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Missoula Fly Fishing Gratuity

Bitterroot Skwala Fly Fishing

How Much Should I Tip My Fly Fishing Guide?

Great question, get asked it a lot. Here’s the deal, recognizing what your guide should, or should not, do for you is very relevant to this question. Experienced clients will tell you it often doesn’t come down to how many fish you caught.

Expectations Of Guides At Missoula Fly Fishing Outfitters

Guides are expected to be professional and completely prepared for your trip before you meet. That means gear for clients should be in good shape and ready to set up. Boats and vehicle should also be reliable and clean.

They should have received client information from the Outfitter regarding any food issues and prepared an appropriate lunch for the day.

Depending on your experience level, your Guide should also have a plan in mind about where to fish for the day. In Missoula, we have such a variety of water to select from, we can cater to your needs.

Be Flexible

All of that being said, sometimes things happen. Broken client rods from the day before lead to a scramble for replacements. Flat tires on Rock Creek Road make for unexpected delays. And quite frankly, a beautiful lunch may get left in the truck!

Even the most professional Guides make mistakes, it’s how they handle it that counts.

Your Day On The Water

This is your fly fishing experience and your Guide should help make it the best one yet. Guides have a unique skill set. On a daily basis they are expected to navigate different expectations, personalities, weather, fishing conditions, and experience levels while still producing a great experience in a relatively short period of time.

If your guide clearly communicates the plan on the water, works to get you and the boat into the best angle for fishing, rows back up to hit a good run again, changes flies when times are tough, does it again, and again, teaches you something about your cast, or bugs, or the river ecosystem, they are actively engaged in creating a positive experience for you.

Gratuity for hard work is much appreciated by our guides and is certainly up to the client’s discretion. Average gratuity seems to range between 20% – 40% of the cost of the trip, or $100 – $200. Unlike some service industry professions, Guides are Independent Contractors and expected to cover their own costs for your experience on the water. Gratuity assists them in making it a viable profession.