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Old 09-23-2006, 06:37 AM
nmbrowncom nmbrowncom is offline
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nantucket albie/guide report

i had to go to nantucket for business on friday. on nantucket, all bookings are for half days so i thought i'd book a guide for the morning. stressing out at feeling that i was being ripped off at payng $475 for a half day on a boat, i opted to book a wade trip for a mear $225 for a half day with nantucket's best known fly fishing guide service.... right around sunrise we arrived at great point, just east of the light house. there were a bunch of guys fishing the rip where my guide wanted us to be so he directed me instead to fish the east facing shore and pointed to where i should begin fishing and where "we" would be fishing to,about a quarter mile away.. i promptly took out my fly rod and began rigging, and he just as promptly took out his spinning rod and began walking away as i stood there tieing on my fly. i began fishing where he had instructed me to,and he began fishing about 150' ahead and moving in the direction of our destination. "strange" i thought, "maybe he's exploring for me". neither of us had as much as a follow nor did we see a sign of fish nor working birds. i was watching the other spin fishermen at the rip and did not see them hook up either. we left the east side of the light house and went to the west side (inside) of the light house.. during the ride, he commented to me at how slow the fishing had been for quite a while. he told me that he has not seen a keeper bass since july but did get a 27"er on the south side a week ago-"a far cry from the glowing report i got when i booked with his boss", i thought to myself.. when we got to our new destination, he again took out his spin rod and began fishing the shore ahead ahead of me while i tied on my fly. same results as before. "maybe this is the 'nantucket way' ",i thought. "maybe us visitors should be grateful that the locals even let us fish thier waters" i mused to myself with a degree of sarcasm... we did not see any of the other dozen or so spin fishermen in that area hook up either.` we then got into the truck and headed further down the inside in the direction of town. since there were a group of guys now fishing in this third area, my guide decided to walk up a bit before "we" began fishing. i decided to go to spin gear myself in the hopes of coverring more water as it was so slooooow. finally, my guide, who made sure that he always fished ahead of me, hooked up. i dutifully took my line out of the water and watched in curious bemusement while he fought and landed a nice bonito. on the way back, he hooked up again. this time the fish was big and strong, an albie for sure. while i enjoyed watching him fight that fish for a good 15-20 minutes (only to lose it about 50' from him), i thought it curious that i was chearing him on. "that's what you get for a lousy $225 for a half day" i said to myself as i stood shaking my head. he didn't stop whining about losing that "trophy" fish for the rest of the day. "did i do something wrong that caused him to lose that fish" i kept asking myself. what,"am i an idiot? he's fishing on my nickel and i'm feeling guilty because he lost the fish." i argued (to myself). .btw,no one else in that area hooked up. we then left for an area even deeper on the inside. same routine. he took out his spin rod and i took out mine. "this time it would be different", or so i thought as i jumped ahead of him. after about a half hour or so, a fish lunged for my deadly dick but missed it. all excited, i let out a yell which drew his attention. he was fishig a couple of hundred feet from me and came right over to assist me, i believed. he asked what happened and where."finally", i thought, "he's going to do some guiding". all excited, i pointed to the spot that the fish had just rolled. without hesitation he hurriedly picked up his rod and without missing a beat he cast right to the spot.i looked at him in bewilderment, while simulteneously noting to myself that the cast was right on target... nada, for either of us in that spot as well. getting close to leaving time, he was quite prompt in breaking down my fly rods so as to make sure that we were out of there without a minute to spare. well, i thought to myself, "the nantucket guides may charge more than twice the going rate, but they make it up in pure unadultrated chutzpah. is there entertainment value?" i wondered... surely there was no fishing value. epilogue: when my guide left me off he gave me those big eyes with the "where's my tip"? look. i looked him dead in the eye and said "hey, you were the only guy out there who cought a fish today, where's my tip?" he looked at me with a puzzled stare but didn't say a word.. "just another unappreciative cheap tourist taking advantage of the locals" i imagined he was thinking. he never got it.

Last edited by nmbrowncom; 09-23-2006 at 07:08 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2006, 04:55 AM
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bonefishmon bonefishmon is offline
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Sorry to hear about this unpleasant experience. The last time I went I just rented a Jeep Wrangler with a beach pass for the day. Gas prices were lower and I think it was $150 with the pass. Covered a lot of territory and had a blast in the process. Cheaper than a half day shore guide and a whole lot more fun.

