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Deeter: Am I Your Kind of Guide?

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April 28, 2009

Deeter: Am I Your Kind of Guide?

By Kirk Deeter

I'm on my way out the door for a guide trip.  The water is low, but stained a little.  Basically, it's one of those days where the trout will be condensed in the deeper runs.  As it's that spring wakeup time and lots of bugs are hatching, they'll be eating, big time, throughout most of the day.  And they won't be too choosy, likely biting any nymph with a little flash that attracts their attention.  Maybe some dries in the afternoon.

In other words.  I expect the fishing to be smokin'.

We could probably hit three runs for a couple hours at a time, and pound fish all day.

But we won't.  We're going to march.  Cover water, try many different rigs.  We're going dry fly fishing, just to check things out, whether we see noses poking above the surface or not.  We're going to work on technique--maybe the cast, maybe the drift.  I will not negatively criticize, shout, or reprimand a bad cast all day.  But I'll fix them.  When the big fish break off (and they will), I won't care.  We'll get the next one.  And when it's all done at the end of the day, if someone asks how many fish we caught, I'll have no idea.  Hopefully, that is.  If we catch one or two, I remember.  Seven or more, I lose track.  On purpose.  

You see, I think my job today is to teach people something about fly fishing.  And make sure they're safe.  And see that they have fun.  Sure, fun is about catching fish.

But it's never been about flogging a run to death and counting fish.

So am I your kind of guide or not?  Don't be shy, I can handle the truth.

Deeter

Comments (21)

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from chuckles wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Sounds like a perfect day on the water to me. I could definitely use some help on my dry fly fishing and marching to see what's around the next corner is fun. A day of fishing is not measured with numbers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm with you on this one Deeter. The only time I've done a guided trip was for a species locally that I hadn't previously pursued. I wanted to see the waters and the technique. Catching a fish or two is a bonus, but I wanted my experienced guide to teach me and show me around, not hand me photo opportunities.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

The thing I dislike the most in a guided trip is when there is a sense of pressure from the guide to live up to some impossible standard. Sure, I want to learn, or I'd go by myself, but I don't want to feel that every aspect of my performance is being graded. The best guides are those who never forget that I'm there to have fun, and it sounds like you fit the bill. The worst give you the feeling that you are somehow in competition with them, and that ruins the trip for me. Work is competitive enough for me, and I hire a guide to get away from it. I want to catch fish, but one, two, or "a bunch" is fine. I went on a great trip in the Smoky Mountains were my biggest fish barely spanned the palm of my hand, but I learned how to fish nymphs, and my wife caught another wild trout slightly bigger than mine. The most important aspect of the trip is that she wants to go again, and that's well worth the guide's fee and a little extra at the end.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Day Tripper wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

If I catch a slew of fish with a guide but don't learn something new, be it about technique, reading the water, etc., it's a wasted day. I've gotten lucky and stumbled upon honey holes often enough fishing alone. When I'm with a guide I want to soak up some knowledge and become a better angler. If it was just about numbers, I'd just head to a trout farm with a cane pole.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from silsbyj wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I think if I paid a guy to take me fishing and he yelled at me because he didnt like my cast.......I would punch him square in the nose. Every hunting/fishing experience is about learning something new and being with good people. Sounds like you are on the right track.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunt_fish_sleep wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I would much rather catch fish all day. Nothing like having an arm tired from reeling in fish then legs tired from walking around for a few fish.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'd love to fish with you one day Deet. Not counting fish and not flogging the same water to death is right up my alley. If I catch a nice one I like to sit back and enjoy a cigar. Fishing is like deer hunting to me. You shoot one nice deer and it makes your season. All I need is one nice fish and it makes my day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Not my kind. Was I to pay someone to guide, the pay would be to ensure high success rates. No need to pay someone in order to practice techniques.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Sounds like a nice day on the water, learn a little catch a fish or two and throw in a little conversation. Leave the stress and competition at work, if it was called catching instead of fishing we would not need guidance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fishing Jones wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Do you also provide sandwiches?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Flip side of that. Since it's just "fishing" anyone can do it without guidance. Guides, IMO are primarily there to improve the "catching" part.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from L3 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Would much rather catch fish all day as opposed to getting any lessons(not saying I don't need them). If I wanted to get lessons, well, that is what I would go do. But I also agree with silsbyj, if I was paying to go fishing and my guide was an a#$hole, he would probably end up going for a swim.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheRiverYeti wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Yeah, you sound like my kind of guide, but may I ask: The bit about being on the move, covering water, trying different rigs, is that what the client wants? Maybe it's a guy that doesn't move so well and wants to fish each good run for two hours. Maybe he just wants to do streamer fishing or just nymphs or just dries, even if that means he catches less fish. I would think all clients want polite and maybe even subliminal help with the cast or drift or some such, whether they ask for it or not. But it would seem some things are best left up to the paying customer to decide.

