Tipping is a common practice in the service industry, but there is still some confusion among fishermen as to how, when and why they should tip their guides. Generally, it is accepted that an adequate tip should represent around 20% of the cost of the trip. When it comes to tipping your guide, you should leave between 15 and 25% of the booked day's rate. This amount should be based on the diligence, kindness, ability and willingness of your guide to teach and go the extra mile.
Since your guide cannot guarantee the amount of fish you catch, this should not be a major factor when deciding how much to tip. On large deep-sea ships, it is normal to leave a tip of 20% of the price of the trip and the tips will be divided among the three crew members as they see fit. On other ships, the captain is paid enough in freight so that all the tips go to his sailors. If you're unsure how to handle tipping on a boat, you can always ask if you should give an individual tip or a lump sum and they'll be happy to let you know. When it comes to fly fishing guides, it is recommended to leave a tip of 15% for an average level of service. However, if your guide goes above and beyond, you may want to consider tipping more than 15%.
Guides get a large percentage of their income from tips and some first-rate guides expect a hefty tip. If you want access to peak season slots that suddenly “open up”, giving a regular tip of more than 15% can help. In group settings, anglers can split tips but it's important to help your fishing partner with advanced knowledge so they don't feel embarrassed at the end of the day. If your guide makes an exceptional effort by fishing an hour or three longer than usual or makes a special effort to fish, it makes sense to give a good tip. When it comes to knowing where fish usually congregate, fly fishing guides are invaluable. At Fly Fishing Fix we firmly believe in tipping and advocate for it regardless of the amount of fish you catch.
There are many unpredictable factors that determine whether or not fish will be in the mood to eat on any given day so the amount of fish your guide helps you catch should not be your main consideration when deciding how much to tip. When returning to the dock at the end of a fishing trip, it's time to take care of the good fishermen who took care of you. Fishing guides usually become guides because they love everything related to this sport and they make a difference in rivers, lakes and salt marshes. So when fishing with a guide, even if you've fished there before, it's best to follow their example and let them do their job. At the end of the day, there are many things that are worse than a fishing guide with a negative attitude. Right next to the fly fishing guide's costume shop, there should also be a vehicle dealer for the fishing guide so they can get around easily.