Phil
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Old 09-24-2006, 06:25 AM
nmbrowncom nmbrowncom is offline
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i learned my lesson. i'm going to do the same as you on my next trip to the island.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:58 AM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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One way to stop this is to post the guides name and the shop that put you onto this guy. FishHawk
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:50 AM
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As a 'tour guide' of striper grounds meeself, I am speechless. I guess on the bright side you made my worst day seem not so bad... well not counting my first few trips

Many years later I've learned that it's not an easy task to put people on fish when your own "probe" is not in the water to prove / disprove the strategy in play. I do not fish while guiding at all however I understand that sometimes it helps everyone - but that was ridiculous!
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:03 AM
Guernseybass Guernseybass is offline
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I agree with FishHawk, name and shame that operation on the forums you frequent.

I would also put all that into a letter to his boss - otherwise how is the operation to know they have a bad guide unless their customers tell them. you may also get a refund which i would expect.

mark.
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Old 09-24-2006, 04:40 PM
nmbrowncom nmbrowncom is offline
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i have written to the company, cross rip outfitters about their guide dave. they have a good reputation so i have been reluctant to name him but i guess since i told the story then, other than just griping, what's the point. my hopes were to encourage a discussion regarding what i believe are excessively high prices for guides on nantucket combined with the inacurate reporting at the time of booking and the final insult of the guide's behavior.
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Old 09-24-2006, 05:06 PM
Guernseybass Guernseybass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmbrowncom
my hopes were to encourage a discussion regarding what i believe are excessively high prices for guides on nantucket combined with the inacurate reporting at the time of booking and the final insult of the guide's behavior.
unfortunately, my experience of guide companies in Ireland, the UK and the US is pretty much the same when booking, as are their websites - a lot is left unsaid.

i now only go by word of mouth or internet reports filed by anglers ( or if you trust certain captain/guide then fair enough).

mark.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:10 PM
josko josko is offline
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Wow; that seemed a pretty low-life guide. At least you've helped others avoid Cross Rip outfitters in the future.
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:33 PM
JimW JimW is offline
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I'm heading there Mid Oct. maybe not the best time of year but it's not a fishing trip. On the off chance that the urge hits me to hire a guide you can be sure it's not going to be cross rip outfitters.
Thanks for the heads up.

Cross rip would have been much better off flying you over there and hooking you up with a full day than getting this bad press. Too bad for them I guess.
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:36 PM
captjeffrey captjeffrey is offline
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Response

While we typically don’t jump in on forums, we find ourselves in an interesting position being at the center of this one. To eliminate any confusion, my wife and I own and operate Cross Rip Outfitters. We are both boat captains, and we strive to provide the best services and products available. That said, we know that not everyone will be 100% satisfied 100% of the time. However we do try to improve and make changes when and if necessary based on customer feedback and response when it is provided to us.

Where to start? Had it not been for numerous concerned clients we would not even know about this post or postings on other sites. Mr. Neal Brown fished on Friday morning September 22nd. He was on island for business and stayed the weekend with his wife. He chose NOT to stop in the store, pick up the phone, or even send an email expressing his displeasure and issues. Instead Mr. Brown sent an alleged letter by mail that as of this afternoon, Tuesday September 26th, has not been received. Mr. Brown did have time to start posts on this site and at least one other as well as reply to numerous comments made by others over the weekend. Individuals have a right to air their grievances, most try to communicate and resolve their grievances prior to using open forums.

Overall Mr. Brown seems to have four main issues with his experience. We would like to try and discuss each briefly.

1. Cost – No matter how you slice it the main issue appears to be cost of charters on Nantucket and how they are disproportionately higher than surrounding areas and for that matter anywhere else. As has been stated by numerous forum responders and if one does some research they will find our prices to be in line with Captains/Guides on the Cape, Vineyard, and North Shore of MA; Long Island NY; and New Jersey to name a few places. Mr. Brown chose to do the trip knowing the price when he booked in late August. Except for the two boats my wife and I run, all the guides/captains we work with are independent contractors. They run their own business and set their own rates. Mr. Brown also makes reference to this being a wade trip and that there was no fuel expense.

“this was not a boat trip. we waded the shoreline. there was no fuel expense”

Mr. Brown was picked up in town for the trip at 5:30am, he was taken to the east side of Great Point, then moved to the west side, then later moved further down the west side, and returned to his hotel after the trip at 10:30am. There was definitely a fuel expense!

2. Tipping – If everyone briefly goes back to Mr. Brown’s original post he states:

” epilogue: when he dropped me off and i paid the fee, and without saying a word other than thank you, he looked at me with those sheepish eyes that ask, "where's my tip"? i looked at him dead in the eye and said, "you were the only person who cought a fish out there today. what no tip?" he looked at me with a puzzled stare and said nothing. he never got it.”

