Fishing Guide Peeves

How to Avoid Tormenting Your Fly Fishing Guide

As we dive into these friendly nuggets of wisdom, remember, a fishing guide doesn’t just guide you to fish – they also guide you away from turning the fishing trip into a comedy of errors. So, grab your fly rod, waders, a sense of humour, and let’s set sail!

Fly Fishing Guide Peeves – A basic list

⏱️ Hooked on Punctuality – Don’t let tardiness get in the way of a great day on the water. If you’re late, you could miss the hatch and a chance at that trophy fish. So set your alarm, and be punctual! Or if you’re going to be late, let your guide know, so he can get a coffee.

🤝 Handle with Care: It’s a Handshake, Not a Strength Test  – When you first greet your guide, bear in mind they’ve been rowing heavy-duty anglers around for years. Their hands are as tough as nutcrackers. And remember, your guide needs their hands for rowing, casting, and undoing tangles all day!

📏 Expectation Management: Keep it Reel – Now I’m all for reaching for the stars, but don’t try shooting for the moon with a water pistol. If you haven’t even seen a trout up close, let’s not aim for a Guinness world record just yet. Dream big, but stay in the same post code as reality.

🌦️ Weather or Not: It’s Not Up to Your Guide – Remember, your guide doesn’t control the weather. So if the day turns out gloomy, don’t take it out on them. We’re here to fish, rain or shine!

Guide not God is a common phrase and bumper sticker in Montana. Most fly Fishing guide peeves relate to a breakdown in client common sense.

👨‍✈️Backseat Angler: Trust the Guide – Your one-time success with hoppers doesn’t make you the expert. Don’t counter the guide’s advice with past experiences. They know the river’s current conditions better than anyone. After all, they’re on the water every day. Trust their judgement and let them lead the way.

🍌 Food Faux Pas: Be Wise with Your Eats – Don’t let superstition ruin your day; avoid bringing bananas on board. It’s a widely believed fishing bad luck charm. And that Banana Boat sunscreen? Leave that at home too. Let’s not tempt fate.

🎥 Filming Faux Pas: Request Permission – Your guide is a fishing professional, not a Kardashian. Want to capture parts of the trip on film? Politely ask for their permission. No one enjoys finding videos of themselves they didn’t know existed on the internet.

🤔 Knowledge Acknowledgement: Listen to Learn – It’s easy to nod and say “I know” when your guide offers advice, but doing so might cause you to miss out on valuable expertise. You’re there to learn from their experience, not just to nod along pretending you know as much as the guide on the one subject they are experts in.

🎗️ Knot Knowledge: Blame Not the Guide –  If you lose a fish due to a snapped line, don’t just blame it on a “guide knot.” Your guide is a pro knot-tier. Instead of pointing fingers, use the experience to learn better technique in playing fish.

🍭 Delicate David / Sensitive Sally – Take Constructive Criticism – Good guides aren’t sugar-coaters. If your casting resembles a toddler’s tantrum, they’ll let you know. If your gear is subpar, they won’t hold back. Embrace their advice and be grateful they’re  preventing you from flailing around like a blindfolded child in a piñata showdown. Critiques on your casting are for your benefit, not to hurt your feelings. Take them in stride, be thankful for the guide’s honesty, and improve.

🪰 Fly Supply Fiasco: Respect the Guide’s Flies – Think of your guide’s flies as a finite resource. Each lost fly represents time and effort – don’t carelessly allow your sevength dry-dropper rig in-a-row to drift into log jams. Consider the time it takes to tie a fly and multiply it by the number of flies lost during your trip. A guide who’s working at a rate equivalent to minimum wage, after accounting for fly loss, might have to resort to using any old, rusted bits of junk he can find in the carpet of his truck. Let’s not force them to reach into that box.

🦟 Fly Selection: Trust in the Guide – Doubting your guide’s fly choice is like questioning your doctor’s prescription. They’re the experts, so trust them to make the right calls. And if you die, it’s on them.

