To me there are some key points I expect a proper guide to have in store:
- He should be an expert in fly fishing for the chosen species of fish.
- He should know the area pretty well.
- He should ask me for my main targets!
- He should support me to bring all the tackle that will be needed. Finally he should check my tackle set up and in case improve it (if necessary).
- Shaking hands at the beginning and he should realize me to be a right handed fly caster (or even better he may have already asked in advance).
- He should ask me for some casts at the beginning of the day in order to have an idea about my presentation skills.
- He should be able to teach me the key elements in fly casting and help to improve my presentation skills (if necessary).
- He should know my level of fly fishing for the species of fish we are after. Then he should pick me up at that level and help me to increase. Most important: His strategies to support me should match with my fishing skills!
- He should know the weatherforecast in order to plan the day.
- He should always be planning at least one spot ahead of the current one we are fishing.
- He should understand that a small fish might make for a perfect catch for one client while for the other one it's about the big fish mainly. No doubt this should be an important part in planning the day in order to hit the client's expectations best possible.
- He should be able to give me confidence in my own fly fishing!
- He should be able to make some nice pictures of the day.
Yes, there are more points I focus on when choosing a guide to support my own fly fishing. A lot of newbe guides I met lately significantly failed in several of the points above. Some didn't even know the water nor did they know much about the species of fish.
Why they started to offer a guiding service? Maybe it has become a desire to them since many of us professional guides put their lives to the social media!? I don't really know.
What I do know: As a guide YOU have the responsabilty to make the fishing trip being worth it. That to me means to support your client catching fish as well as helping him to get the best out of the current fishing situation while having a lot of fun.
Oh, and most important: If you can't share the happiness of your client when catching a fish you better never start guiding at all!
Every guide will have to start (and gain experience) at some point of course. A fair (low) pricing is a good deal here, I think! In the end I will always ask what I get for my money...
All my best
P.s.: Again, as a guide you want to make sure to ask your client for his desires/targets for the day (before you plan the day).