Guides and the Truth [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Guides and the Truth

07-11-2002, 01:33 PM
I will appologize now to all the Truthful and Honest guides out there that may read this.

I have made a few observations over the past few years regarding some Guides and their reports. I peruse other sights to get a general idea of the conditions and fishing quality in the areas on which I fish ( I'm sure most of you do as well ). There is one particular guide no matter how bad the fishing is he always seems to have some tall tale of hundreds of busting fish and double digit cathches. I have taken it upon myself when I am out to look for this individual and loosly follow him from time to time to see what him and his clients catch. I do not fish when I am "tailing" him. I keep a large distance between us as not to upset him or his clients fishing space. I will admit however I started following him to see where he catches all these "Large" fish he boasted about ( C'mon I want to know hot spots too ).

Just recently I saw him out and watched closely for roughly 3 hrs ( this time I did fish a little )and he came up empty handed. Now I just read a report were he was boasting of HUGE fish being caught and named the area where they were. Now I was there that day and he was damn lucky if he pulled up 1 Sea Robin and about 20lbs of Sea Salad. I know all fisherman stretch the truth a little and realize that this is the way he makes a living but lets get real here. Phibbing to prospective clients and leading them to believe that there is FANTASTIC fishing when in fact you stand a better chance of hooking a fish your driveway lately. I guess I feel that honesty is the best policy and that I would rather hear " Save your money for when things pick up" than some tall tale that will get my hopes high and my wallet empty.

07-11-2002, 01:50 PM
Loved to read our local paper to get the same kind of silliness. Cracked up a couple of weeks ago when a local 'well known' Guide was telling the sports reporter how he/clients had "killed them" that past Saturday.

I fished just below these folks for over 4 hours and they/I didn't even have a nudge. Ah well ...... a grain of salt .... should that be the whole shaker?

07-11-2002, 01:57 PM
Maybe they mean't their cyber fishing accomplishments (their dream catches etc..) I guess if I was a guide dependent upon client bookings for revenue I would strecth the truth also.

07-11-2002, 02:49 PM
If I paid my bills by being a guide I can see telling little white lies. Who cares if the fish was 26 inches or 30 inches? We get the picture it was a fish. I have no problems with that at all.

When I go to my local Fly Shop to B.S with the guys we laugh all afternoon at the reports we hear from this guy. I get nutty because there are a few of his followers around that he has duped into believing his tall tales. It's pittiful to hear these guys talk about how great he is. The best part is that they themselves have never taken him out! They only have purchased things from his shop. I think he may be in the wrong business, he should try Politics.

I guess I should be thankful that I never spent a nickle in this guys establishment ( concidering he gets $8-$15 per fly!!!!??) I know a guide license gives you pleanty of rights but I was unaware it was a license to STEAL.:devil:

07-11-2002, 02:54 PM
There's a big difference between telling a little white lie to drum up business and down right lying to keep people booking trips with you. Years ago when I used to fish from the beach only I used to call a certain Southern R.I. bait shop owner who I had gotten to know pretty well. I would ask him if he honestly thought I should make the 1.5 hr. drive to come and fish, well everytime I called the fishing was unbelieveable according to him, downright awesome! Well we always had to scatch to catch even a snapper. So I learned pretty quickly what was going on and stopped relying on him for some truthful information. Still keep in touch with him and see him occasionally when I am up there but don't believe anything he says. I think this behavior is self-correcting in nature, you can only get away with lying for so long until somebody finds you out then guess what? Forget about that guide business you once had because you won't get anybody to book with you again, people hate liars!!! So the point being he is only hurting himself by doing what he is doing, he now has somebody who is onto his way of doing things and this will eventually come to haunt him as this information will be shared with somebody and so on and so on. Word of mouth is pretty powerful.


07-11-2002, 06:59 PM
The best local source I ever had was a Motel owner up in Michigan I got friendly with in the early 1980s. I could call him up and Paul would tell me the truth, even though I know it mean't him having empty motel rooms for a few more weeks until the fish were there. It was sad day when I called there in the late 1980s and I was informed he had just past away from a sudden heart attack. He took me around one day and showed me many of his secret spots back on obsure forest roads etc.. He did not have to that but we had developed a friendship over those 8 years just through our love for trout fishing.

I called other shops in the area since and usually get the oh yeah everything is great come on up and of course they were usually exaggerating.

Hard to find a good local reliable source. If you do have one treat it well.

07-12-2002, 12:46 AM
I've had the same kind of guy(s) for info. I'd rather have them tell me things are slower than heck and take Joan up for a quite weekend without 'expectations' than go with the wrong agenda's in mind.

Prefer a good walk on the beach, with a bit of 'casting practice' than go in with the idea this is a hard core fishing trip.

Again, well said my friend.