📍 GPS Deception: Don’t Steal the Guide’s Spots – Secret fishing spots are a guide’s livelihood. Resist the urge to sneakily mark these spots on your GPS. It’s not just bad manners, but it’s also against the unwritten rules of the fishing community.

🧭 Trust the Guide’s Compass: Sure, you’ve seen your share of rivers and hooks, but hold your horses before you start playing the armchair expert back at the lodge bar. “If only the guide listened to me, we’d have caught 50 fish!” exclaims the corporate honcho who juggles spreadsheets more than fishing lines. Listen, your guide has probably been fishing this river since they tossed their graduation cap in the air. So, let’s leave the fish counting to them, shall we?

🔕 Audio Annoyance: Keep It Down – An aggressive ringtone can shatter the tranquil atmosphere in seconds. Keep your phone on silent to maintain the peace and quiet that makes fishing so enjoyable.

💏 Significant Other Syndrome: Think Twice – Bringing your significant other because “they might like the drift” is like taking them to a chess tournament because they might enjoy the quiet. If they’re not into fishing, they’re going to hate being stuck on a boat for eight hours without shade. Trust me, no one’s going to be getting lucky tonight if you put them through that ordeal.

💰 Gear Responsibility: Pay for Breakages – Handle the guide’s gear with care, and treat it as if it were your own. If you break something, offer to cover the repair costs. It’s the right thing to do.

🥾 Footwear Faux Pas: Choose Your Wading Boots Wisely – Studded wading boots may give you the grip you want, but they’re a drift boat guide’s nightmare. They can wreak havoc on a boat’s floor, costing time and money in repairs. Choose your footwear wisely depending on the style of fishing you’re doing.

🗣️ Be Aware of Guide Relations: Careful with the Chatter – It’s great that you’ve fished with other guides. But constantly name-dropping them to your current guide is like talking about your ex on a first date. Some guides are friends, some are rivals, and no one wants to hear about the one who got away all day. Keep the past in the past and focus on the fish in the present.

🗣️ Politics: The Ultimate Conversation Killer  – Want to debate tax policies or climate change? Save it for Facebook. The river isn’t the place for it. The only ripple effect you want on the river is from your fly, not from heated discussions.


Well, there you have it, the fly fishing clients do’s and don’ts. Let’s keep the bellyaching to a minimum, the high fives frequent, and the fish stories only mildly embellished.

As you cast your line into the vast watery expanse, remember these pointers. Not only will it save you from becoming the punchline of the guide’s next campfire story, but it’ll also make your time on the water that much more enjoyable. After all, fishing isn’t just about the thrill of the catch, but also about the camaraderie and the tales spun in the wake of the setting sun.

Guides are passionate about fly fishing and dedicated to sharing their knowledge with you. Avoid these pitfalls, and you’ll have a better time out on the water, get more value for your money, and who knows, you may even get invited to come back.

Tight lines! Happy fishing!

P.S. Annoying things Guides do and say. COMING SOON…




GV FLY FISHING empathises with all guides out there. It's time to address Fly Fishing Guide Peeves.

Discover. Connect. Respect.


We use Waterworks Lamson Reels for our Private Fly Fishing LessonsWe use UMPQUA flies at our Private Fly Fishing Lessons
We use SCOTT fly rods for our Private Fly Fishing Lessons
GV Fly fishing use SIMMS waders for our Private Fly Fishing Lessons





GV FLY FISHING empathises with all guides out there. It's time to address Fly Fishing Guide Peeves.

Discover. Connect. Respect.


We use Waterworks Lamson Reels for our Private Fly Fishing LessonsWe use UMPQUA flies at our Private Fly Fishing Lessons
We use SCOTT fly rods for our Private Fly Fishing Lessons
GV Fly fishing use SIMMS waders for our Private Fly Fishing Lessons





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