Working With Your Lodge Guide Part 2
One of the most important things you can do as an angler when fishing from a lodge, is to listen to your guide. The guide lives and works in the environment you are fishing and many of them will have 10+ years working the area. They know the environment and what works. And just as importantly, what doesn’t work. If you are fishing a new location the first time, be prepared to be adaptable and put what your guide recommends into practice. Just because a fly worked in the Bahamas does not mean it will work well in Belize or Mexico. Stripping speeds and fly movement will often vary from one location to another. Ask your guide what flies he likes and how he wants you to present and move the fly.
I always want my guide participating in my angling experience as much as is possible and I do this in several ways. I will always open my fly boxes and ask my guide to pick out the pattern I should be using. He/she knows what works and this is an important part of the team building process between the anglers and the guide. If I catch a really nice fish, I will always ask the guide to get into the photo for at least a shot or two. Guides work really hard and when success is achieved, I want them “in the picture”, sharing the glory!
I really enjoy taking pictures, so another way I get my guide involved is by handing them my rod and asking them to try a few casts and or to catch a fish. This isn’t a method for everyone, but guides often go weeks without fishing during the busy parts of their season and it can go a long way when you hand your guide your rod for five or ten minutes, while you hydrate or put some suncreen on. The goodwill that this will generates will translate into a variety of positive ways, from an extra 30 minutes on the water, or to where the guide goes above and beyond what their day on the water normally entails. You know when a guide is going the extra mile for you and this is an environment and vibe I always try to foster.
Everything is stacked against us when we fish. An often new and unfamiliar eco-system, weather, fish, harsh mountain environments, the oceans, barometric pressure, wind, no sun. When you work well with your guide and get them on board and feeling like they are an integral part of the team, it helps restore the balance and can often put the odds squarely in your favor.
Ask your guide questions about what works and why?
Be willing to learn and adapt.
Listen to your guide and what they recommend
Include your guide in pictures of quality fish landed
If you don’t mind it, hand your guide your rod for 10 minutes.