About me - The Fly Fishing Instructor
I started fly fishing when I was about eight years old. I was lucky enough that my mum and dad had a holiday home right on the banks of Loch Ness, set in 5 acres with about 200 yards of shore line. I could literally throw a stone from my bedroom window and it would land in the water. My dad bought me a fly rod, reel, line and some trout flies after a lot of nagging and let me get on with it. Needless to say I was hopeless, I didn't have a clue what I was doing and those wirily brown trout evaded me for some time.
The photo is a very young 17 year old me with a 13lb Rainbow Trout, still to this day one of the largest trout caught at that fishery.
There was no "youtube" or "google" in those days, all fishing knowledge came from books, and after a lot of perseverance I could cast a fly a short distance. I never will forget that first fish I hooked. A tiny Salmon parr (very young salmon before it goes to sea) it was about 3 inches long and didn't exactly put up a fight but I was the happiest boy in the world.
I suppose I really got into fly fishing some years later, I had just finished school and waiting to go to college in the September, I remember in the summer holidays about lunchtime "hooked on Scotland" was on TV. I longed to fish those Scottish lochs but they were 500 miles away, and then I discovered that there was some local still waters close to me in Northamptonshire that were stocked with trout, Elinor trout fishery to be exact. After nagging my mum and dad to drop me there I spent much of that summer catching Rainbow Trout. I use to get to the fishery at 7:30am and fish all the way through to the close at 10pm! Needless to say I was totally hooked by this stage. Over the next few years I fished all the major still waters and reservoirs in the local area many times. Taking rainbows to 14lb and many other double figure fish. I was regularly in the local paper on the Thursday fishing section. As a penniless student however I had to sell all the trout I caught to pay for the day tickets.
I still visited Scotland regularly taking Salmon to 25lb, Sea Trout to 14lb and brown trout to 8lb. I went to Inverness College and studied Aquaculture and fish farm management, the college had their own fish farm on the west coast at Kishorn and it was some of the best days of my life. The photo is me with a 15lb fresh run Atlantic Salmon from Loch Ness, the one below is a 16lb fresh run salmon.
During a gap year in around 1999 I was employed as the water bailiff and fishery manager at Ringstead Grange,a dream job apart from the freezing cold caravan I lived in and small wage!, I basically got to fish every day after I had given anglers advice on the best tactics and areas to fish, and never tired of it or the thrill when you feel that "pull" as a trout goes for your fly. I also worked as the UK manager for a global fishing holiday company creating bespoke fly fishing packages for fly fisherman wishing to fish in Canada, Alaska, Russia, The Falklands, Mexico, Cuba and New Zealand. I was invited for trials for the England Fly Fishing team but declined as I did not want to fish competitively, purely for the enjoyment and love of it.
I now live in The Blackdown Hills on the Somerset Devon border surrounded by excellent trout fisheries to suit all tastes.
So I think its fair to say I have had a vast experience of what fly fishing is all about, from catching half pound wild brownies in remote hill lochs, fishing in the pitch dark for Sea Trout, hooking the mighty Salmon through to still water specimen rainbow trout. I hope I can help you discover this amazing sport, but be warned once your hooked you will want to be out fishing all the time!
Fly fishing experience key facts
38+ years fly fishing experience
Fully Insured £ 2 Million Public Liability
GAIA Associate Member
- 38+ years fly fishing experience for Trout, Salmon, Sea Trout and Course fish.
- Associate member of the GAIA (Game Angling Instructors Association)
- Fully insured public liability insurance of £ 2 MILLION
- Former trout fishery bailiff and manager.
- Fly fishing Tackle tester for Fishing Republic Plc and Yorkshire Game Angling
- Taken rainbow trout to 14 lb, Wild Salmon to 25lb, Sea Trout to 14lb and wild Brown trout to 8lb
- Former Manager at a Specialist global fishing holiday company, creating packages for fly fisherman all over the world including Alaska, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, The Falklands and New Zealand to name just a few.
- Highly experienced in ALL ascpects of fly fishing and instruction, from casting and fly selection, finding the fish, playing and landing the fish and even cleaning and cooking it.
- Patient, Expert knowledge, adaptive and really want you to discover the magic of fly fishing!
Some guest testimonials
Kevin - Northampton