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Tipping Your Guide | Yellow Dog Refresher

Posted by Greg Bricker on May 30, 2017 12:00:58 PM

Gregg Bricker | Freestone Fly Fishing Outfitters, Montana

It goes without saying that guide gratuities can be an unnecessarily awkward subject.  In the fishing world, tipping your guide after a day on the water has become standard practice, and many anglers are unclear about what amount is appropriate. It is totally reasonable to tip for your guided fishing services, the same as if you were in a restaurant – 10% -20% depending on the level of service.

As is the case in any service scenario, tipping is simply recognition of a job well done.  Did your guide pick you up early and stay late?  Did your guide work hard or simply “go through the motions”?  Did you catch the best fish of your life?  Did you catch the most fish you ever have in a single outing?  Did your guide go above and beyond to connect with you so that you “clicked”, and feel that you started developing what could become a mutually beneficial long term relationship?  These are the questions you must ask yourself when considering how much to tip your guide. 

One consideration to keep in mind is that guides can control many, but not all factors over the course of any fishing day.  If the fishing is “slow”, is your guide on cruise control, or is he trying to figure out a way to increase the action?  S/he may not have all the answers, but if your guide is actively looking to try and solve the problem, that should be recognized.

Simply put, tips are earned, and they are never obligatory.  If your guide goes above and beyond your expectations, a tip is a great way to show your gratitude.  Conversely, guides that expect a solid gratuity just for showing up should be tipped accordingly. Gratuity, cannot always be measured by quantity or quality of fish (although a bunch of big ones certainly doesn’t hurt), but by the overall experience and your personal enjoyment of the trip. 

More Great Articles On This Hot Topic Here
+ Past YDFA blog post – How to Tip Fishing Guides and Lodges
+ MSN: Etiquette 101: Your Guide to Tipping in 50 Countries.
+ Outside magazine: How Much (and Why) Should I Tip My Guide? 

Topics: Tips and Tricks