Clint Goyette took his love for fishing and turned it into a rewarding career.
As a freshwater fishing guide, Clint bathes in the fresh BC air and relishes over the beautiful scenery while sharing his passion for the outdoors with others.
“I love fishing, so making a business that would allow me to go fishing and share my passion for it became my focus,” says Clint, who has owned and operated Valley Fishing Guides since 2000.
A freshwater fishing guide is someone who uses their natural teaching abilities, their love for the outdoors and their athleticism to offer a fishing experience never to be forgotten.
They are outdoor adventure guides who organize and conduct fishing expeditions in freshwaters, which include ponds, lakes, rivers and streams. Guides can either operate their own small business, like Clint, or work for an adventure tourism organization such as a resort, park, lodge or campground.
Clint primarily operates in Squamish and Whistler. A typical day for him, when conducting a full-day trip, can look similar to this:
- Prepare for the day: make lunches, prepare licences and waivers for clients;
- Do full vehicle inspection: ensure safety equipment is on board;
- Complete a gear inspection;
- Travel to meet clients: meet and greet, issue licences and waivers and explain day’s events;
- Travel to fishing destination: get suited in gear and explain equipment care and safety;
- Go fishing, eat lunch, then return to fishing;
- Get unsuited and pack gear;
- Travel back to initial meeting location: conduct a debrief, say goodbye to clients;
- Travel to office and unpack gear: note any equipment issues and store gear away;
- Maintain vehicle;
- Fill out trip report;
- Plan for next day, based on client’s requests and based on the success of the current day.
So while the days may be long, the reward is high.
“Running a guide service allows me to spend a lot of my time in the outdoors and gives me the opportunity to share the beauty of British Columbia with others very intimately,” he says.
Clint has been fishing for as long as he can remember and has achieved a multitude of education as well as completed a wide range of safety and training courses both relevant to his field.
He holds a degree in biology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has additional training in Fish and Wildlife Technology from Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario.
Clint also is a Certified Fly Casting Instructor through the Federation of Fly Fishers and in addition to CPR, his first-aid training consists of Outdoor Emergency Care, Wilderness First Responder and Swiftwater Rescue. His boat handling skills and safety have also been approved by Transport Canada.
And on top of that, Clint was the first professional freshwater fishing guide certified by the emerit program through the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Commission.
“I took it upon myself to ensure that I have all the necessary training required to have this designation [emerit certification] because I felt that as the owner of my company, I should be setting the bar very high for other guides,” says Clint.
Although he explains that post-secondary education is not mandatory for his profession, he decided to attain all of his credentials because he “felt [there] was a responsibility to [his] clients to give them some reassurance of [his] abilities, and being certified does just that”.
However, while training carries a great deal of benefits, he says one of the challenges associated with his profession is the cost of keeping up-to-date with the industry’s training.
“I would say the greatest challenges, in addition to running a small business, would be juggling the costs of maintenance and keeping up on training,” Clint says.
He also explains that guiding is a people business, so “you need to be personable and helpful no matter how you may be feeling”.
His advice for newcomers to the industry would be: be prepared for long days; work on your people skill, and; love what you’re doing because if you do, this will become infectious to your clients. Clint also advises them to stay on top of tourism news by joining different organizations, your local chambers of commerce and tourism boards.
For Clint, he gives his heart and soul to his career. “I love the outdoors and being a part of it is who I am.”