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Over the years I have had the privilege if fishing with some great guides and several of them have become close friends.

Some trips have been fantastic, and others have been complete busts. Either way I pretty much always tip 20% of the trip or a little more.

However I always have this nagging thought. As someone who is self employed, I make commission on insurance products. But nobody pays me any extra when I do a great job. For most guides they are self employed and have the freedom to charge whatever they want for a day of fishing. When you sign up you know exactly what the cost will be.

So my question is.............is a tip expected on TOP of that? Do you normally tip extra when fishing with a self-employed guide? This isn't a rant by any means, I'm really just curious what the general consensus is.

Cheers!
 

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Over the years I have had the privilege if fishing with some great guides and several of them have become close friends.

Some trips have been fantastic, and others have been complete busts. Either way I pretty much always tip 20% of the trip or a little more.

However I always have this nagging thought. As someone who is self employed, I make commission on insurance products. But nobody pays me any extra when I do a great job. For most guides they are self employed and have the freedom to charge whatever they want for a day of fishing. When you sign up you know exactly what the cost will be.

So my question is.............is a tip expected on TOP of that? Do you normally tip extra when fishing with a self-employed guide? This isn't a rant by any means, I'm really just curious what the general consensus is.

Cheers!
Although I have only hired a guide once in Cozumel I did tip him I think 50 bucks. But if I went again I think I would also take a few buffs and maybe some fishing shirts for him as that stuff is crazy expensive down there. I would also hire him independently instead of thru the fly fishing outfitters so he receives all the money. Remember if you hook him up and rebook him in the future he will probably remember you and could take you to his honey hole.
 

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The last time I used a guide was in Jackson. My wife and I were really happy with the service and at the end of the day I tipped him 20% of the trip price in cash. I would probably be ok with tipping a self employed guide as well if I was happy with the service. By service, I don't necessarily mean catching a lot of fish. We all know this game and you can't slay them every day. I'm talking about working hard for your angler, and being prompt, friendly and educational.
 

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The last time I used a guide was in Jackson. My wife and I were really happy with the service and at the end of the day I tipped him 20% of the trip price in cash. I would probably be ok with tipping a self employed guide as well if I was happy with the service. By service, I don't necessarily mean catching a lot of fish. We all know this game and you can't slay them every day. I'm talking about working hard for your angler, and being prompt, friendly and educational.
Yes we only caught one bone my wife caught it on a shrimp and i had a few shots at two permit on the fly but it was blowing 15 plus. He poled the panga most of the day and it was a tough one unfortunately we were on a cruise so I only had one day and mother.nature didn't cooperate.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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This is a question that comes up very often and the answer is if you feel like the guide went above and beyond your expectations and busted his rump to show you a great time then tip accordingly. If fishing was tough but the guide still exhausted efforts to show you as good of an experience as possible then tip accordingly. If the guide just flat out sucked, showed up hung over, was lazy and acted like they had something better to do with their time other than showing you a good time then tip accordingly.
 

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This is just a huge reason that tipping is a stupid system to begin with. I imagine a guide is charging what he feels is a fair price for a solid day of fishing. The tip is supposed to be a bonus for going above and beyond, and if they do, you decide what that amount is, there's no set dollar value or percentage as far as I know. I also definitely agree with booking a guide outside of the fishing lodge if it gets him a few extra bucks. The resorts have enough money anyway.
 

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A tip is completely dependent upon how the Capt. treats the crew and how much effort he or she puts in. I'd say regardless of the fishing if the Capt. is busting ass and friendly and really trying to show you a good time, a tip is a really nice way of thanking them for their effort. Lets face it, not all guides are created equal and some are just there to get through the day. There is very little profit to be made as a guide, my Dad is 71 and still fishes two trips a day, seven days a week, from May-October, because going out any less you barely break even. As the old saying goes, "You can make a million dollars as a guide, you just have to start with two million."
 

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I don't fish with guides very often, but when I do, I always tip. Being self employed myself, I understand the taxes that guides are faced with. If I can tip a little "off the book" it helps him out. If a guide busts his butt and does his best to get me on fish, he has done his job and deserves what I give him. If he shows up late, unprepared, and doesn't give me his best, I still tip. But my tip reflects his efforts.
 

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I hope the guide isn't pricing their trips on expecting tips. I think the whole culture of certain jobs getting tips and why others don't is stupid. I don't get tips for busting my butt at work. I get a little raise every year so maybe that is some justification for tipping but every guide I know has had to increase their prices over the years. I have usually added 5-10% but the guides I fish with are all friends of mine so we usually just fish together. They get bow time and I still get to learn from them. About half the time we are on my boat so they don't even have the expense of using their boat.
 

