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If you reside outside of Alaska, how can you be an "Alaskan Guide"?

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  • If you reside outside of Alaska, how can you be an "Alaskan Guide"?

    If I where to spend thousands of dollars to fly to, say, New Zealand, for a Once in a Lifetime fishing trip and upon arriving at my destination be informed that my New Zealand Guide was a college kid from Britain, regardless of his pedigree I'd be a bit miffed.
    Being a guide is more than getting a client onto fish. It's knowing the in's and out's of the locale in which one is guiding.
    The same holds true for Alaska. I grit my teeth when I think of (and at times have heard firsthand) some of the responses clients receive from their "guides". If a client is curious as to the political intricacies of Alaska. Wouldn't an Alaskan be better equipped to answer those queries? The same goes for geography, history, societal, etc. questions concerning this State. "I don't know" or worse yet "Let me make-up an answer" aren't what the client is paying for. Knowledge, experience, and a grasp of the what makes Alaska, well, Alaska is what being an Alaskan Guide should encompass.


    I know, under some skewed and twisted laws, it isn't legal to flat out ban "Non-Resident-I-Live in [____Fill in the Blank___], but have the audacity to call myself an 'Alaskan' for 3 months of the year" types.

    ...However.....

    Under the Non-Resident-Alien-Big Game Tags/Licenses Model , I propose we make the Non-Alaskan-'Alaskan'-Guides pay, and pay dearly, for the temporary elevation of status that allows them to claim something that, essentially boils down to False Advertising, and in my opinion borders on Fraud.

    I'd like to see in creation of a "Fishing Guide Fishing License" (not to be confused with a Guide license I'll address that shortly), for Genuine Alaskan Residents this license would be the same price as a typical resident fishing license. For Non-Resident "Alaskan" Guides, I think $1,000 sounds like a nice round number. Of course prior to qualifying for said Non-Resident License, there would be a requirement that all applicants successfully attend and complete a 3 month course on ALASKA (History, Politics, General Knowledge, etc). This course could be offered through any University of Alaska Campus, and Non-Resident tuition fees would apply, online courses would not be available. Must be present to win. Every 3 years, a refresher course of 6 weeks would be required to fill in any gaps that have elapsed since the original class was completed.

    Now, on to the actual Guide License itself. Currently Alaskan Resident Guides pay $50 a year for a Guide License. I'd say that seems about right. For the Non-Resident-'Alaskan'-Guides, let's double the Fishing License cost....$2,000.

    Non-Resident Fishing License $1,000
    Non-Resident Guide License $2,000
    Tuition, Books, Room & Board @ $5,000
    Total Cost= $8000

    Being able to call yourself (seasonally) an "Alaskan".....Priceless.....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  • #2
    I've guided in Alaska since 1990 and no, I'm not Alaskan nor do I call myself an "Alaskan fishing guide", I was born and raised in Wa., caught my 1st salmon when I was 5 (sockeye) and 1st king when I was 7. When I started guiding at 23 I had hundreds of salmon, mostly kings and silvers as well as close to 100 halibut under my belt. I was proficient at trolling, mooching and jigging, something very few Alaskans from what I've seen, can say. I also knew how to read a chart and could distinguish structure and other characteristics that made for productive fishing spots. Do you need to be from Ak. to do that? sure local knowledge helps but if you can consistantly find and catch fish in WA/OR you can do it in AK.
    When I rolled into Ketchikan in 1990 I was amazed at what I saw, everyone (locals) trolled and all you saw was flashers and hootchies, if they didn't catch anything, well then, the fish just weren't biting or weren't there. Nobody (locals) seemed to have a clue about mooching or jigging and some of the looks us guys from down south got were priceless, until they saw us getting'm as they trolled by with their flashers and hootchies, lol. So, yeah, if its important to have a good story teller that has lived there for a few years ( I know 3 Alaskan guides that were actually born in Ak. rest are transplants) but doesn't catch alot of fish, a local/resident is probably what you want.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AkKings View Post
      if its important to have a good story teller that has lived there for a few years.

      Seems the "Story tellers" are those that can't answer basic questions concerning Alaska. Catching fish is the ultimate goal agreed, but (even if one doesn't 'call' them-self an Alaskan Guide, they are guiding...In Alaska) representing and being able to discuss, Alaska is also part of the package one would hope to provide. I once fished with a guy who was possibly in the top 5 of people I know who could find fish, regardless of conditions. At the end of the day he was also a taciturn, ant-social boor. Regardless of his piscatorial prowess, there is more to fishing than catching.

      I started out on Charters in '88 out of Seward (where I also graduated High School) and mooching and jigging was common practice
      even then.

      It seems a bit ironic that you aren't an Alaskan, yet your screen name is AkKings.....Nothing personal, but that seemingly epitomizes my point.
      “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
      "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

      Comment


      • #4
        When I hire a charter I am there to fish and mostly to catch fish. It does help if the guy is fun to fish with. It does help if the guy has some alaska fact/history knowledge base.

        I would think that if a guide is a total bore to fish with that the business side of the business would dictate his/her successfulness...no return customers or maybe those that just want to catch fish.

        However, I am not at all surprised to here this request from a true Alaskan.

