We like to travel and I love to fish so I always try to get in a day or two on a guided fishing trip wherever we go. Over the years this has provided me with many opportunities to fish in some amazing places and meet a bunch of guides. Some very good and some not so much. We are planning a couple of trips this spring which has me searching for fisheries and guides again. Frustratingly.
I have comments about the business I am in generally. To those paying attention it is good advice.
First if you are really in the guide business act like you are running a business. That means that your website is up to date, including contact info. Calling and talking to your daughter during her school day is not what I had in mind and certainly does not give me a lot of confidence.
Seasons make a difference talk about it, no need to be coy. If the species is not likely in your area during a certain month just say it and explain why. Perhaps you have an alternative fishery? I am not looking to catch a bunch of big fish rather to spend some time on new water and see how your trips are run. Also I am certainly not interested in breaking any laws while fishing with you don't even imply that it might happen.
Do not be ashamed of what you charge put it out there. Hiding the price or being coy about it assures me that I am not going to get the same price as the party a day after me. Not where you want me to think I am sure. Also make it easy to get paid today there are many good options for taking payment on your phone. Set a couple up and be ready to use them.
Follow up. I have a schedule of e-mail contacts before any trip and am in touch afterwards. Mostly because the folks I guide become friends and that is what friends do. It astounds me that after many years and hiring guides in 11 states I have never gotten even a follow up e-mail or a simple Christmas card. All too frequently the pre-trip check-in comes less than a day before and once while I was on the plane heading to the city where we were to meet. Really?
All of this is simple stuff and even the big businesses have figured it out. They are at a huge disadvantage here. I mean really have you ever spent a happy morning on the water with a Target associate? Seems to me that guides who are in the people business could at least do as well.
I am sure that I will find the guides I am looking for but it is always way too much of a challenge.