In 2014, I assisted anglers in Fernie for a business based outside of British Columbia. I made a mistake as I did so without a guiding license and I want to help others avoid making the same mistake.
The business provided its clients with licensed guide days, as well as days without licensed guides on rivers in the Fernie area. On the days without licensed guides, my duties included assisting anglers by transporting and showing them around Fernie, showing them what rivers to fish on and providing any assistance they may have needed, including suggesting what area of the rivers to fish, what flies to use, as well as helping them with the netting of fish.
The anglers I was assisting were paying clients of that business. I had previously been a client of the same business. In exchange for providing assistance to the anglers I was provided with lodging, a rental vehicle and food.
During the trip I was arrested by a BC Conservation Officer on a river in the Fernie area for guiding without a license.
I write this letter as a cautionary tale to others; do not assist anglers in British Columbia for any form of compensation unless you have the required guiding license. I regret my actions and will certainly never again make the same mistake, and I caution those of you reading this heed the same. Information and questions about when fishing guide licenses are required and how to acquire them can be obtained by calling ServiceBC at 1-800-663-7867, going to www.gov.bc.ca and searching for ‘fishing guide license,’ and by calling the BC Conservation Office in Fernie at (250) 423-7551.