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A silhouette of a fly fisherman and a guide casting for redfish from a flats boat poling skiff in

A silhouette of a fly fisherman and a guide – casting on the flats. Envato image.

Needing to be in charge is a one way ticket to losing touch

By Skip Clement with Capt. Andrew Derr

Adhering to the following guidelines will assure that you, your fellow angler, and your guide will have a productive day of fishing, learn a lot, and enjoy a few laughs. 

  1. Believe your ego is helping the guide find more fish.
  2. Instruct the guide on fly fishing things you know more about than anyone.
  3. Your guide will appreciate being told how they should do their job.
  4. Disregard what a guide tells you about what fly to use, ignore casting advice, and don’t listen to advice on how to swim the fly or anything related to hook setting.
  5. Never let a guide retie your leader. Blame your knot failure on anybody but yourself.
  6. Never arrive at the dock rigged up. It’s better to waste time. Keep your rod in the tube.
  7. Be sure to tell your guide about your religious beliefs and tell them about your political agenda and sexual proclivities.
  8. Be sure to lie when asked how much you fly fish and how good a caster you are – knowing they’ll never discover you’re full of sh@t.  

Thom Glace, the award winning watercolorist’s commissioned striper is one of the best illustrations of Morone saxatilis.

Here’s a great way to trick guides into finding out where to fish

I want to tell my spouse where we’ll fish today so he can follow my trip. 

‘Where are we going to fish today?’ I mean from the marina.’

True Story

‘He arrived at the dock in chest waders, a sport coat, a fly rod in its tube, and a big smile. There was no sign of a hat or sunglasses, just a brown bag assumed to be lunch. His smile brought to mind the comedy of the Three Stooges but packaged as one. I joined my new client in a smile with an added hearty chuckle. A picture never to be forgotten.’ —- Anonymous

Photo op and quick release. Capt. Andrew Derr photo credit. Capt. Derr has guided in the Seychelles, Florida Keys, the Adirondacks, and, for about 20 years, the East End of Long Island. Living and fishing on the East End of Long Island is very special. The lifestyle is truly lovely, and the fishery is robust and very diverse. The different seasons and the baitfish allow us to approach the fishing in several ways, making each part of the season a unique experience for my clients.

If having a guide or tipping one is different from what you are about. Go DIY

Rent a boat or buy a skiff. Be sure, in either case, that your captain’s license is up to date. Remember that you need coverage if someone gets hurt or you wreck. Have your Garmin or equal on board, and that it covers the water you are about to fish for the first or second time. You need to know where the danger lies (rocks, constricted inlets, outcroppings, shallow locations). Ensure your mechanical and electrical skills are sufficient to troubleshoot a breakdown.

How to win friends and influence guides

If you follow a pro guide in your rented skiff, or new one that you bought, they’ll be glad to share what took them years to learn. Be sure to see them afterward and share your day with them. You’ll be ‘so’ welcome. 

I just remembered you must buy a trailer, pay for storage, gas/oil, and repair bills. 

One of many Albies on a fly tied by Capt. Andrew Derr. The photo was taken by Derr while fishing a good client angler – Montauk, LI, New York on 9/18/19.

Okay, you’re not an idiot

A pro guide can cost $750 to $1,200, plus a tip, for a day of fishing. You pay and walk away. You may have made a connection with clout. In season, the best guides are usually booked. Book again, and you get ‘regular’ status. You know an excellent guide, and they know you. You will get smarter faster than DIY.

A regular

Regular is like this: ‘Hey, Jane, it’s Carl. You might want to cancel Friday. A front is moving in and will make the water too rough. Call me back to reschedule. I’ll find a spot for you and your son.’


‘Hey, Jane, it’s Carl. I can find a spot for you and your son this weekend; the fishing is fantastic and should last for a while. Call me back. I have people waiting, so let me know ASAP.’

The captain’s day off. Striper out of the weeds on Long Island Sound near home – Greenport, NY. Capt. Andrew Derr.

Capt. Andrew Derr:

Fly Fishing

Spin Fishing

Bait fishing trips for kids and families

Fly Tying

Casting Lessons

Phone: 212-495-9062


Greenport, NY 11944


Author Skip

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