This can go two ways, or three or even four. It depends on how many clients I have at one time. If more than one then obviously I have to make time to be with all of them and give them equal shares in my time. The furthest away one could be a mile up- or downstream so how long is it going to take to walk a mile there & back plus spend time with each client? Sometimes the main host says that he is experienced and would I give my attention to xxx and zzz. Fine, but I will pop in and see him once or twice as well.I only know of one guide/instructor (wished I known earlier before I booked with him myself ) that wasn't value for money. It wasn't that he was bad, infact he was good, just that he disappeared for half hour out of a 2 hour tuition session. Then there were the phone calls. This just didn't happen to me. It also happened to a guy doing his guiding/instructors ticket, he used this guide/instructor for mentorship, GAIA. I believe the guide/instructor received some very strong words and docked half hour pay.
Next, it is often a good idea to leave a client on his own for a while. Not everyone is that comfortable with an "expert" at his shoulder. I often make an excuse to leave them. "Just going to nip back to the hut for a few minutes. Are you going to be OK?" Then when I get 50 yards away I risk a look back and it is as if he has had a great weight lifted off his shoulders. By the time I get back - rarely more than 15-20 minutes - he has started to fish. He has relaxed and the rest of the day is fine.
I keep my phone on, but try not to make or take calls unless necessary. If people call I might tell them I am working and will call back later either at lunch or close of play.
Seeing fish is half the battle. It has been said that a fish seen is a fish caught, but that depends on the ability of the person at the blunt end.
Back in 2018 I was guiding a chap on the upper Test. A wide bit of river which was very low & clear in bright sunshine and very hot. The far bank was treelined and there was a gap of about 10' between two trees which cast dappled shade onto the water between them helped by small bushes.
Something caught my eye and I stopped to watch. After a few minutes the client asked what I was staring at. I pointed out the gap and said that I was almost certain that there was a fish in there. I had seen a movement which could have just been a patch of dappled shade moving in what passed for breeze but I didn't think so. The client said he thought it was too far for him. It was nearly 20 yards and was certainly a testing cast. I said that he should have a go. Nothing to lose apart from the fly and I had plenty more of those.
First cast stopped about a yard short and a yard downstream. I said it was a yard short and a yard further upstream for the next go. The fly landed and a trout scoffed it instantly. 30 seconds later we had a 1.5lb brown in the net. The client was delighted and so he should be. It was not an easy cast by any means and a lot would have fluffed it. He would not have caught that fish if I had not been there.
That was a day when a single fish made all the difference.