get back to make sure John was OK. As I got closer to him I could see that he was just slumped over and the alarm bells started. My thought was "How the hell am I going to tell Simon I've killed one of the clients!" followed by "Where is the blo*dy helicopter going to land because we can't carry him out from here." As I got up to him he suddenly woke with a start and I breathed again.

I doubt that any First Aid course would have helped if he really had gone.
 

andygrey

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Similar to driving schools providing an intensive week long course to enable learners to pass the DVLA test. There is no way the students undertaking the course can be called experienced drivers after a week but they are taken to a level that they can consolidate upon.............and become experienced.

If the market is there, then good luck to FB for identifying it.
Just to take your analogy a bit further... maybe consider it as going from learner driver to driving instructor in a week...
 

blithfield2

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Just to take your analogy a bit further... maybe consider it as going from learner driver to driving instructor in a week...

Make a note of this, we almost agree. It does depend very much on FB and their promises and the aspirations of the attendees
 

Lewis Chessman

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Not much on the telly so I thought I'd share a happier gillie's story.

A few years back when on the Spey I was asked if I'd show a fresh group of American visitors the basics of the single Spey to prepare them for their coming day on the river.
I confess, I was a bit miffed as this was scheduled for early evening and I'd already done my day's work. And it was to be done on the grass outside the lodge. I don't think grass-casting carries a candle to teaching on flowing water. However ......

I duly and dutifully turned up early, got the gear out and equipped all six with house rods, reels and lines and we went through the motions as best we could. Fine, but I'm getting hungry for my supper now.
As we ended one gent asked, "James, is there a dress code for the river tomorrow?"
Fair question. After all, I'm there in my estate-tartan Tweed plus-fours and jacket, tie, cap and all. It was that kind of place. But I was hungry!

"Well," I said, "You'll be standing crotch-deep in a river wearing rubber waders. Perhaps a gimp mask will cap the look."

Thankfully, they all laughed.

The following day all went well enough, if fishless, but they had a good time just trying. In the afternoon I took a wee break with the party host and his friend, Joe, and we chewed the fat awhile, sitting on the bank.
"You know, James," the host said, just mucking about, "back in the States I'm an Islamic terrorist and Joe here makes porn films."
"Really?" I said, utterly deadpan, "That's strange. I used to direct Islamic terrorist porn movies. I'm surprised we've not met before."
Oh, how we laughed.
🤪
 

ohanzee

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Just to take your analogy a bit further... maybe consider it as going from learner driver to driving instructor in a week...

Reading through the tread this is really the only thing wrong in the world of guides, instructors and gillies, clearly there are experienced voices here that know their water and clientele, its refreshing and interesting to read, good honest service for what is effectively a small market.

Where I think it gets annoying is the new guide business that promises to sell the dream to others, stretching further into corners to find clients to promise them something that is not real, they are now inventing the dream.
I work in education so I see it from that point of view, guides are educators, bit broader than casting instructors but much the same in that the guide or instructor can do it and the client wants to learn it, what is missing there is the period of time that the student needs to turn that learning into experience and prove they can do it well, I'd say £2.5k is fast track private education, I'd want a team of the best for each component of the course and a properly verified test and qualification at the end, as you would expect of any education program for a professional qualification, if it doesn't have that authenticity its no good to me as a business, its just learning stuff.

I think this is quite separate from the aptitude or living in an area where people need guided, that just needs to be there and is maybe more important for anyone considering it as a career, Easker for example has the experience by default and lives in the middle of his fishing domain, so he becomes the go to guy for that without having to sell himself, he also has the manner of someone you would listen to and take advice from, these are key things that you just need to do the job, in mainstream education you get an interview and guidance to determine these things before you start, I'm not convinced these course providers are giving that advice up front.

A casting qualification is a good example, you get addicted to being good and passing the test, its intense and by the time you pick up the qualification you can put a fly through a keyhole, but if you live in Glasgow you have a very different clientele from Pitlochry, and no one told you that you would make less money with considerably more organising than washing cars for a living if you just happen to have more dirty cars than fly fishers in your area.
 

JoeOh

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Not much on the telly so I thought I'd share a happier gillie's story.

