Wanna be a fishing guide?

PaulD

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I did work out how much my GAIC cost me a few years ago, from memory it was around £4k all in.
This includes the cost of a mentor, travel, the assessment itself, various residential GAIA courses and events, reference material, several fly lines and a new rod...
I think in terms of 'hours', from start to finish probably equated to the thick end of around 2,000

I'd like to echo Andy's comments above, albeit I've never been brave enough to consider calculating the financial cost! What I would seek to confirm is the time commitment to be able to satisfy the requirements of the syllabus. The GAIC syllabus is 31 pages long, contains 10 detailed task areas to be assessed and also includes the assessment / marking criteria and recommended study material. Andy's consideration of around 2000 hours of dedicated commitment is a very sound one.

It is the dedication to the time commitment that identifies value of the 'bit of paper' at the end of the assessment, not the ability to dispense with £2.5k.
 

ROVER

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How long did it take? Just wondering as that 40 hours a week dedicated to training for a solid year?

G
 

Rob Edmunds

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I've No formal qualifications of any sort as regards angling - Yet once did a fair bit of "guiding" on the Anglian Waters to make extra money during hard times.

I set up a website, had business cards printed etc, I sent them a CD of photographs detailing their day, including their catches, the flies, set ups used and emailed them a detailed " how to" regarding the methods and tactics the day afterwards and why we did certain things during the day....I was trying to be professional and provide an experience that would benefit them going forward, that they could continue to learn from rather than a "one off day"

I operated a "No fish No fee" policy and to my knowledge no-one was ever dissatisfied or disappointed.

And yes I had Public Liability Insurance ( and still do)

After a year I was turning business away mostly repeat bookings, as it meant little or No fishing for me and all my leave was taken to guide others.....nowadays I still guide a select few, basically people I like and who I would call friends.

Back then I always spoke in depth to a potential client, found out what they wanted to achieve, their current level of experience, tackle or if they wanted me to supply everything etc..we could then plan the day.

I was always honest, and explained that I couldn't make them a brilliant angler overnight.......but I could teach them how to catch fish and how to approach a water in order to maximise their chances of catching so a blank was very rare.

You may think its terrible that someone can just call themselves a "guide" and charge others......well ok that's fine, don't pay then, but for a lot of anglers, who don't have the experience, tackle or skills its money well spent - I was basically passing on 30 years on experience for a modest fee, and I think I was very good at it......I mean I coached my dad, wife and son in order to get them into the various England teams. I managed and coached the England Youth team to back to back ' Gold Medals' and competed ( still do ) to a high standard myself with a fair bit of sucess.....my match fishing ( including practice) is ultra professional.

So although I haven't any formal qualifications I think I'm able to "guide" people and explain waters, methods, tactics and ultimately teach them how to catch more fish better than most.....Sorry if that sounds big headed.

And yes when abroad I've had lots of guides because I know that can make a huge difference to your success......some are very good others absolutely terrible ....I know when someone is trying hard, working hard to catch you a fish, or at least "Putting you on the fish" and when they are just taking your money, driving the boat and talking sh!t.....
 
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JayP

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Any wannabe fishing guides thinking a course is all they need could do worse than listen to the latest April Vokey podcast with Josh Nugent.
 

tierradelfuego

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I operated a "No fish No fee" policy and to my knowledge no-one was ever dissatisfied or disappointed.
Out of interest Rob, did you charge them what you would have considered the "going rate" for a Guide if they did catch?

I only ask as one day I hope to move to the mountain streams in Oz (given my wife is from Melbourne) and thought guiding would be something I could possibly do, if my legs will still carry me on assault-course style fishing. I do intentionally make the distinction between guiding and being a Guide, as I know I wouldn't be experienced enough to charge what true Guides do, but would love showing people who could fish some of the waters that they probably otherwise would never find to fish.

I know I couldn't call or offer my services as a Guide, and that in itself is a bit of a quandary in terms of what you would call/market yourself as, let alone the potential pitfalls of being seen as someone trying to undercut the actual Guides in the area.

I know what I would be doing isn't the same as you but interested in your and others thoughts...

I've actually only used one Guide before for a day and a half in Antigua. He was a great guy and excellent fisherman, but similar to some of your experiences it did somewhat seem that he really wanted to go Tarpon fishing and be paid for it. The next half day we did what little opportunity there is there for Permit. Walking the shallows asking the questions you do like "how will I know when I see one", he described the dorsal being the key sign at which point I asked if what I was seeing 20 metres in front of us may be a Permit. It caused a slightly awkward moment from memory, and the Permit was long gone before a cast could be made.
 

Rob Edmunds

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Back then I charged £200 for 2 anglers (£100 each) ...or £100 if it was just 1angler

That included the use of my tackle, the boat, 2 x day tickets etc....( so £75 of fishing fees on Rutland).......

Hardly making a fortune especially when you factor in my travelling expences......

There are others who charge significantly more , and who I think are totally useless...but that's my opinion.

