The Guide Life, with Ian Havlick (Ep.211)

I’m in Iceland this week, skiing at Deplar Farm and being guided by AMGA-certified guide, Ian Havlick. So in between our time skiing, we sat down to talk about Ian’s path to becoming a professional guide; the misperceptions about the profession; recommendations for how to get into guiding; we try to clear up the confusion around tipping; and more.


  • Skiing at Deplar Farm (2:27)
  • Ian’s path to becoming a professional guide (4:55)
  • AMGA Certification (13:34)
  • Guiding fly fishing (15:44)
  • Recommended steps to becoming a guide (17:53)
  • Responsibility & risk (28:11)
  • Tipping (37:52)
  • Guiding & family life (44:10)



3 comments on “The Guide Life, with Ian Havlick (Ep.211)”

  1. Thanks for the great guiding Ian. We had a blast with you at Deplar Farm. The services you provided are top notch. Thank you again.

  2. Re: tipping. I agree that guiding is a serious profession and that they are not paid enough for what they provide. Still, the discussion about tipping struck me as misguided, with several flawed analogies:

    1. This is not tipping analogous to tipping in a restaurant and the 20% standard should not apply: Waiters and waitresses are taxed on estimated tips and need it to complete their salary. But I don’t think guides are taxed on tips.
    2. At the same time, the point was made that guiding is a profession just like, e.g., nursing and medical doctors. But we don’t tip the nurse after a visit to the doctors office, even though we might have felt exceptionally well treated.
    3. It’s silly if there is “uncomfortableness” and ambiguity about tipping–if this is professionalism, state expectations up front. In fact, why not include it in the price, that way there is no ambiguity.

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