by Diana Rupp
Sure, you already know how to fish. So, you’re thinking… why should I hire a guide?
Reason 1: It’s a wise use of your limited fishing time.
Most of us don’t have the luxury of unlimited time to fish wherever we want. Often, we have to squeeze a day (or half a day) of fishing in between work, family obligations, and the many other realities of life. Fishing with a guide helps you get the most success, and the best experience, out of the few days or hours that you get to spend fishing.
Reason 2: You will learn about a new area, or new things about your home waters.
I love exploring new places, especially new fishing spots, both close to home and far away. When you arrive in a new area, it makes sense to hire a guide to give you an overview. Many guides grew up or have lived for years in their region, and have an encyclopedic knowledge of its natural wonders. You’ll learn where to go and how to catch fish, of course, but you’ll also learn other fascinating things—historical facts about the area, the name of the unusual bird that just flew over, and the best places in the nearby town to go for dinner that night.
This applies to your close-to-home waters, too. Once a year, I like to hire a guide for a day and fish my local rivers. When I do, I am amazed at how much I learn about waters I am already familiar with. Last year, a guide took me to an access point I had never been to on a river I had fished dozens of times, and showed me a couple of productive runs I had always overlooked.
Reason 3: You may get to fish privately owned or difficult-to-access water.
It’s a fact: Many of the world’s best fishing spots just aren’t that easy to get to on your own. Some of these are privately owned stretches of river that you need permission to access. Others are far out in the wilderness, in places you’ll need to fly or pack into. Others are rivers, lakes, or oceans that are tough to fish unless you have the right type of drift boat, motorboat, or oceangoing vessel. But you can still experience and enjoy these unique, out-of-the-way places by hiring a knowledgeable, well-equipped fishing guide.
Reason 4: You will learn something that will improve your fishing skills.
You’re never too old, or too experienced, to learn something new. On a flyfishing trip last fall, the guide suggested a minor correction in my hook-setting technique, which has dramatically increased my hookups on all my DIY trout trips since then. That little piece of advice alone was worth the price of the trip. Thanks, Rex!
Reason 5: You’ll catch more fish!
There are no guarantees in fishing, of course. Weather, water conditions, time of year, and many other factors influence whether the fish are biting. But hiring a local expert to take you out dramatically increases your chances of having a great day on the water. While your guide can’t control the weather and other forces of nature, he or she not only knows the best places to go, but has likely fished in a wide variety of conditions before and will have an idea of what works best. Hiring a fishing guide greatly increases your chances of success—and the likelihood of more fish in the net.