A few years back when on the Spey I was asked if I'd show a fresh group of American visitors the basics of the single Spey to prepare them for their coming day on the river.
I confess, I was a bit miffed as this was scheduled for early evening and I'd already done my day's work. And it was to be done on the grass outside the lodge. I don't think grass-casting carries a candle to teaching on flowing water. However ......

I duly and dutifully turned up early, got the gear out and equipped all six with house rods, reels and lines and we went through the motions as best we could. Fine, but I'm getting hungry for my supper now.
As we ended one gent asked, "James, is there a dress code for the river tomorrow?"
Fair question. After all, I'm there in my estate-tartan Tweed plus-fours and jacket, tie, cap and all. It was that kind of place. But I was hungry!

"Well," I said, "You'll be standing crotch-deep in a river wearing rubber waders. Perhaps a gimp mask will cap the look."

Thankfully, they all laughed.

The following day all went well enough, if fishless, but they had a good time just trying. In the afternoon I took a wee break with the party host and his friend, Joe, and we chewed the fat awhile, sitting on the bank.
"You know, James," the host said, just mucking about, "back in the States I'm an Islamic terrorist and Joe here makes porn films."
"Really?" I said, utterly deadpan, "That's strange. I used to direct Islamic terrorist porn movies. I'm surprised we've not met before."
Oh, how we laughed.
🤪
Wow, I was going to consider booking a day with you, but the idea of being guided through a fishless day, by a very hungry gimp wearing guide, all the time expecting to be ambushed by sexy nude islamic terrorists has made me wonder if the excitement would be too much...
"Pop" Imagination bubble gone....Phew !
 

easker1

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Talking to an old Client last night, he told me hiring me when he first came to fish in the highlands it was the best money he ever spent( His wife bought it for his Birthday) but it sounded nice, we have been friends for over 20 yrs now and often get together to fish ( as friends) one of the decent accolades , easker1
 

ohanzee

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Talking to an old Client last night, he told me hiring me when he first came to fish in the highlands it was the best money he ever spent( His wife bought it for his Birthday) but it sounded nice, we have been friends for over 20 yrs now and often get together to fish ( as friends) one of the decent accolades , easker1

You have a thing that no guide course can teach, it comes so easy you don't even know you have it, its a history of places and times lived and fished, 'fishing experience' is too narrow a description, its years and years of it.
 

ohanzee

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Wow, I was going to consider booking a day with you, but the idea of being guided through a fishless day, by a very hungry gimp wearing guide, all the time expecting to be ambushed by sexy nude islamic terrorists has made me wonder if the excitement would be too much...
"Pop" Imagination bubble gone....Phew !

If there was a job for an Isis international image improvement consultant you would be all over it :D
 

caeran

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Pleasure and enjoyment

That’s why we take up hobbies

Why is there , amongst nearly all the posts, a dismissal of this course on the basis that it is not going to turn out qualified or even half decent guides .

The last post by easker gives us the biggest clue
“ his wife bought it as a present”

Most of these “ experiences “ are bought as presents and who is to say that’s not the case here

I don’t think that you are going to have six “ clients” per class earnestly believing that they are going to step into the world of guiding and make a living.

I think the attendees are probably Just expecting a weeks fishing with some tuition , good company and rubbing shoulders with other anglers and listening to guest speakers
Whilst getting a perspective on guiding
Maybe the course could be a gift to a recently retired parent or colleague who is already an experienced angler

There are many lone travellers and tourists who like activity holidays
They might embark upon a watercolour painting course or a residential cookery course out of interest but also as a week spent in the company of other like minded people - ready made company.


So why do so many contributors to this thread feel threatened - if you are good enough then you are good enough

I don’t suppose Marco Pierre White is losing any sleep about someone advertising courses to turn amateur cooks into Michelin starred chefs in a week

Activity breaks are very popular

You can learn to sail a dinghy in a weekend
I know - I have done it and enjoyed it immensely
I learned two things - arthritic knees and sailing don’t mix and the next time I go on a boat there are two requirements
A jacuzzi, cocktail ,sunshine and 3 meals a day

When I go fishing ( sea fishing) the boat must have an engine!!
, an experienced skipper / guide with a PROVEN RECORD of getting on the fish and how to target a variety of species.

