I have recently stepped down as the Chairman of G.A.I.A. the Game Angling Instructor's Association, Britain's largest Fly fishing Instructors association. I have been fly fishing since the 1960s. I have been a river guide since 1992 working on British rivers from The Scottish border rivers to the Wessex Chalk streams.
I have worked as a guide/instructor and guide trainer, and consultant in (Acklins and Andros Islands) Bahamas, (Kenya) East Africa, South Africa, Queensland Australia, New Zealand and Norway.
B.A. Honors Fine Art and Art History
Apgai - Trout
Stanic - Trout, Salmon
Gaic - Trout, Salmon
Sgaic - Trout, Salmon
1st 4sport Qualifications Level 2 certificate in coaching Angling no 100/4849/2
City and Guilds unit of credit L20
Support Competence achieved in the workplace A1014361
Course and Sea fishing with (and no doubt annoying) my father and various fishing uncles and grandparents. Later venturing out alone and with school friends to muddy ponds and rivers throughout the south of England but particularly in Dorset and in the Lea valley.
My first attempts at fly fishing where on the River Rib, the River Beane, and upper River Lea around Hertford, and odd trips to Grafham Water. I had several fly fishing uncles who I watched, and no doubt pestered, as they fished the Avon, Stour and Frome and the Hertfordshire rivers and reservoirs. I remember watching a much younger Peter Anderson demonstrate at the National Angling Show at the Royal agricultural hall in London.
Began to seriously fly fish (out with the coarse closed season) as a student at Winchester college of Art at the start of the seventies. There I taught myself, mainly by watching others, to cast adequately to the exacting demands of the town water on the Itchen. Fishing mainly in the weirs section in Winchester where the fast steamy nature of the river and its urban surroundings demanded great accuracy. After three years I could cast reasonably well.
After graduation I Spent the spring and summer 1975 in a remote cottage in south Wales fishing for trout and sea trout in the Cleddeu’s and Nevern with the occasional trip to the Tefi.
Later that year I traveled across Asia, India and southern Asia, on the way to Australia, fly fishing in fresh and salt water throughout the journey.
Fished salt and freshwater all over Australia up into the tropical waters of Cape York and North coast and spent a couple of seasons in the highlands of Tasmania fly fishing trout in the wild lakes and rivers and sea trout and Kowhai in the West coast estuaries. It was here that I gained my first experience of Guiding in Tasmania's Western Tiers.
Returned to UK in the winter of 1978 to live in Anglesey where I fished for bass and did some fly fishing for mackerel, bass, and mullet around Aberfraw and for sea trout in the lake and tiny river and on the Seriont over on the mainland.
Moved to Scotland and fished seriously for salmon for the first time on the Border Esk and other local rivers. Fished most of the Scottish rivers and a fair few of the lochs on the mainland, Hebrides and Shetland. I became proficient over the years for salmon as well as night sea trout fishing on the Esk and Annan.
Traveled to America where I fished in California, Montana and Colorado, often fishing with other guides. I met and fished with more guides in the French and Italian Alps.
Fished in Florida while working with a Miami based company for bonefish, baby tarpon, snook and permit.
Awarded the SANA instructor certificate my first fishing award Qualified as an instructor and worked as a ghillie on the local rivers. Before taking STANIC certificate had preparatory casting lessons with Andy Dickinson and James Crewdson ( APGIA). 1994
Received informal instruction and help from Ken Smith, Ian Mouter, Marc Pettijohn, Ally Gowans, Hewl Morgan, Brian James and Mel Kruger and a host of other less well known fishers.
Picked up and discussed casting tips with numerous fellow instructors and guides around the world including Paul Arden, Gier Olson, Rodger Alfors and Robin Gow.
Full time angling instructor and guide from 1993 when I started Esk and Borders Guide service in the borders of Scotland, organizing parties and tuition for Salmon and Sea trout, Brown trout, float tubing for Pike and Mullet and bass fishing in the Solway Firth.
Wrote a regular Sea trout column for Salmon, Trout, Sea trout Magazine.
Occasional contributor to other magazines mainly on Sea trout but also on Salmon and overseas/saltwater fly-fishing.
Represented the river Esk, and have sat on the North West region EA recreation and fisheries advisory committee .
Worked as a second boatman for Ravenswood beat on the Tweed Oct and November for 6 seasons.
Managed a Bonefish lodge in the Bahamas for two seasons (Jan to May) and have since taken parties out to the island.
Responsible for habitat management on the Border Esk for the Esk and Liddle fisheries association and Fisheries consultant to Buccleuch Estates Ltd.
Attend a 3 day workshop on river restoration in Balina Co Mayo Ireland hosted by the Irish fisheries agency and Dr Martin O'Grady
Worked on Habitat projects with the West Galloway fisheries trust and Tweed foundation.
A project I managed for the Esk and Liddle fisheries association on the Stennies water was 2002 winner of the Wild Trout trust conservation project award. I was also the main contractor on another winning project on the River Minnock the following year.
Assessor for SGAIC award.
Part of the team that formulated the guide qualification for Sana/Sgaic/Highlands and Islands development board. Assessed and Delivered the Guide Qualification course.
Consultant to Inverness university on the Lantra “Introducing fly fishing” course development.
Worked on and delivered the Loughs agency/Reffis and introduction to Ghilling & guiding course. For the Strabane and lissmore ex prisoners association.
During this period I ran and worked on various STA youth events.
Worked on the kids casting stand at the game fair for many years initially with Moc Morgan, latterly with Stanic .
Vice Chairman of Gaia (2003> 08) and member of qualifications and standards and practices committee.
In Scotland pre GAIA I assessed for Sgaic candidates in salmon and Trout. 1997 to 2003
Level 2 and Apgia assessor 2005
Assessor for Gaia candidates for more than 4 years at Cassington, Eyebrook and Caer Beris.
Level 2 assessor for Sally Piizi and Malcolm Hanson at venues in the South of England, including pre-course demonstrations of the syllabus casts.
Currently Mentoring and assessing candidates for Gaic and Apgia for the Game Angling Instructors Association