When it comes to tipping, it's important to remember that you're paying for the time, effort, and attention of your fishing guide, not for the fish. In many cases, you can follow the same standard that you would follow in many other tipping situations. A good rule of thumb is to reward your guide with a tip of 15-25% of the booked day's rate for good service, more if they're very happy and can afford it. If you're not satisfied with the service, reduce the service to around 10 percent.
The amount of the tip should be based on the overall experience of the trip, not on the quantity of fish caught. Even on days when the fish don't stop biting, your guide should still be rewarded for their hard work and dedication. As a guide, I have the privilege of sharing very special moments with customers and I work hard to provide them with the best overall experience in return. The typical tip of a guide for our equipment service is 15 to 20%.
That, more or less, has become an industry standard. Regardless of the amount of the tip, the effort is the same on my part and I am incredibly grateful for any tip for a day of guided travel. Base your advice on the diligence, kindness, ability, and willingness of your guide to teach and go the extra mile. For most first-time anglers, fishing may seem too complex or challenging, especially if you don't have anyone around to teach you the basics.
Experienced and well-educated fishing guides will continue to attend to the needs of each customer with diligence and care. At Fly Fishing Fix we firmly believe in a good tip and we advocate for it, regardless of the amount of fish you catch. Even if what you want to do is a bad idea - for example, because the stretch of river where you want to fish has recently been desecrated by muddy runoff from one of its tributaries - your guide should still be rewarded for their knowledge and expertise. Tipping for a fishing trip follows the same general rule as tipping a waiter - 10 to 20% being a common practice.
It's a good idea to start with 15% and go up or down depending on how satisfied you are with the trip. Keep in mind that guides spend hours preparing for a trip and despite their experience, having the right bait and being in the best places, sometimes fish just don't bite. At the end of a fishing trip, when you return to the dock, it's your turn to take care of the good fishermen who took care of you. The charter fee covers travel, boat wear and tear, gas, equipment (rods, reels and flies), knowledge, license, the convenience of fishing in a new area and having someone standing on a boat and pushing or rowing all day long. However, not tipping at all is almost always an insult in a sector where tips represent a significant part of the income of fishing guides and in-house staff. I like how you mentioned that it's a good idea to consider the whole experience when tipping a fishing guide - being able to keep customers engaged, having fun and learning when fishing is slow is a crucial skill for a fishing guide.