I have never asked a skipper for a certificate of attendance on a course

We all know that certificate proves nothing whatsoever
There is much more
We all know that reputation and word of mouth is more important
It also helps if the skipper is pleasant and good company .

To the guides on here
You have nothing to fear

I just see such courses as a pastime , a bit of a holiday and on that basis why not?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

andygrey

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Pleasure and enjoyment

That’s why we take up hobbies

Why is there , amongst nearly all the posts, a dismissal of this course on the basis that it is not going to turn out qualified or even half decent guides .

The last post by easker gives us the biggest clue
“ his wife bought it as a present”

Most of these “ experiences “ are bought as presents and who is to say that’s not the case here

I don’t think that you are going to have six “ clients” per class earnestly believing that they are going to step into the world of guiding and make a living.

I think the attendees are probably Just expecting a weeks fishing with some tuition , good company and rubbing shoulders with other anglers and listening to guest speakers
Whilst getting a perspective on guiding
Maybe the course could be a gift to a recently retired parent or colleague who is already an experienced angler

There are many lone travellers and tourists who like activity holidays
They might embark upon a watercolour painting course or a residential cookery course out of interest but also as a week spent in the company of other like minded people - ready made company.


So why do so many contributors to this thread feel threatened - if you are good enough then you are good enough

I don’t suppose Marco Pierre White is losing any sleep about someone advertising courses to turn amateur cooks into Michelin starred chefs in a week

Activity breaks are very popular

You can learn to sail a dinghy in a weekend
I know - I have done it and enjoyed it immensely
I learned two things - arthritic knees and sailing don’t mix and the next time I go on a boat there are two requirements
A jacuzzi, cocktail ,sunshine and 3 meals a day

When I go fishing ( sea fishing) the boat must have an engine!!
, an experienced skipper / guide with a PROVEN RECORD of getting on the fish and how to target a variety of species.

I have never asked a skipper for a certificate of attendance on a course

We all know that certificate proves nothing whatsoever
There is much more
We all know that reputation and word of mouth is more important
It also helps if the skipper is pleasant and good company .

To the guides on here
You have nothing to fear

I just see such courses as a pastime , a bit of a holiday and on that basis why not?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
From my perspective, and I've said this before, I'm not worried about this creating increased competition etc. and don't feel at all threatened by it.
The issue I have is the inference that you can become a fishing guide after a weeks course.
It is after all being sold as a Guide course and not just a residential fishing course.
 

caeran

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A play on words that’s all
Reality is a different matter

People making a living
By targeting people with money to spend

‘Twas ever thus


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

clag

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The issue I have is the inference that you can become a fishing guide after a weeks course.
It is after all being sold as a Guide course and not just a residential fishing course.
You'd certainly have a case if someone who had never been fishing before thought they could become an angling guide after a week. But let's test your theory a little.

I've been a fisherman for nearly 50 years. I've been a fly fisherman for 44 years. I've fished extensively for trout, grayling, sea trout and salmon in streams, rivers, chalkstreams, lakes, resevoirs, tarns, loughs burns and lochs. I've fished in Eire, Wales, England, Scotland, Norway, Russia and the US. Additionally, I've salt water gamefished with fly in some nice and hot places. I'm not going to begin to cover coarse fishing or sea fishing but it adds different perspectives. As previously mentioned, I did a reasonable amount of gillieing when younger.

I'm hoping to partially retire in 5 years. Say I want to be a guide. If I went on this course I might learn anything form a lot to nothing new. I'll keep an open mind on that. But to test your theory do you think I'd be able to call myself a guide or even a provisional guide at the end of it?

Oh and all the ney sayers are missing the most obvious reason why you might want to go on this course apart from Caeran's very sensible assessment.

Regards

CLaG
 

boisker

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Oh and all the ney sayers are missing the most obvious reason why you might want to go on this course apart from Caeran's very sensible assessment.

Regards

CLaG

good job you’re here to put them all right... phew, what a relief 😂
 
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