I wanted to take people who had a genuine interest in fishing ( so wouldn't rip them off) others take out stag parties or work team building parties so charge £250 a person.......that never appealed to me but its easy money...


Being a guide is about fishing, but its also about how you converse with people, you need to adapt to their backgrounds in order to provide a good day, be able to talk to them about a wide variety of topics
 
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tierradelfuego

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Back then I charged £200 for 2 anglers (£100 each) ...or £100 if it was just 1angler

That included the use of my tackle, the boat, 2 x day tickets etc....( so £75 of fishing fees on Rutland).......

Hardly making a fortune especially when you factor in my travelling expences......

There are others who charge significantly more , and who I think are totally useless...but that's my opinion.

I wanted to take people who had a genuine interest in fishing ( so wouldn't rip them off) others take out stag parties or work team building parties so charge £250 a person.......that never appealed to me but its easy money...


Being a guide is about fishing, but its also about how you converse with people, you need to adapt to their backgrounds in order to provide a good day, be able to talk to them about a wide variety of topics

Well I'm pretty confident that wasn't the going rate then Rob, especially given your costs being taken out of that. Did you ever get any negative words from other guides for providing services at a lower cost out of interest?
 

mike fox

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The reason why I became an angling coach is because anyone can become a guide without any qualifications. To become a coach you need formal and recognised qualifications.
Guiding merely requires thorough knowledge of the water you wish to guide on with some good experience of angling skills and not an expert in any particular field of angling.
The FB course is really a holiday with angling education thrown in with a certificate of attendance afterwards. Whether the course costs £2.5k or £250 makes no difference. It is only relative to the effort of the organisers and accommodation requirements.
If anyone thinks they can become a guide after just 1 week of training really needs to take one hard look at themselves with their own levels of common sense.
 

BobP

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'Fishing Breaks' are charging £340, plus gratuities........

Fishing Breaks do not charge gratuities so get the facts right for a start. It is a private matter between the guide and the client(s). They merely remind clients that gratuities are always welcome especially if the guide has shared his own flies. FB do provide flies which I do not like very much so always use my own and accept the losses. The "best" was 23 in one day and the gratuity did not cover the value of the hooks.

You need to have a look at what guides in New Zealand or America charge. I did a Salmon & Sturgeon day in BC in 2009. That cost me $550 then plus a $60 tip for the guide at the end of the day. That was about £390 for the fishing plus another £40 tip. It was a very good day. I learned a lot about sturgeon fishing and the guide learned a fair bit about catching pink salmon.
 

Lewis Chessman

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@ tdf; Can you clarify your distinction between guiding and being a guide, please? I'm struggle to see what you mean.

I'd suggest spending your first season fishing your prospective Oz waters in all weathers. I think it takes about ten years to see a river in all its various guises through the seasons but a year should give a good grounding to start with.
See where other guides go and work out why. Seek out little fished areas and if you find them to be productive keep quiet about them until you have your own clients. If you can, develop your own 'killing' patterns.
Try and find a niche that others aren't filling and specialise there. Perhaps focusing on the elderly or providing fine food as part of the deal.
 

andygrey

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How long did it take? Just wondering as that 40 hours a week dedicated to training for a solid year?

G
I did it in around 5 months but was 'between jobs' at the time so could dedicate a lot of time to practice and study. Also I was lucky with the dates the assessments fell.
How long it takes varies enormously because people, their abilities, aptitude, commitment and available time varies but unless you are already an accomplished caster and a fast learner I'd say around 2,000 hours is probably a good guide. I'm not including time spent thinking and dreaming about casting in this...
 

m r roid

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Fishing Breaks do not charge gratuities so get the facts right for a start. It is a private matter between the guide and the client(s). They merely remind clients that gratuities are always welcome especially if the guide has shared his own flies. FB do provide flies which I do not like very much so always use my own and accept the losses. The "best" was 23 in one day and the gratuity did not cover the value of the hooks.

You need to have a look at what guides in New Zealand or America charge. I did a Salmon & Sturgeon day in BC in 2009. That cost me $550 then plus a $60 tip for the guide at the end of the day. That was about £390 for the fishing plus another £40 tip. It was a very good day. I learned a lot about sturgeon fishing and the guide learned a fair bit about catching pink salmon

Fishing Breaks do not charge gratuities so get the facts right for a start. It is a private matter between the guide and the client(s). They merely remind clients that gratuities are always welcome especially if the guide has shared his own flies. FB do provide flies which I do not like very much so always use my own and accept the losses. The "best" was 23 in one day and the gratuity did not cover the value of the hooks.

You need to have a look at what guides in New Zealand or America charge. I did a Salmon & Sturgeon day in BC in 2009. That cost me $550 then plus a $60 tip for the guide at the end of the day. That was about £390 for the fishing plus another £40 tip. It was a very good day. I learned a lot about sturgeon fishing and the guide learned a fair bit about catching pink salmon
For the sake of Mr. pedantic Preston I should have said it's £340 a day, and 'Fishing Breaks' expect the client to tip the guide at the end of the day.
Happy now??!
 

