Could you could possibly give me a hand on how to get started in the guiding field (or you could laugh at me that would work too)? It would much appreciated — this is a dream I would like to make into reality.
To get into guiding, you need to make sure you have all your licenses, bonds and insurance taken care of ahead of time. Here in California, you’ll need a DFG license and a Coast Guard Capt.’s license depending on what waters you’re planning to run on. You also need to post a surity bond each season.
Then, don’t expect to make a full-time deal out of it for a few seasons. Do it part time and have a back-up income source for awhile until you get a good client base built up. It takes t-i-m-e! Figure a good 5 years before you’re full time.
Also, keep in mind that when you’re guiding, you suddenly don’t have any time for fun fishing anymore. People think it’s all fun (which it is!), but there’s a lot of stress that goes along with it, too.
I thought I knew a lot about fishing…until I started having to do it every day, under all kinds of conditions, with people of all skill levels. The more I did it, the more I realized that I didn’t know so much.
Honestly, it’s a tough time to get into the field, with declining fish populations, ever-increasing crowds, expensive fuel and a recession. When times are tight, fishing trips often get axed out of people’s budgets.
If you’re prepared to hang tough and give it some time, you’ll do fine.
I’ll leave you with what I think is the most important aspect of being a guide:
It’s what you do between bites that makes or breaks you.