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Guide tipping

Post By: xavierk31      Posted: 12/1/2022 8:11:20 PM     Points: 3018    
Question for everyone -
I’m headed out to Oregon finally which I was supposed to do in 2020, and of course, well, anyway…
Getting a guide for steelhead fishing for the day, just for me. Most guides out there have a 2 person minimum or make you pay for the 2nd seat. Found a guide that only charges $600/ 2 people so he’s only charging me $300 for an 8 hour trip of river fishing.
What’s a suitable tip? I was vacillating between 100-150.
 Reply by: Mr. Fly Fisherman      Posted: 12/1/2022 9:05:19 PM     Points: 158
I’m a fly fishing guide and the standard is usually 100 dollars. If they do a really good job maybe be a little more generous.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 12/2/2022 10:17:43 AM     Points: 69361
good question. The very first time I went with a guide I asked about this. The guide said normal was between $70 and $100. I found that reasonable as the limited guides I've been with worked very hard.

From there
What are your goals?
Catching a lot of fish?

If local the primary reason for a guide in my mind is to learn. However, if I were going out of state and time was limited.. numbers of catching might be my goal.

Be honest and cover those topics with your guide up front so everybody meets expectations
 Reply by: Walleye Guy      Posted: 12/2/2022 11:58:16 AM     Points: 171
Why not wait till after the trip to decide? Good trip, bigger tip.
 Reply by: johnski      Posted: 12/2/2022 12:34:15 PM     Points: 4855
I hired a guide to take me out in a Snowbear ice fishing in North Dakota last year. The day went very well and at the end I gave him $100. I am also a bird guide and $50 to 100 is not unusual at the end of a successful day.
 Reply by: spicyhombre      Posted: 12/2/2022 12:51:13 PM     Points: 6163
Given that he is only charging you $300 for 8 hours I would tip heavy if he does a good job and you get along with him. Normally they charge a base rate regardless if it is 1 or 2 because the second person is not much harder and one and they still take the same amount of time and expense.

As with most services, I typically start at 20% which I will tip for basic service. It is up to them to go higher or lower based on the job they do. I always am very clear as to what my goals for the trip are right from the beginning (ie. learn species, learn technique, learn lake, catch numbers, catch trophy size, catch specific species or several species, etc.). If they are at all competent I go well beyond the 20% up to as much as 100% if they are awesome and go above and beyond my goals.

 Reply by: pike&cats      Posted: 12/2/2022 6:31:16 PM     Points: 56
Tip should definitely be determined by the experience not fish caught. If you have a guide that makes it enjoyable even if fishing is poor than a good tip is deserved. I have been on guided trips that the guide couldn’t care less if we had a good time. Remember fishing is not catching even with a guide. If they can still make the trip a good memory without catching the tip should reflect that.
 Reply by: cmhef      Posted: 12/3/2022 8:41:32 AM     Points: 1
Completely agree with Pike & Cats. It is all about effort & experience first & foremost. This guide is cutting you a deal so don't short his tip from the normal day rate bc of that. That's like going to a restaurant & using a gift certificate to cover most of the bill but tipping off the amount left over to pay...not fair to the server.

What guides will never tell you is that catch rate depends a lot on the angler that shows up that morning. This isn't the Matrix....they can't download a program in your brain on the ramp to make you cast or mend or jig it just right. But if he's grinding & make it a fun trip....that's the gig.

Catch numbers are a scary thing to hold a guide to especially given the different types of trips available. Steelhead are notoriously finicky with the bite and sometimes won't bite with no fault of anyone...they're little b#tches. But beautiful b#tches...which we love.

Regardless of fish caught, a great trip to Oregon is the goal to see & fish some new/cool water.

Ex-Guide rant over! Go get 'em & have a fantastic trip! Post pics!
 Reply by: bigAB      Posted: 12/3/2022 5:29:39 PM     Points: 110
I looked a lot into this and it varies significantly based on local customs. (eg. captain and/or 1st mate assistant, size of vessel.) A safe minimum to not be a dirtbag is 10%.The absolute bottom is 10% of the $600. In your situation I would do the $150, unless we caught zero fish and the guide didn't try, then $70. Big game hunting guides I would not lower tip based on success.
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: 12/3/2022 8:31:40 PM     Points: 3018
Really appreciate everyone’s input! Will definitely be posting pics of the day

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