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Thread: Guide pay is lame

  1. #1
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Guide pay is lame

    So I just got offered a job at a lodge that charges a whopping $7500 / week and you know what they offered me to be a guide? a measly $625/ week for an 80 hour week thats $7.81 / hr not including overtime with overtime thats 6.25 an hour which is almost a dollar below state minimum wage what a crop of feces. They advertise as the highest paying starting guide positions in the state which I believe.

    What it means for you: Guides cannot afford to be proffessionals unless they own the bussiness. Please support owner operated and guided lodges and outfitters, otherwise chances are your guide will be some yahoo from idaho, or alabama who has never seen a salmon before. Its just sad that those of us in the industry get ripped off as much as the customer
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    So, will you be hitting PWS commecial salmon again this summer instead? Let me know if you're out that way and we'll connect sometime.

    -Brian

  3. #3
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    Does it include room and board? I can tell you with 100% certainty they they are not the highest paying lodge in AK. Our fish cleaner makes more than that and works 1/4 of the time, no lie. He makes more per week and gets room and board.

  4. #4
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Default

    Any outfit that has to tout themselves as being the "highest paying", likely isn't.

  5. #5

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    "Yahoo from Idaho"
    Easy there monkey, Idaho has Salmon as well, in fact they even have a river named after them, as well as a lake. Do you know how many dams those salmon and steelhead tackle before they make it back?? Do you know how many miles they travel to reach the promise land??
    Yes guide pay is low, I thought you already knew that, haven't you been guiding for some time now?
    I am in total agreeance that people should support private owned guide business across the state, but even they are far from getting rich from it. If you would like to make money stay away from the profession. If you really care about showing people a great time, and enjoying it with them, than stick with it, it can be more rewarding than most monetary compensations!!

  6. #6
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Qualifications

    Are they basing the pay on your qualifications? What kind of guides license do you have? Years of experience? Six-pac license? They must have some reason to be paying so low. If you have a guides license or six-pack license why not do you own guiding?

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  7. #7

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    far from getting rich? Well I guess that definition might leave something to be questioned. The fella I ran for, we figured granted this is just a guestamet, 5.5 MILLION dollars in 4 months. Obviously that is gross before any bills, captians, fish cleaners, lodge staff, cooks, food bills, fuel bills yadda yadda yadda. What we do know is the lodge owner is a good price over 6 digits, the owner we figure is closer too or over that cool 7 digit mark per year! Definatly one smart buisness man!

    And our fish cleaners made more then that also!

  8. #8
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    I say go for it by starting your own guide business. You'll need an Alaska guide license, an Alaska business guide license, insurance, specialized insurance for those areas you intend to guide in that require it, permits from private, state, and federal lands, a coast guard license, first aid qualifications, equipment to run your business (boats, motors, maintenance, float tubes, personal flotation devices, waders, boots, rods, reels, lines, flys, beads, etc.), transportation including the ability to provide dependable air transport to remote areas, state required licenses for transportation, insurance for that transportation, gear to provide food when required and the ability to provide a quality meal, ability to provide comfortable lodging, outfitting gear (rafts, tents, stoves, etc.), want ads for help, advertising (logo/text design, periodical advertisements, brochures, business cards, sporting show fees), business phone, accountant, someone to take reservations when you are out guiding, and on, and on, and on . . .

    Good luck with that.
    Last edited by Sketch; 02-28-2007 at 01:26.

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_M View Post
    So, will you be hitting PWS commecial salmon again this summer instead? Let me know if you're out that way and we'll connect sometime.

    -Brian
    Unless the state calls me back about counting fish in ugashik yup. I'm in fingure cove (main bay) second camp in... PSWAC is calling for 1.3 million and we got the line.

    Yea I knew guide pay was low thats why I quite guiding, at least at my old job I got paid minimum wage.

    OK yea Idaho has tough salmon and trout to catch but if you were paying 7500 bucks to go fishing would you rather have someone who has been fishing alaska for his whole life or someone who has no idea how to rig a bead? I appologize to Idaho though, people who consistently catch steelhead there are good fishermen.
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 02-28-2007 at 09:10. Reason: language
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10
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    Default ROI reality...

