Congratulations are in order for Paul Sveum, who recently upgraded his Maine Guide license to master. In order to do so he had to document 10 years or work guiding, with a minimum number of hours each year.
Maine first licensed guides in 1897. In those early years, you had to have a game warden vouch for you in order to get the license. Prior to 2002, if a person passed the test and held a license as a hunting, fishing and recreation guide (all 3) you were considered a master guide. In 2002 they changed the rule to what it remains today, where you have to demonstrate 10 years of field experience in order to upgrade to master. Although I was grandfathered into the old system pre-2002, I like the newer system better. Back in the day people could become a master guide with zero field experience, which was not a good thing. Have you ever heard of a master electrician with no experience? Me neither.
So congratulations to Paul. Well done sir. And while the rest of the outdoor industry awards themselves master instructor badges and the like, here in Maine, because they are awarded by the state and a person must meet documented standards, you know it means something.
Paul will be running an introduction to fly fishing weekend course at the field school in late May. More on that in an upcoming post.