07-12-2002, 06:15 AM
:D I like to think I get the right information, seeing my son has a charterboat. This year business seems to be slow, also the fish don't seem tobe coorperating. Fish are marked near the bottom, but have lockjaw. One of my personal favorite places is Sugar Reef, this year the fishing has been very very spoty, There for a couple of hours, and dead for a week. There was an area along Fishers Island that was producing good fish at night on eels. I personally have been taken small fish on the bottom end of dropping tide about everytime I get there. I usually have the place to myself. If I fish the incoming in the pond I have good luck, but the fish are small. Right now they appear to be feeding on shrimp. I haven't seen much bait around, other than shrimp. I have had good luck on a shrimp fly that has to be over 50 years old, and developed by my good friend Al Brewster, made out of deer hair. This spring when I went down to Centerville to see him he gave me a new fly called "Four Penny" this fly has four eyes, and while the fish have been small it has taken bass, blues, scup, and hickory shad. I understand it is suppose to be a good False Albacore fly. Enough said, this is the Gospel.:smokin:

07-12-2002, 08:32 AM
I know it sounds as if I am Nit Picking this guide but just about everyone I talk to seems to repeat his reports. I politely tell them to get a second opinion because in the world of fishing there are many exagerated stories out there. I guess I feel slighted by the fact that this guy BS's so much and gets peoples hopes so high that they are destined for failure. I take a guide 2 times a year out of the CT & RI area. He has never steered me wrong even if I call just to ask a few questions and pick his brain. If I am spending my money he is very honest and gives me 3-5 choices on where we could go and what the probability is that we will have a good day. He also gives me the chance to postpone the trip if I feel its not worth it. I respect this not only because he is truthful but because he honestly wants to see you hook up and have a great day. I'm sure the idea of a good tip comes into play too but good fishing and a good tip goes hand in hand. If I were to take another guide I would honestly feel as if I cheated on this guy. Sorry guys for the rant but I just felt the need to point out the dis-honesty in some of the reports we write and read.

07-12-2002, 11:44 PM
Does a charter capt. want a quick fix now, or more long term effects? When it comes to building a client base and reputation, I prefer the latter. Grass roots, mouth to mouth support, is my best form of advertisement. We try to be very honest with the present fishing conditions and give them up to date information on what's happening in our area. If fishing is slow, we report that. If we can move them to different dates with better condition, we try that. Often they are flexible, some times they are not. If they absolutely want to fish, under difficult conditions, that's their decision. We will not refuse. But no way will I do a full day charter. The window of opportunity is too small to catch fish. My expertise is fly fishing not cruise director.

Today, July 13th we did a half day charter with a repeat client and experience fly thrower. Started at 5:00 am and he fished till one. Morning produced a 8 lb weakfish and one small blue. When the tide crested at 10:05 am bass conditions improved somewhat on the outflow. He manage to get five bass near noon time. This is not self promoting but, we did not see another fish caught all day. But this is how guides earn their keep and prove their worth. Not a banner day by no means, but my client had a very rewarding day himself. He understood before hand today's' poor conditions, knows that our logic was sound, and boat handling skills correct. He knows the difference of a snow job or if a Capt. is doing his best and making sound decisions. Discussions are had before we make any major location changes that require large amounts of time. The dialog is always up front.

Do charter captains, bait shops, etc., inflate their reports? Yes, they do, but NOT ALL. You have to find the ones that are saying the truth. The best advice I can offer is to educate oneself as much as possible. Find out about his success rate, experience, knowledge, equipment. Very often those answers will come from individuals and friends you trust if you want more bang for your buck.

By the way, my son just caught this bass right now, as I type this on my palm pilot. Come on down the fish'ins great!:hehe:

07-13-2002, 06:50 PM
Ray...I see you still have that laytex inflate-a-bass!

One of the nice things about the FFF, "we" get to rub shoulders with some remarkable folks who let results fill their boats and repeat offenders (clients) keep coming back because it feels so good.
Fishing with Capt's Ray/Art/Todd offers an education even when things are slow because they take the time to teach/show n' tell and share their wealth of advanced degree!

Too bad there are guides out there who must rely on smoke and mirrors, slight of hand, and inflated reports. Go figure!?

Fool me once, shame on you...Fool me twice, shame on me!

07-13-2002, 08:24 PM
Pete..... My late mother use to always say, "Save your breath for your inflatable date, I don't want to hear her any more." But Ma! That's me making the noise! I knew then, someday those words would come back and bite me!

Another Mom gem, It's only baby fat..... you'll loose it.
Mom, I'm 54 years old.

..... We use the Walmart fish pillows as a decoy whenever people start to approach us or look through binoculars.

Someday I'll fish area 61.... the dark side.

07-13-2002, 08:53 PM
FYI The FarSide (of the Canal) is where you might find Area 61 if it were on the map. (N41*38.803 W070*14.944)
The DarkSide (the other side of the Canal) is where all the tourists come from who cloggg up Rt28 on their way to play miniature golf in the Yarmouths...

Mothers always know best!


07-14-2002, 07:39 PM
I have no idea which Rhody guide you are talking about but I wouldn't take the reports too seriously and suggest that maybe there's some good info buried in them somewhere?

I am a shore guide during season, and of course all my stories are 110% true :rolleyes: :hehe:

For instance, one of the following is untrue, can you tell which one?

I recently hooked and played a seal who ate my sand eel. I did not land it. Maybe stranger yet is that I hooked a fish two years apart within two miles of the first place I caught it. Every paid charter and most of my unpaid ones I've had this season have resulted in at least one keeper bass on the fly. Big stripers swim along with seals foraging in the shallows. But not like they hang out for food scraps at waterfront dining establishments, they love french fries. I took a client who insisted on fishing thru mid-day on a fishless scorcher afternoon up to a nude beach. Seeing something more interesting than fishing he threw off his clothes and jumped into the water! And I remember the time I hooked a swivel that was attached to a leader that was attached to a 30" fish. And there was the day the bass would hit the fly if I dapped it in the water at the base of the rock I stood on, as many as I cared to catch. I saw an extremely rare white eel while wading in a pond that made the newspaper when someone caught it - 15 years later! Oh and my wife really likes to fish.

Stories can get unbelievable very easily. I wouldn't take them too seriously, but there is bound to be a nugget of goodness in them no matter how ridiculous the story!