Guiding is not easy.
There are only so many factors you can control, then the rest are up to fate. You are responsible for all of them.
Anglers who are up to the task upon arrival are the exception not the rule. A day of instruction does not seem appreciated even when completely necessary. Often only the fish are the measure of success, not the skills gained.
The pay is not the real reason one guides, unless they are paid astronomical rates. This does not necessarily equate to the ability of the guide, but it may. One has to love it to overcome the frustrations, demanding situations, and pressure to deliver the goods.
It's hard work. Before a trip, the equipment must be tuned, the right flies must be tied, the conditions must be understood and the itinerary must match the behavior of the fish and the tides, weather, abilities of the angler and likelihood of success. You're a tourist bureau, a chauffer, an entertainer, a teacher and a fish finder.
You have to have a deep knowledge of the fishery; deep enough to overcome situations that would defeat most angler's attempts to succeed. You have to have the confidence to leave a flat visibly crawling with shrimp sippers to find a pack of crab eaters, eel chasers, or silverside slammers.
Knowing fish are in a spot at a given tide phase is one thing, knowing where fish that are aggressive during a tide phase is another thing completely. Only the latter yields high results.
You need good physical abilities - vision, perception, and good judgement. You need a sixth sense to pull a rabbit out of a hat on a dead day on the water. You need a rabbits foot.
It's challenging, difficult and you could make more per hour flipping burgers when you count all the hours and work invested.
But when the new day breaks over the atlantic and the rush hour begins beneath the surface of the flooding flats, there are few pleasures greater than having something eye-opening to share with fellow anglers that they can enjoy and appreciate; and if one can build a life around offering a square deal for a quality day on the water for a few bills then more power to 'em. Guiding is an important part of the social and economic balance of the angling world that has always been and will always be.
Don't tell my family but I am praying that I'm full time again next year from May to October!