Moonlight,Well i am on both sides of this coin, When i take a vacation that involves fishing i hire a guide and i also guide in my home state. Why do i hire a guide?, well lets see, when i take a fishing vacation it is for one week,that includes 2 days to travel to the location and to travel home,that leaves 5 days for fishing. Now do i want to waste an other day going round the local fly shops to find out what is working and where to fish?, Or should i just ask local anglers who i am positive will tell me all the best spots to fish
.The last 5 trips i took(over the last 6 years) you needed a boat to access the fish, Now how am i going to get my boat to B.C. or Alaska or the Bahamas or across the country,that would take up more days of my trip. I could always rent one and float a river i hve never floated before,that would be interesting and probably waste another day.But then you can not always find boat rentals can you. I hire a guide so he can take care of providing the transportation on the river,explain what to use,show me where the fish should be holding, provide food for the trip and also to tell me about the local area and its history.If that makes me a "dumb bastard" then as a famous film star once said "i ams what i ams"
. As for why i became a guide thats easy,if some one is willing to pay me to be on the river for a little less money than what i can make behind a desk "Show Me The Money",Anyway i like helping "Dumb Bastards" catch fish,how not to drown by wading in too deep water and educating them about ecosystems, how fragile our river systems are and the "leave no trace ethics".
pmflyfisher,i can not speak for all of Europe but i was born and raised in the U.K. and the big difference is the laws of the land. In the U.K. if you own the land you own to the middle of the river which means there is no access to the rivers with out permision. Under those laws it is a lot easer to regulate how many people are fishing the waters and keep the fishing as "pay to play" which has pros and cons.
Just mt .02cents worth,brian