Many of you folks have been on guided trips before, but some of you have not. Every guide is different, every boat is different and every situation is different but here are just a few of my thoughts that might make things easier for you and your guide on your next trip.
Your guide should establish connection with you before your trip to talk about techniques, weather, etc. I guide most of my trips out of my drift boat which has great storage and protected rod tubes for six rods. Make sure you let your guide know beforehand if you plan on bringing a rod or two. Don’t be offended if you show up with a rod and your guide suggests using his. I can assure it’s just because they want you to have the perfect tool for that day. Your guide should provide lunch and drinks for you. Sometimes saltwater guides do not provide lunch but every trout guide I know does. If you plan on bringing your own lunch make sure you let your guide know the day before so they don’t waste money/time on lunch for you. I’ve never met a guide who didn’t have plenty of water on the boat.
Now lets talk about coolers. Most guides have limited room in their boats and already have a cooler on board. You will make your guide very happy if you don’t show up with your own cooler, especially us drift boat guides. We will have room in our ice chest for your beer, tea or whatever you want to bring. Extra clothes are usually a good idea to bring especially in the winter. I always encourage folks to bring an extra layer and a rain coat. Staying comfortable during your trip is paramount but I’m doubtful you’ll need 4 extra jackets. I also encourage folks to leave their nets, tackle bags, vests etc at home. If you plan on wading your guide should either provide waders for you or talk with you about this prior to the trip. No reason to bring waders unless your guide instructs you to, or if it’s super cold and you are wearing them for warmth. We have all the terminal tackle and gear you’ll need. I traditionally don’t provide sunscreen for my guests as I prefer to just wear long sleeves and long pants, so its never a bad idea to have some screen. I always keep toilet paper and a first aid kit in my boat so theres no need to bring you own!
In conclusion, set a line of communication with your guide prior to your trip. Ask them questions about what they want and don’t want you to bring. These are just some of my thoughts on the matter!