Let's talk about about guides,
Montana fly fishing guides in particular, although I've a
feeling that guides everywhere are much the same. Most guides
I know consider themselves the elite of the fly fishing
industry. In many places and for many people, they are elite.
If you hire a good guide and do what he (or she because an
increasing number of guides, including some of the very best,
are women) says you can be almost assured of catching
guides take this belief in their innate superiority where fly
fishing is concerned too far. The prime example of this is
their relationship with people who own or work in fly shops.
In particular, many guides think they are entitled to a
discount in any fly shop they may go into. At least twice a
week, I get people who come into the shop, bring a pile of
merchandise up to the counter and demand a guides discount.
Most of them don't ask, they demand a discount. In many cases,
the time they demand a discount is the first time I've ever
seen them. They sometimes get quite miffed when I tell them
that I don't give guides discounts to people I don't know.
Several have even shown me their licenses to try and get the
So, for all
you guides and non guides who are reading this rant, is the
reason why guides get discounts from fly shops and why I won't
give discounts to most of the people who ask me for them.
Quite simply, guides get discounts as a reward for bringing
clients into a fly shop and encouraging these clients to buy
anything they need from that fly shop. It's a good
arrangement, the shop prospers and the guide gets a break in
buying the things he or she needs. All of the guides who work
regularly out of our shop during the Salmon Fly hatch get
preferred treatment. When a new guide who who works for one of
the outfitters I deal with comes into the store for the first
time, I give them the discount, explaining that future
discounts depend on them reciprocating.
is going to send me an email accusing me of conspiring with
guides to rid the clients of their cash and I'll plead guilty
in advance. After all, I'm in the retail business and my
reason for being in business is to sell fishing tackle to
people. And anything legal that helps me sell more tackle is
okay with me. So I'll continue with the same policy and give
those people who help me all the reciprocal help I