BobP

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There is no recognised or formalised route to becoming a guide, but one things for sure. All the successful and good ones have done so with a lot more time and work than a simple weeks course.

THAT I will agree with. After a day's guiding I will spend a couple of hours sorting out the rods/reels/lines & leaders. Amazing the state people get kit that isn't theirs into. If I'm out the following day then there could be flies to tie as well. I don't get paid for that.

If I am asked to guide on a new water I always do a recce trip beforehand to find out where the fishery is, where the hut is, what is needed in terms of tea/coffee/milk/sugar and even teaspoons because some people have been known to "borrow" them. Then it's find the loo if there is one and check it out especially if there will be ladies present on the day. Then it's check the returns book to see what, where and how. Finally it's have a walk round the beat to see what is happening on the ground and to formulate a game plan. Napoleon said that time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted, and he wasn't wrong.

I don't get paid for that either, though I will record my mileage for the end of year accounts.

I'll sometimes do it as well if it is a beat I haven't been to for a couple of seasons to refresh my memory.

On the day I'm always there at least 30 minutes before the clients are due.
 

andygrey

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Fishing Breaks do not charge gratuities so get the facts right for a start. It is a private matter between the guide and the client(s). They merely remind clients that gratuities are always welcome especially if the guide has shared his own flies. FB do provide flies which I do not like very much so always use my own and accept the losses. The "best" was 23 in one day and the gratuity did not cover the value of the hooks.

You need to have a look at what guides in New Zealand or America charge. I did a Salmon & Sturgeon day in BC in 2009. That cost me $550 then plus a $60 tip for the guide at the end of the day. That was about £390 for the fishing plus another £40 tip. It was a very good day. I learned a lot about sturgeon fishing and the guide learned a fair bit about catching pink salmon.
I'll probably get hit for this, but UK guides are pretty cheap compared to the rest of the world as illustrated by Bob's figures. I think you'll also find that a surprisingly small percentage of FB's fee is passed onto the guide... Much in the same way as in Mexico or Cuba but without the overheads of a boat and fuel etc. There is always an understanding you tip a tropical fishing guide as it's pretty much built-in assumption. Usual is $50 per guide per day and $100 if you get a Grand Slam... a good day can get expensive!
I've used guides around the world as well as in the UK, and have found the majority of them to be great. I've only had 2 bad experiences, both of them with guides who fish (a complete no-no!). One in the States on the Great Lakes and one a lot closer to home....
 
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BobP

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For the sake of Mr. pedantic Preston I should have said it's £340 a day, and 'Fishing Breaks' expect the client to tip the guide at the end of the day.
Happy now??!
If you are going to state something as a fact, then get the fact right. They do not "expect" the client to tip. They make that perfectly clear. It is up to the client what he does. They merely suggest that if they have had good day, used and lost the guide's flies, been ferried back and forth to the pub at lunchtime, picked up and returned to their hotel or the railway station that a gratuity would always be welcome.
 

andygrey

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If you are going to state something as a fact, then get the fact right. They do not "expect" the client to tip. They make that perfectly clear. It is up to the client what he does. They merely suggest that if they have had good day, used and lost the guide's flies, been ferried back and forth to the pub at lunchtime, picked up and returned to their hotel or the railway station that a gratuity would always be welcome.
There is however quite a strong inference that the client should tip...
 

clag

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Being a guide is about fishing, but its also about how you converse with people, you need to adapt to their backgrounds in order to provide a good day, be able to talk to them about a wide variety of topics
Exactly. This is the first thing the FB school says about helping you to be a guide:

"There are many complex aspects of guiding which can only be learned through experience. We will teach you how to interact with clients, how to instruct, what guests expect of you, and, of course, how to get them into fish."

There seem to be a lot of posters who are failing to grasp the difference between a qualification and training/education. This course seems to me to fall in to the category of the latter. Unless I missed something, it doesn't claim to bestow a qualification on you so why are people criticising it for something it is not claiming?

I've never been a guide. I have used them but not in the UK. I did a reasonable amount of gillieing in my younger days. I didn't go to gillie school because there wasn't one, and I didn't pass my advanced gillie level 1 exam because there wasn't one.

Much of what I learned was simply advice and guidance from experienced gillies although it was no more than the price of a dram. It seems to me that approach is what this course is trying to reflect, albeit a more expensive dram. Mind you, back in the 80s there were a lot of gillies who could have done with some training; house training that is :cool:

Regards

CLaG
 

andygrey

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Exactly. This is the first thing the FB school says about helping you to be a guide:

"There are many complex aspects of guiding which can only be learned through experience. We will teach you how to interact with clients, how to instruct, what guests expect of you, and, of course, how to get them into fish."
Is it just me, or does the above statement appear to be contradictory... can you teach experience?
 
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