Having said that, if I was your paying customer, and you said you wanted to cover a ton of water in every way possible, I'd say let's get to it! And if you feed me well, I won't be counting, either ;)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Most definitely my kind of guide. I think part of hiring a guide is the learning, be it technique, how to read water, what works and what doesn't where we are. I would want to learn as much as possible while I have the attention of someone who really knows their craft. Now, I am not so Zen like that I wouldn't want to land a few fish for the obligatory "grip and grin" so I could plaster it all over the internet (just kiddin' guys), but my goal would be to be a better fisherman for the experience. That and the fact that typically I am going to see and experience places with a guide that I probably wouldn't on my own.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Deeter, whenever I have had a guide, they have never led me in the wrong direction. That's how I like to fish, sitting in the same spot catching smaller fish on nymphs isn't as much fun as a 20 incher on a dry fly.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

You sound like a king of guide that I would use. I like guides who correct my form and such. As for a big fish on the line that gets away, you can leave the getting pissed part up to me when It comes to that. I have some of the same views as you too... I just hope I loose track of the fish that I have caught which is somewhere between 5 and up

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I guess the point is that there are "how to" guides and "how many" guides... it's perfectly fair to expect one or the other... just be honest about your expectations. They're all fair game in my book. A good guide can adjust. But, truth be told, if you're a "how many" person, who hires a "how to" guide, you won't have much fun. And I assure you, the feeling will be mutual.

For the record... we marched (just a wee bit... and only to set up shots), and I did indeed lose count. And our biggest fish was a 20-plus-inch rainbow. On a dry. We lost a big one. Enjoyed each other's company... no stress... Good lunch. An all-around awesome day when new friendships were made... and we all learned a lot... Back on the river tomorrow...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from anselmo wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

yep you sound like my kind of guide
one question - do you also fish when you guide?
to a certain extent i feel a guide should only have a rod in his hand to demonstarate or aid the client

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I never fish when I guide.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

"I guess the point is that there are "how to" guides and "how many" guides... "

Excellent point made - in any sales position, it's your responsibility to understand exactly what the client wants.

I can vouch that Deeter is a great teacher. He gave me and my son several great fly casting tips last summer at the Cabelas Summer Extravaganza in Dundee, MI.

Thanks again Deeter!

Scott in Ohio

p.s. You going to be there again this summer?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from milehighfish wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm all about moving around and not spending hours in one hole. The one time I hired a guide I learned so much about spotting trout and casting to those trout that I have caught the two biggest ever since the beginning of March. If I hire a giude and don't catch fish that's my fault, I'm sure I would know more at the end of that day than when I started

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I guess the point is that there are "how to" guides and "how many" guides... it's perfectly fair to expect one or the other... just be honest about your expectations. They're all fair game in my book. A good guide can adjust. But, truth be told, if you're a "how many" person, who hires a "how to" guide, you won't have much fun. And I assure you, the feeling will be mutual.

For the record... we marched (just a wee bit... and only to set up shots), and I did indeed lose count. And our biggest fish was a 20-plus-inch rainbow. On a dry. We lost a big one. Enjoyed each other's company... no stress... Good lunch. An all-around awesome day when new friendships were made... and we all learned a lot... Back on the river tomorrow...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I never fish when I guide.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Not my kind. Was I to pay someone to guide, the pay would be to ensure high success rates. No need to pay someone in order to practice techniques.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Flip side of that. Since it's just "fishing" anyone can do it without guidance. Guides, IMO are primarily there to improve the "catching" part.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from L3 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Would much rather catch fish all day as opposed to getting any lessons(not saying I don't need them). If I wanted to get lessons, well, that is what I would go do. But I also agree with silsbyj, if I was paying to go fishing and my guide was an a#$hole, he would probably end up going for a swim.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Deeter, whenever I have had a guide, they have never led me in the wrong direction. That's how I like to fish, sitting in the same spot catching smaller fish on nymphs isn't as much fun as a 20 incher on a dry fly.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Most definitely my kind of guide. I think part of hiring a guide is the learning, be it technique, how to read water, what works and what doesn't where we are. I would want to learn as much as possible while I have the attention of someone who really knows their craft. Now, I am not so Zen like that I wouldn't want to land a few fish for the obligatory "grip and grin" so I could plaster it all over the internet (just kiddin' guys), but my goal would be to be a better fisherman for the experience. That and the fact that typically I am going to see and experience places with a guide that I probably wouldn't on my own.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from silsbyj wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I think if I paid a guy to take me fishing and he yelled at me because he didnt like my cast.......I would punch him square in the nose. Every hunting/fishing experience is about learning something new and being with good people. Sounds like you are on the right track.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm with you on this one Deeter. The only time I've done a guided trip was for a species locally that I hadn't previously pursued. I wanted to see the waters and the technique. Catching a fish or two is a bonus, but I wanted my experienced guide to teach me and show me around, not hand me photo opportunities.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