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I hope the guide isn't pricing their trips on expecting tips. I think the whole culture of certain jobs getting tips and why others don't is stupid. I don't get tips for busting my butt at work. I get a little raise every year so maybe that is some justification for tipping but every guide I know has had to increase their prices over the years. I have usually added 5-10% but the guides I fish with are all friends of mine so we usually just fish together. They get bow time and I still get to learn from them. About half the time we are on my boat so they don't even have the expense of using their boat.
Last year I went to Seattle and talked with many waiters and bartenders. They dont have tips anymore, the "gratuity" is built into the price of the meal/drinks. It makes their paychecks much more stable at the end of the week. And most of them liked the new system. I also liked it because after having 2-18 drinks I didn't have to do any math...
 

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Personally like the lodge deals that I use.
All inclusive. But I still tip. The few times I've gone direct I pay for the entire trip in cash too.

Here's a tip for tippers. (Not related to fishing guides) A few times a year I used to treat family to dinner at a high end restaurant. Place is always busy. When being led to our table I'd stop the maître d and pass him $50 and point out my mom/dad/wife or who ever I'd brought to dinner and ask him to tell the waitress that I tip well when my guests are taken care of. Even though they had good service to start with it becomes noticeably better and added to MY enjoyment of spending time with significant others.
 

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My guide friends don't like fishing with me because I make them give me $5 every time they catch a fish. If they refuse to pay-up-sucker I sit in one spot and pole around in circles for the rest of the day. I call it the Chittum shuffle.
^^^^^^^^
Cheep date! :)
So we should tip you like we did to cows when we were kids? :rolleyes:
 

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[QUOTE=" I would also hire him independently instead of thru the fly fishing outfitters so he receives all the money.

I thought I might shed some light on the quote above and the topic in general. First off I have been a Fly Fishing outfitter for 2 decades and have had relationships with many guides over that time period. Currently my wife and I book trips for 7 guides who are exclusive to our operation plus and additional 8 or so that are affiliated with us. We are very particular about the quality of the people who service our customers and our guides normally stay with us for the entire period that they guide.

For full time guides that have been with an outfitter for more that a year or two contacting them outside the outfitter may put them in an awkward situation. The outfitter guide relationship allows guides to concentrate on their work and living the lifestyle while the outfitter does everything else. This includes all bookings and scheduling. It includes all Advertising. Print, Social Media, Google Ads and costs per click. It also includes the years slate of trade shows, hotel rooms etc. Most guides do not have the ability to do this nor do they have the budget.

With a reputable outfitter, guides are more than willing to give back a percentage of the daily trip fee to the outfitter. With my service our guides always try to steer clients back to our office for scheduling. In the rare event that they take themselves off the calendar for a trip of self origin they still contribute the outfitter cut back. They know that the outfitters incurs large yearly expenses to keep the calendar filled and they need to work every day of the season.

I am not sure of the origin of tipping guides but when traveling I always give extra when the guide puts his heart and sweat into the day. Good guides are always booked for a reason, a nice tip may keep your spot on his calendar open. I do however agree that a day that turns out bad due to a guide that is not personable does not warrant much of a tip.

I also want to offer some additional insight into our world. First guide fees. In many areas the local amount of guides and outfitters are what sets the daily fee range. I guide in 2 completely different regions in the course of a year. Both of these areas have fisheries that are top rate but completely different. They do bear similarities in the cost of operation.

My Trout fishing operation is in one of the top trout fishing areas in the world and has a huge visitor base specifically for fly fishing each year. We are the most expensive outfitter in the area and have always charged more that the others.

Our fees are based on the high daily expense we incur to offer a quality experience to our customers. Each day our guides have to cover gas, soft drinks, ice, shuttle fees and liability insurance. Additionally our guides are licensed in NY, PA and with the National Park Service. Each with additional expense. In total the hidden costs to the guide are around or just over $100.00 per trip. Guides appreciate their tips since they make their pay whole each day.

In Florida the situation is similar in terms of expense. The expenses just occur from different factors.

Overall when you look at what we do it is a service business and a non essential one at that. The men and women that choose this lifestyle do it because they love to fish, love to teach and love to show their home waters to other anglers. None have a chance at getting rich but many can stay at it if they set their fees correctly and the tip money flows.

enough said
 
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