Why I Started GuideShareAngler

Like many of you, I’ve been fishing all my life. My earliest experiences with fishing were for carp in Toledo, Ohio the 1960’s.  Back then, they pumped raw sewage right into the creek through a big pipe and that was the hot spot for carp.  Later, in the 1970’s, my dad, seeing my enthusiasm for fishing, took me “deep sea” fishing on family vacations to Florida.  Man, I thought those charter boat captains where the coolest guys on the face of the earth.  Like most kids, adults would ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I’d say, “A charter boat captain!”.    

By middle school, my dad joined a fly fishing club near Castalia, OH where we’d fish for stocked trout in the summers.  I can still remember a 20″ rainbow who came charging out from an undercut bank and hammered my #16 Royal Coachman.  I was so proud of that fish!  In the early 90’s, just at the start of the “River Runs Through It” era, Dad was headed to Montana for the first time with his cronies for a week of fly fishing.  Lucky me, someone dropped out last minute and I got the nod.  What a great experience and very different than Castalia, Ohio!  These were big wild trout that were hard to catch.   We fished every day with a guide and all the famous rivers in southwest Montana. The Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, Bighorn, and DePuy’s.  This trip was life-altering!   Rodney, our guide, was excellent.  Super patient and hardworking, he put us onto fish fast and often.  Mom and Dad hired Rodney every time they went back for years to come.  

Me in the 1960's at Castalia Trout Fishing Club. Notice the fly rods on the wall.

Since then, I’ve been back to Montana many times with my son, fishing many of the same famous rivers plus many high mountain lakes and streams throughout the Yellowstone ecosystem.  I’m a lucky man with a lifetime of memories.  

There’s something incredible about a day on the water with a guide, be it a charter boat captain in Florida, a drift boat guide in Montana, or anything in between.  The excitement and anticipation of a day of fishing palpable as you meet up with your guide.  Anticipation builds as you travel to that local hot spot only your guide knows.  You appreciate it when your guide shares expertise and tips to help you tie into that first fish.  As the day progresses and conversation ensues, you feel like you’ve known your guide, well, all your life.  Yes, you want to catch fish – the more the merrier – but you also appreciate the overall experience provided by the guide.   

Me in the 1970's on a charter boat in Florida

Great guides are great people and know how to make lifetime memories.   If you are lucky enough to fish with a guide, you probably have many –memories of  an amazing day of fishing, the people you shared it with, and the guide who made it all possible. 

My goal in building GuideShareAngler is open up opportunities for average Joe’s like you and me, to experience guided angling trips more often.   Guides are wonderful, but most of us can only afford one every now and then.   But what if there was a way to buddy up with another angler and split the cost?   That’s what GuideShareAngler is all about!   

24" Cutthroat from the Beartooth range, Montana

Why GuideShareAngler?

Last Minute Plans

Say you’re on vacation sitting on a beach somewhere with your family.  You’ve been having a great time building sandcastles with the kids, maybe even played a round of golf.  About midweek, you get antsy and want to do something different, something a bit more adventuresome.  You’ve noticed the charter boats offshore and think, Man, that looks like fun.   An idea forms in your mind, Wonder if I could do that?  Taking a deep breath, you turn to your spouse and pop the question, “Mind if I go fishing later in the week?”.  “How much does it cost?”, she asks.   You take that as a qualified yes!  You begin searching the internet for “fishing guides” and “charter boats near me”.  What you find, however, is not so encouraging.  No one is available on such short notice.  Actually, you find one guy who is available due to a cancellation but it’s $1,000 a day, a non-starter for just one person.  “I’ll write your name down.  Maybe someone will split it with you.”, the guide says.  You think, Guides are well-meaning people, but what are the odds of that happening?   There’s got to be an easier way.   Disappointed, you go back to your life of sandcastles and think, Next time, I need to plan ahead. 

Split the Trip and Save Money

Or maybe you’re more of a planner and you’ve organized a fishing trip months in advance.  You check reviews, call a few guides, and pick one who seemed like a good guy and offered what you are looking for.  You pay your deposit to hold the trip.  You’re glad to spend the money for a guide – your experiences with guides have been overwhelmingly favorable — but it’s costing you a pretty penny.  You think, The boat holds 6 and I’m only bringing 4.   Be great to split this with someone.  But who?  You make a few calls to friends in the area, but no one can do it.  You are resigned to the fact that you are on the hook for the full amount.  

Replace Someone Who Dropped Out

Or maybe you’ve planned a trip like in the scenario above and someone drops out last minute. It would be great to find someone to fill the spot, you think. But once again, no one is available.  

Mix Business with Pleasure

Maybe you are traveling on business and have an extra day to kill.  You think, It would be great to hire a guide and go fishing.  You call the local fly shop and they have an available guide but since it’s just you, you are on the hook for the full amount.  Wow, that’s a bit steep, you think.  Bummed, you pass on what could have been an incredible day on the water.  

Find a Fishing Buddy

Maybe you’ve hired a guide and just want to share the experience with someone else, someone with similar interests and experiences for the day.  

Well, there’s good news.

There is an easier way and you don’t need to plan ahead.  No longer do you need to pass on a great day of fishing because you couldn’t afford it.   GuideShareAngler solves all these problems and more.  

GuideShareAngler is an online marketplace where anglers like yourself can buy and sell “seats” on existing trips from other anglers.  GuideShareAngler was born out of my own experiences as an angler and a desire to make guided angling experiences affordable and accessible to everyone, especially those that plan last minute!   

Up until now, options for last minute planners were limited.   But GuideShareAngler changes all that.  Rather than pay for the entire boat, now you can make last minute plans and book just one seat.  Why pay for the entire boat when you can buddy up and split the costs?  Not only so, but GuideShareAngler lets you post and read reviews on the guide, the fishing, and the other angler, helping you find the best match for your day on the water. 

“Ride share” concepts are pretty common today – it’s a proven business model.  Uber uses it, the starter at your local public golf course uses it, there’s even carpooling apps and helicopter rides using it.  And now GuideShareAngler is using it for fishing.   So whether you are traveling on vacation or looking to have some fun on a business trip, replacing someone who’s dropped out last minute, or just looking for a fishing buddy to split the costs of a guide or charter boat and enjoy the day, GuideShareAngler is for you! 

My dream is that with GuideShareAngler more of you can afford guided angling experiences and build those lifelong memories from an incredible day on the water.   I certainly hope you find value in using the service.  Please share your feedback here.  We are an early stage concept and are continually looking for ways to improve the experience.  

Thank you for reading and tight lines!

Steve Haigh

Founder, GuideShareAngler.com

[email protected]


  • Craig Hill
    April 19, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Nice article Steve. Wish this concept had been around earlier.

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