In Mr. Brown’s own words a tip was NEVER asked for, rather an assumption was made by Mr. Brown about tipping.

3. Fishing Reports –Lets start with the fact we post online fishing reports, most of which get posted on Reel Time. When a customer books a charter they are automatically added to our email fishing reports list that are automatically sent when new reports are posted on our site. Mr. Brown booked his trip in late August, around the 29th, hard to compare fishing reports from 8/29 to fishing on 9/22. Those that read and receive our reports would probably agree we try to paint an honest picture. In regards to the enthusiasm Mr. Brown spoke about regarding his last report; it was never stated to Mr. Brown that the fishing was great. The enthusiasm was rather that striped bass, bluefish, albacore and bonito had been caught over the course of that week as evident by the score board in a local tournament

4. Guides fishing – As stated earlier Cross Rip books for numerous guides. They are all independent contractors. We do not dictate how they operate their business. Should a guide or captain choose to fish and the client oppose it, the client should state that and resolve the issue then and there. As a rule I personally don’t fish unless asked. There have been a few exceptions over the years: in an attempt to find fish when things are truly slow or I may cast in a spot trying a specific fly or retrieve to confirm the presence or lack of fish. Again it comes down to communication with your guide/captain when and if it becomes an issue at that moment. A brief aside to this; as most fisherman who chase bonito and albies know they tend to be in schools. While Dave was catching the bonito that Mr. Brown referenced when he said:

“i took my line out of the water while he enjoyed an interesting fight”

Had he continued to fish he may have caught one as well.

We apologize for the length of our response and wish to thank everyone for taking the time to read it. We welcome comments and will respond in as timely a manner as our schedules allow. Again thank you for your time.

Capt. Jeffrey Heyer
Capt. Lynne Heyer
Cross Rip Outfitters, Ltd.
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2006, 04:41 PM
Guernseybass Guernseybass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captjeffrey
4. Guides fishing – As stated earlier Cross Rip books for numerous guides. They are all independent contractors. We do not dictate how they operate their business.
but you're quite happy to accept payment for them tho eh ?

your other points are all fair enough, regarding the fishing, costs etc but my personal opinion is that that disclaiming comment is disgraceful.

If clients are booking through you, you should make sure that they are being directed by you towards reliable helpful, guides AND get good service that they pay for and expect.

you just made me note to never use your operation next year in Nantucket.

as i said in my earlier post - go with word of mouth fellas.

Mark.
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:43 PM
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Thanks for taking the time Jeff and Lynne -

As Forum founder I don't usually jump into the middle of these things either as long as they remain civil; as this thread has.

I think I am not alone in saying I respect your post, it goes a long way to assure that you care about your clientele. Likewise, I think our forum has made crystal clear what people expect from their guides.

Perhaps an additional step you might consider would be to talk to your sub-contractors about client expectations, it might save you a lot of grief down the line, not to mention disappointment for the clients you do care about.

I look forward to stopping in your shop when I am on the island; I am a big believer in outfitters and flyshops over department stores and mail order shops and with very few exceptions vote accordingly with my dollars.

Again thanks and welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:37 PM
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jared jared is offline
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Juro raises an interesting point....expectations and communication....where and when did Mr. Brown have that conversation(s) with his guide that particular morning on Nantucket? As best as I can determine from his post -- it was not before he went, nor during his trip, but rather on a variety of public internet forums after he returned. If I were as unhappy with the experience as he clearly was, why not say so at the time and try to improve the situation?

I have recommended Jeff & Lynne to folks for years, and will continue to do so. I don't know of anyone other than Mr. Brown who has ever had a complaint with them, their shop, or any of the guides that they suggest.

Word of mouth and all fellas...

-Jared
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:37 PM
nmbrowncom nmbrowncom is offline
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first, the "independant contractor"guide works in crossrips' store. second, the 15-20 minute ride from the hotel to the point does not constitute a meaningful fuel expense. third, i took my line out of the water when the guide hookep because, in my experience that is what you when two anglers are in close proximity and one hooks up. forth, i never said that crossrip said the fishing was "great". rather, i was told on the telephone, more than once that albies, bass and blues were being cought regularly from shore and fly fishing was not aproblem. fifth, i do a lot of fishing and hire a lot of guides. i have never heard of a guide rate for wading of $225 other than on nantucket. all of that said, i do regret that i did not speak to the owners directly prior to posting.
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