        Comment


        • #5
          the problem is , everyone wants to be Alaskans, but non of them outa state "alaskan" guides want to endure what it is that makes us "alaskans" they think its a act they put on when its nice 3 months outa the year. i call them "jiveturkey" guides.
          Semper Fi!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
            I started out on Charters in '88 out of Seward (where I also graduated High School) and mooching and jigging was common practice
            even then.
            Maybe so, couldn't say as I've never been there, Ketchikan on the other hand was very 1 dimensional, strictly trolling, when I started in the early 1990's, doubt it has changed much since. IMO if thats all you know you aren't much of a fisherman/guide, even if your the greatest story teller in AK.

            Were you born in Alaska or a transplant? I may only spend 3 months a year there but there are very few questions about AK that I haven't been able to answer (after 20 years I think I've answered them all numerous times), I may not always have the right answer everytime, and I doubt true Alaskans do either, but I do just fine.
            Just my $.02 worth.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AkKings View Post
              Maybe so, couldn't say as I've never been there, Ketchikan on the other hand was very 1 dimensional, strictly trolling, when I started in the early 1990's, doubt it has changed much since. IMO if thats all you know you aren't much of a fisherman/guide, even if your the greatest story teller in AK.

              Were you born in Alaska or a transplant? I may only spend 3 months a year there but there are very few questions about AK that I haven't been able to answer (after 20 years I think I've answered them all numerous times), I may not always have the right answer everytime, and I doubt true Alaskans do either, but I do just fine.
              Just my $.02 worth.

              u need to suffer thru the cold winters with us if you want our respect.
              Semper Fi!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by greythorn3 View Post
                u need to suffer thru the cold winters with us if you want our respect.

                Been there, done that, twice. Can I now call myself a resident and get your respect, lol.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If I ever needed a guide for anything, I'd hire a native. Wouldn't even need any activity experience, just show me where the gettin' is good. They know that stuff better than anyone.
                  "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I really dont care where he or she is from i care about how i am treated.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AkKings View Post
                      I've guided in Alaska since 1990 and no, I'm not Alaskan nor do I call myself an "Alaskan fishing guide", I was born and raised in Wa., caught my 1st salmon when I was 5 (sockeye) and 1st king when I was 7. When I started guiding at 23 I had hundreds of salmon, mostly kings and silvers as well as close to 100 halibut under my belt. I was proficient at trolling, mooching and jigging, something very few Alaskans from what I've seen, can say. I also knew how to read a chart and could distinguish structure and other characteristics that made for productive fishing spots. Do you need to be from Ak. to do that? sure local knowledge helps but if you can consistantly find and catch fish in WA/OR you can do it in AK.
                      When I rolled into Ketchikan in 1990 I was amazed at what I saw, everyone (locals) trolled and all you saw was flashers and hootchies, if they didn't catch anything, well then, the fish just weren't biting or weren't there. Nobody (locals) seemed to have a clue about mooching or jigging and some of the looks us guys from down south got were priceless, until they saw us getting'm as they trolled by with their flashers and hootchies, lol. So, yeah, if its important to have a good story teller that has lived there for a few years ( I know 3 Alaskan guides that were actually born in Ak. rest are transplants) but doesn't catch alot of fish, a local/resident is probably what you want.
                      Well ain't that sweet of you, and all... shoot makes me almost regret catching my first fish here in AK, back in 1939... Ah heck being born on the AK peninsula and raised here since 1936, well shucks you younguns, can wish all you want.

                      Alaskan is not a job, never has been.

                      Alaska Hippie? do you live next door to Mr, Bushrat and his brother Homer?
                      squab (probably of Scandinavian descent; skvabb, meaning "loose, fat flesh") is a young domestic pigeon or its meat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Alaskan is not a job, never has been.
                        It's a Lifestyle, a State of Mind, and for many, a soul grounding sense of Pride......But most certainly not a job...


                        Alaska Hippie? do you live next door to Mr, Bushrat and his brother Homer?
                        Not that I'm aware of, tho' I do believe I can see Sarah Palins house from my backdoor......
                        “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
                        "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Guys have been coming up from the PNW to fish for the season since fishing in Alaska was pioneered. It's not a new thing.

                          Lodges like to hire the best guides. If they happen to be from out of state, so be it. I don't know of any locals hurting for work in the fish guiding industry either. The lodges love locals if they can find one who shows up on time and isn't an alcoholic.

                          As for non-residents.. I've stolen some of my best halibut spots from akkings non-res buddies..
                          Alaska Wide Open Charters
                          www.alaskawideopen.com
                          907-965-0130

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just because someone is smart enough to leave this frozen SOB in the winter doesn't mean they can't catch fish,,You want a history lesson go to school.....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When a guy starts carryingon about the weather, back in the day, wildflowers, local villages, latest greatest fishing line, best micro-brew and how to cook....it means that is generally what he knows best...
                              I am sure all of us have seen good guides and poor guides...good doctors and poor doctors...good drillers and poor drillers.
                              Some folks can just show up and fit in, while others can live their entire lives in a region and never know what is happening beyond their doorstep. No easy answer, but I don't think residency is a valid measure....Alaska is simply too vast and too varied. A guide familiar with the Kenai would be floundering on the Nush..well...maybe not totally...the same stories could be told...I guess.
                              "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
                              ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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