Guides have normally completed a rigorous training and assessment programme and are subject to annual refresher and continuous learning seminars.
The aim in so doing is to ensure clients' safety and satisfaction is maximised.
So what should you expect in a day out with a guide?
Planning and preparation
Prior to your departure you should liaise with your guide to discuss the fishing and any other specifications such as any special needs or wishes.
This could help you with your travel planning, licenses and permits, recommended accommodation and equipment.
When you arrive to fish the guide will meet you, usually on the evening of arrival to go through a plan for your fishing holiday and agree meeting times and venue plus any specific requirements in regard to lunch, equipment hire or whatever.
The daily schedule
Your guide will either meet you or pick you up at an agreed hour and all requested hire kit will be there waiting for you.
The guide will do a situation brief on weather, water conditions, risk assessment and a description of the terrain or fishery conditions involved.
You can expect a full morning's angling but may do so at your pace and pleasure as it is your holiday. The guide will normally have mid morning refreshment and they should also have arranged lunch. The afternoon session will follow the morning format and the guide will return you to your accommodation at around 5.00pm.
If your gear is wet the guide may offer to have it dried and ready for the morning, but be prepared to have to arrange this yourself.
The guide is their to ensure your safety and will have rigorous health and safety protocols which stipulate the safety equipment the guide must have to hand , the risk assessment they must carry out and the protocols that must be in place and followed should an unlikely incident occur. Part of this may be asking you some questions regarding general fitness and health which you may answer at your discretion.
Please bear in mind that a guide is not a ghillie or caddy, though many will perform these tasks as well. The main role of the guide is to ensure your precious few days on the bank or in the boat exceed your expectations and that there is always a 'Plan B' if things are not working out. Their satisfaction is your satisfaction so if you have a question, comment or suggestion let your guide have it.
If you think your skills with rod and line are somewhat rusty please ask for help as many guides are also qualified instructors.
Likewise if your tackle does not suit the water they may well have kit you can borrow or hire.
Many guides carry lures and hand tied flies made by the best in the business and suited to the waters you will fish. Ask and you should receive FOC.
Yout selected guide will know the waters being fished and are species specific experts so you should expect to catch fish. This may mean calling on a 'Plan B' but then that's why they are guides and not ghillies.
Whilst the guide will not play fish for you, they will offer encouragement and are there to bank, net or simply unhook the fish and take the photograph. Most guides will carry a digital cameras for this occassion and most can burn you a disc or e mail the evidence.
Body and soul
No sense in being uncomfortable, getting wet or having the legs walked of you. If something is not right point it out and it will be fixed.
You start and stop fishing when it suits you.
If you have any special needs or dietary requirements just give your guide a bit of notice and this will be sorted.
If you want to be picked up at the airport or ferry or wherever the guide, discuss this well in advance of arrival and this will be arranged for you, though there may be an additional cost depending on the distance travelled.
At the end of the day
Each day should finish with a review of the fishing sessions and how well your expectations have been met. If you are unhappy say so as it is easier fixed whilst you are here than afterwards, guides have the resources to combat most bad days - drought and floods apart.
You may wish to vary your plan and if so, why not! Talk to the guide and if they can't do it they will most likely know another guide who can.
If you have had a wonderful time tell your friends but if you have had a less than wonderful time tell us and we will not be found wanting.