"I guess the point is that there are "how to" guides and "how many" guides... "

Excellent point made - in any sales position, it's your responsibility to understand exactly what the client wants.

I can vouch that Deeter is a great teacher. He gave me and my son several great fly casting tips last summer at the Cabelas Summer Extravaganza in Dundee, MI.

Thanks again Deeter!

Scott in Ohio

p.s. You going to be there again this summer?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunt_fish_sleep wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I would much rather catch fish all day. Nothing like having an arm tired from reeling in fish then legs tired from walking around for a few fish.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'd love to fish with you one day Deet. Not counting fish and not flogging the same water to death is right up my alley. If I catch a nice one I like to sit back and enjoy a cigar. Fishing is like deer hunting to me. You shoot one nice deer and it makes your season. All I need is one nice fish and it makes my day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fishing Jones wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Do you also provide sandwiches?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

The thing I dislike the most in a guided trip is when there is a sense of pressure from the guide to live up to some impossible standard. Sure, I want to learn, or I'd go by myself, but I don't want to feel that every aspect of my performance is being graded. The best guides are those who never forget that I'm there to have fun, and it sounds like you fit the bill. The worst give you the feeling that you are somehow in competition with them, and that ruins the trip for me. Work is competitive enough for me, and I hire a guide to get away from it. I want to catch fish, but one, two, or "a bunch" is fine. I went on a great trip in the Smoky Mountains were my biggest fish barely spanned the palm of my hand, but I learned how to fish nymphs, and my wife caught another wild trout slightly bigger than mine. The most important aspect of the trip is that she wants to go again, and that's well worth the guide's fee and a little extra at the end.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Sounds like a perfect day on the water to me. I could definitely use some help on my dry fly fishing and marching to see what's around the next corner is fun. A day of fishing is not measured with numbers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Sounds like a nice day on the water, learn a little catch a fish or two and throw in a little conversation. Leave the stress and competition at work, if it was called catching instead of fishing we would not need guidance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from anselmo wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

yep you sound like my kind of guide
one question - do you also fish when you guide?
to a certain extent i feel a guide should only have a rod in his hand to demonstarate or aid the client

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

You sound like a king of guide that I would use. I like guides who correct my form and such. As for a big fish on the line that gets away, you can leave the getting pissed part up to me when It comes to that. I have some of the same views as you too... I just hope I loose track of the fish that I have caught which is somewhere between 5 and up

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheRiverYeti wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Yeah, you sound like my kind of guide, but may I ask: The bit about being on the move, covering water, trying different rigs, is that what the client wants? Maybe it's a guy that doesn't move so well and wants to fish each good run for two hours. Maybe he just wants to do streamer fishing or just nymphs or just dries, even if that means he catches less fish. I would think all clients want polite and maybe even subliminal help with the cast or drift or some such, whether they ask for it or not. But it would seem some things are best left up to the paying customer to decide.

Having said that, if I was your paying customer, and you said you wanted to cover a ton of water in every way possible, I'd say let's get to it! And if you feed me well, I won't be counting, either ;)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Day Tripper wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

If I catch a slew of fish with a guide but don't learn something new, be it about technique, reading the water, etc., it's a wasted day. I've gotten lucky and stumbled upon honey holes often enough fishing alone. When I'm with a guide I want to soak up some knowledge and become a better angler. If it was just about numbers, I'd just head to a trout farm with a cane pole.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from milehighfish wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm all about moving around and not spending hours in one hole. The one time I hired a guide I learned so much about spotting trout and casting to those trout that I have caught the two biggest ever since the beginning of March. If I hire a giude and don't catch fish that's my fault, I'm sure I would know more at the end of that day than when I started

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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