Hiring a Trout Fishing Guide – Why Hiring a Guide is a Good Idea

A younger looking Tony Entwistle (right), with client John Hewitt from the United States of America, holding for the camera one of four 10lb plus trout caught and released in a single afternoon in the Nelson region. Hiring a trout fishing guide. Now retired, Tony is a Life Member and former President of the NZPFGA.
A younger looking Tony Entwistle (right), with client John Hewitt from the United States of America, holding for the camera one of four 10lb plus trout caught and released in a single afternoon in the Nelson region. Now retired, Tony is a Life Member and former President of the NZPFGA.

Hiring a Trout Fishing Guide

By Allan Burgess

Our fishing guides are doing it tuff at the moment as a result of COVID-19 restrictions preventing overseas anglers from coming to New Zealand and hiring a trout fishing guide. 

Over a typical summer fishing season, experienced guides can take out as many as 100 clients. However, the percentage of domestic clients will be very low, perhaps only 3 to 5%, with most Kiwi anglers preferring to go their own way.

A recent survey of fishing guides showed that almost 95% of their business is from overseas. I guess anything tourism-related is really struggling at the moment.

So what are the advantages of hiring a trout fishing guide?

The first one is obvious. A good fishing guide is out on the water nearly every day and is sure to know the best fishing spots. Just as importantly your guide will explain to you why these fishing spots are good. This will be a big help to you when it comes to finding the best places to fish later when you’re out reading the water on your own.

Hiring a guide is a great way to learn about which fishing gear to buy, get feedback on how to improve your casting, which trout fly to select, and so on.

Your guide can also teach you many other things such as where to look for fish and how to identify them.

Your guide very likely will know the best spots to direct your cast towards and tell you why those spots are good so you’ll learn for the future.

You will be able to improve your fishing techniques considerably by making use of the guide’s knowledge about spotting fish and the like.

Finally, if you’re just starting out in trout fishing your chances of catching a trout will be considerably improved if you make the effort to go out with a guide. I remember when Dick Marquand was guiding on Lake Dunstan, he had a rule for clients, no fish no pay. If you knew Mr Marquand you would know that the chances of you not catching a fish when you went out with him trolling on Lake Dunston were nil.

I would say the biggest advantage isn’t just the opportunity to get a great photo taken by your guide of you holding a good fish. Most importantly you can learn from the hands-on experience that will help you a lot later when fishing on your own.

So in the long run heading out on the water with a fishing guide may well prove to be one of the best investments you ever make as an angler.

Link to the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association website where you can find fishing guides throughout New Zealand.