Wednesday, June 25, 2014

DIY Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: Float Trips, Part 2

Before reading Part 2, you may want to read Part 1: http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com/2014/06/diy-fly-fishing-patagonia-argentina_25.html

If you read Part 1, or any other post's on this blog, you should come to the conclusion that my approach is different (different from the industry narrative).  You should notice that I do my best to offer unbiased thoughts and advice that may help you understand what type of Patagonia fishing trip you want to take. That being said, regarding Patagonia float trips, I would like to share some critical thoughts about drift boat guides.

FCFF Partner, and Lead Drift Boat Guide (far right).

DIY Float Guide vs. Lodge Float Guide: What is the Difference?

When you begin to research your fishing trip to the Junin de los Andes area, or Patagonia, Argentina; you may see thousands of fantastic photos and read some of the most eloquent marketing B.S. known to mankind. WARNING, don't get caught up in the hype...at the end of your fishing day, the most important factor is/was your guide, and the level or service he/she provided.  Based on my experience, these are my thoughts:

FCFF DIY Drift Boat Guide
  • Your guide is the owner/partner.
  • Your guide (my partner) is an Argentina ex-Junior Olympic Rowing Champion.  He is also a certified White Water Rafting Guide and registered guide/outfitter. 
  • Your guide is an expert DIY walk-wade angler.
  • Previously, an Orvis endorsed, head-guide and assistant lodge manager.
  • Has 100% flexibility to create the best fishing opportunities each day.  
  • BS in Finance, University of Buenos Aires.
  • 15 years professional experience in corporate banking.
  • Bi-Lingual 

Take Away Message:  Most people agree that the level of service you get from a owner/partner, in many situations, may be higher. That being said, and in my opinion, the combination of his education, professional work experience, and fishing/rowing skills, makes our FCFF drift boat guide the 'TOTAL' Patagonia package. Plus, being a former lodge manager, I have worked with many guides in Patagonia...our FCFF drift boat guide is the BEST.

Lodge Drift Boat Guide
  • Hourly, contract employee. 
  • Does the same thing, every day, for 3 months (burn-out, low hourly rate may lead to little motivation/service, yet many expect a big tip).
  • Must stick to the daily lodge schedule.
  • May not hold awards or certifications in rowing/white water skills.
  • May not hold lodge management experience.
  • May or may not be college educated.
  • May or may not be 'true' bi-lingual.

Take Away Message:  There are good guides that work at lodges.  What I believe to be the key factor that separates drift boat guides, is ownership. If you have more ownership (skin in the game), you typically get better service.  Lastly, to have a good fishing vacation (consistently catching trophies) 100% flexibility is absolutely necessary. A lodge drift boat guide, has almost no freedom to change the daily schedule.

"I was lucky to be part of the second group of fisherman to fish Kamchatka.  I have taken 75 fishing fly fishing trips around the world.  In my opinion, Gus is among the best three guides I have ever worked with.  The team work of Mark and Gus, is hard to beat!"  Dr. Marc Richman. Kittery, Maine. USA. 

Final Word

In my opinion, the best drift boat guides are those who have 100% freedom to create the best fishing program for you.  I also believe there can be major differences between an hourly employee and owner/partner. These are a few things you may want to consider, before booking your next trip to Patagonia.

We hope that you found this post helpful.  If you are searching for more information, please feel free to contact us; or, use the search bar engine, located above, on the right side.  To use the search bar engine, for example, simply type in key words like DIY Patagonia Float Trips.

You may also enjoy reading about DIY lodging option vs. Private Lodge options at:   
http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com/2014/06/diy-fly-fishing-patagonia-argentina_24.html

Muchas Gracias,

Mark

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