Tipping a guide...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jonathan Gardner, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Jonathan Gardner

    Jonathan Gardner Jon Gardner

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    How much do you tip a guide for a day's services? I'm not asking how much you SHOULD tip, WANT TO tip or WOULD tip you can afford it. How much really comes out of your pocket? Guides: How much do you get - high, low, average?
     
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    One of the interesting things about these kinds of threads is that anglers and guides who post indicate tips well above the 15-20% range that is the guidelines for waiters and waitresses when dining out. I've tipped 10-15% and 20% on occasion.

    I used to think tipping guides was silly for the same reason I don't tip my plumber, electrician, etc. These are tradesmen who set their own rates and are making well above the $5.85/hr that a lot of waiters/waitresses receive. I've since been persuaded that, silly or not, tipping guides is pretty standard practice.

    Sg
     
  3. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    depends how many fish we got
     
  4. Kaari White

    Kaari White Active Member

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    That's not really fair. River conditions vary from day to day. A guide might work his ass off to get his client a couple fish when conditions are poor (while overcoming many clients poor fishing skills). Following your logic you would tip very little or nothing.... Not every day is going to result in big numbers.
     
  5. ral

    ral Rich Layendecker

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    I tip a guide based on the kind of service I get, not how many fish we catch. The guide cannot control the fish, but I have had guides who clearly worked really hard to put us over fish when the fishing was slow. I have had guides keep fishing for several hours past the time we would have quit because the fishing got really good late in the trip. Those guides earned the tip; they got more than 15% sometimes much more. For an average day I tip 10 -15%. I have not tipped when the service was poor - guide showed up late, did not seem to have his act together, would not shut up talking subjects other than fishing (mostly politics) all day.
     
  6. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    Agreed, many conditions go into fooling fish that are well beyond a guides control. 50-100 is the average that i see, with tips over 100 not that uncommon.
     
  7. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    there is no "fair" or right or wrong way to tip... simple fact of the matter is if we catch 20 fish i had a better time and i would tip more then if we only caught 1.
     
  8. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    If that's what you base it on, you have no business fishing with a guide.
     
  9. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    iagree
    Don't you know that fly fishing is simply about catching fish.
    Esibnitsud-Do you keep accurate track of every fish on a guide trip so that you can tip accordingly?
     
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    You mean the guide would rather have not booked a trip that day than to have booked a trip with someone who doesn't tip if no fish are caught? I guess guides should be clearer in their advertising and advise people to not book a trip with them if they don't intend to tip or gage the size of their tip according to what they catch.

    That's silly at best and stupid overall. A guide works for the fee he charges. Tips are just that, a generous expression of appreciation from their clients who can afford it and feel like giving it.
     
  11. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Assuming one isn't fundamentally opposed to tipping like Salmo_g (can't change those people) and you are intending to tip your guide, all I'm saying is the amount of the tip should be based on service, not the final tally of fish.
     
  12. Kaari White

    Kaari White Active Member

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    I'm not going to say guides count on tips, but it's pretty much expected that there will be a tip involved. Anyone hiring a guide, IMO, you should add the cost of tipping to the cost of the trip when you book it. I'm not saying that they should automatically be given $50 for a $350 trip, but plan on giving something at the end of the day if the guide did his job.

    You don't go to a resturant and decide when you get the bill that you can't afford to tip. You realized when you ordered your food that tipping is expected.
     
  13. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast la flama blanca

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    Wait staff don't set the prices. Independent guides do.
     
  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    CWUGirl,

    I understand perfectly that tips are customary in the fishing guide business. I haven't said they aren't. What I have said was in my first post in this thread, that I don't understand why tipping guides is customary, since it's a trade comparable to the hypothetical plumber and electrician who all set their own fees based on what they think their time and skill is worth, along with the competitive aspects of their respective markets. Yet plumbers and electricians, as far as I know, work for hourly rates and don't expect nor receive tips. However, fishing guides do receive tips.

    Fishing guides are not waiters or waitresses. At $350 - $400 per day they are not making the $5.85 per hour paid to wait staff who depend on tips for much of their income. I'll duly note that the guide is providing a boat and has other overhead that wait staff don't. If fishing guides want to compare their service to waitressing, I'll be expecting a significant downward adjustment in their rates.

    I don't know much about the expectations part of the guiding business. The guides I've talked about it with all say that tips are not expected. However, they are very much appreciated. So whether it's pretty much expected that there will be a tip involved appears uncertain to me. And because it's a tip and not part of the base fee, whether to tip and the amount of the tip is totally at the discretion of the client. That is why I chided Alpinetrout for his comment to Esibnitsud. He's free and entirely within his perogative to tip for whatever reasons he chooses, be it a very large number of fish landed, or a super shore side lunch, or the congenial graciousness of the guide, whatever. Esibnitsud doesn't have to use Alpine's criteria for tipping. Period. Alpine, you, and I can suggest reasons for tipping and criteria for calculating a tip, but that's the limit of our authority.

    When I go to a restaurant I assume I will leave a tip because it is customary. That's the main reason. And I accept that it is customary because the prevailing wage in the wait staff industry is notoriously low. But I gage the amount I tip on the quality of the service provided, and I follow what I understand to be the accepted standard of 15-20% for good service. Twice I've left a nickel to make it clear that I hadn't forgotten to tip, but tipped according to what I thought the service was worth when it was especially bad, not just poor.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  15. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    A good fishing guide provides a much different service than a plumber or electrician. when was the last time your plumber brought you under your sink and taught you how to fix the problem for next time. or how bout the last time your plumber brought out a part from his tool box that he built on his own time and made your pipes run better?