    That is how it usually is in business. Those who lay down the big money are those who make the big bucks. It's called Return Of Investment.

    Though I do not guide, I have been the recepient of this application in writing AK guide books. My first title didn't cost me a penny. My publisher paid for everything and I make a standard commission rate of 8% of every volume he sells. The other 92% is completely in his hands paying for everything he invested to print and distribute, and what's left is his profit.

    I printed a second title myself and had to lay out thousands in order to do it. Now everything is in my hands, and what is left after all the costs is my profit.

    By far, and I mean by very far, the big money goes to those who fork out the front cash and take the risk. I really can't begrudge those who lay it out on top, and then skinny it out to those on the bottom. That's just the way it is in the pyramid of investment, and that's the reality...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

  11. #11

    Default lame?

    I think CLice is right. My guide friends tell me that being a fishing guide is like being a teacher. You do it because you love it, not because of the money.

  12. #12

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    Kind of puts the tips to individual guides in a differnt light, doesn't it?

  13. #13
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    I forgot to mention all the permits, fees, insurance, not to mention boats, gear, maintenance, advertising.......the list goes on and on...
    Not many guides getting rich, or school teachers for that matter!

  14. #14

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    I know we pay our guides much more, but did you factor in tips?? Not to mention the experience of a year guiding in AK. Most of our guides have 20 plus years experience guiding all over the world. Sounds like a decent summer job plus you will get to fish 100 days this year.

  15. #15

    Default Worth more than 7.81/hr

    When I was a younger man that would be a dream job. I would have jumped on an opportunity like that, for the experience, the tips, etc. It would be awesome for a young guy that is looking to eventually have his own guide service.
    I would look at it as a "journeyman" job or something, it's worth a lot getting experience that you couldn't get anywhere else, building your resume to start a career as a world class guide.
    At this point in my life it is laughable though with a family and a mortgage, I hear you, it would be pathetic.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  16. #16

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    KenaiKing- "get to fish 100 days this year". Not hardly... You won't find the better guides fishing. They are too busy helping their clients onto fish. Besides, there is nothing worse then being a guide and pulling the "fish of a lifetime" out from under your client. Believe me, no one is happy when that happens...

  17. #17

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    Our guides are always fishing any spare minute they get. Alot of them become very good friends along the way. Im talking about after your work is done. the best part about AK is the land of the midnight sun

    Plus guiding or fishing your still on the water.

  18. #18

    Default Dream job

    I have four boys, all very young, but they will most likely be long and lean and have a good rowing stroke. When they are older I will try and set them up with jobs at lodges, assuming they love fishing as much as I do. When I was young I had a job at a lodge that paid next to nothing but they are the best memories of my life.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  19. #19

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    Don't base your opinion of all Alaska lodges on the wages of 1, I work for a premier lodge in S.E. and have been there since 95, I wouldn't have stayed if the pay wasn't decent, which I think it is.
    Besides competitive wages, I also make very good tips, they feed me very well, they also provide a bed and a shower, all this has to be considered and you owe it to yourself to shop around, there are good lodges and bad.

  20. #20
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    Default

    Good post AkKings.

    ak_powder_monkey, from your posts you seem like an accomplished fisherman/Alaskan outdoorsman. With your skills you should be able to fetch a better daily wage, like AK suggested, shop around. It can be difficult finding the right outfit to work for, kinda like a marrage of sorts. I've guided for 6 different outfits over the past 20 years and after the first two experiences I almost gave up the idea of being a guide....Poor match for both parties.

    On a side note, many lodges recruit kid's from the lower 48 and low ball them.......Hey your getting paid to do what many people pay thousands to do, is a common line.They omit ey'll be working up to 15 hours a day 7 days a week for 3+ months and may or may not be on the water fishing every day, but might be digging a hole for the new outhouse or running fuel or building an addition on the lodge or painting ect.

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