Fly fishing courses and guided fishing
Our fly fishing courses are held at selected small stillwaters in Hampshire and Wiltshire.
Instruction can be booked on any day of the week, subject to availability. Please decide which of the following courses suits you, and then send in our enquiry form—see the link on our Contact Us page.
Our courses are as follows (click on a course name to view its description):
FOR MORE EXPERIENCED FLYFISHERS
All our courses emphasise the importance of safety. There's more on this at the end of the page, but please note that if you attend one of our courses (and of course we hope you will!), we ask that you wear eye protection.
For special occasions—Christmas, birthday, anniversary, colleague leaving, etc—we can provide gift vouchers for any of our lessons. The voucher prices are the same as the course prices, so find the course you're interested in, and then contact us. If you need advice on choosing a course, we'd be pleased to help you to pick just the right one. Vouchers are valid for 12 months from the purchase date.
A comprehensive course aimed at getting you from novice level to basic competence. It covers these topics:
- Assembling the rod
- Attaching the reel securely
- Threading the line through rings
- Tying fishermen's knots with different kinds of line
- Basic casting techniques
- Basic entomology (and why we need to know it)
- Retrieval techniques
- Playing a fish
- Netting a fish securely
- Humane despatch
- Catching and releasing
- Preparing a fish for cooking.
Ideally this course is taken one-on-one. However, we can also teach a group of up to five that you put together yourself. For more information, click here.
For a brief outline of what happens on your day, click here .
One-day course for more experienced flyfishers
Another comprehensive course. If you have been fishing for a while and would like to learn the tips and techniques that will help you move up to the next level, this course is for you. It covers these topics:
- Assembling the rod and reel
- Threading the line, plus a refresher on fishermen's knots
- How to get rid of "wind knots"
- Coping with longer leaders
- Casting directly into the wind
- Special casting techniques, and when to use them:
- Opposite hand
- Double haul
- Snake roll
- Mending the line
- Delicate dry fly presentation
- Shooting a fly under trees
- Choosing leader length
- Choosing the right fly for the conditions
- Dry fly techniques for lakes and rivers
- Stalking techniques on lakes
- Reading the water for fish movement
- Where to look for elusive monsters
- Catching and releasing
- Despatching fish humanely
- Storing fish during the day
- Preparing your fish for cooking
This course is ideally taken one-on-one. However, we can also teach a group of up to five that you put together yourself. Note: All participants must be at a similar skill and experience level. For more information, click here.
Half-day course for more experienced flyfishers
If you don't need tuition on the full list of advanced techniques, you can take a half-day covering selected topics from the advanced one-day course. (The topics you want covered should be agreed by Jerry in advance.) Note: these classes are not suitable for beginners.
Ideally this course is taken one-on-one. However, we can also teach a group of up to five that you put together yourself. Note: All participants must be at a similar skill and experience level, and must be prepared to learn the same set of selected topics. For more information, click here.
Two-hour casting class for more experienced flyfishers
If you want to brush up your flycasting skills, we offer intensive two-hour casting lessons. These can either cover analysis and improvements to your existing casting techniques, or casting techniques you may not have tried before, or a combination of both. Double-haul casting is a particularly popular subject. Notes: (1) These intensive casting classes are not suitable for beginners. (2) There is no opportunity for fishing during a two-hour casting class.
Ideally this class is taken one-on-one. However, we can also teach a group of up to five that you put together yourself. Note: All participants must be at a similar skill and experience level, and must be prepared to learn the same set of casting techniques. For more information, click here.
Guided River Trout Fishing
During the months of the trout season (which varies depending on the the river, but typically May to September) we can offer days of guided trout fishing on local rivers such as the Test, Itchen, and Dun (subject to availability). Please note that these guided days are very much for experienced flyfishers only. It is not possible to quote a price on the website, because this will depend on the river and month, but such days are inevitably more expensive than our stillwater lessons. If you are interested, please use the form on our Contact Us page, giving us an idea of previous experience, which river you would like to fish, and favoured date(s), and we will get back to you.
Guided Grayling Fishing
During the winter months (October to March) we can offer days of guided grayling fishing on the rivers Test and Itchen (subject to availability). These are for experienced flyfishers only, and are ideal either for trout fishers who want to try their hand at this tricky but rewarding branch of river fishing, or for people who already have some grayling-fishing experience but want to improve their skills and learn some "wrinkles" from an expert.
The grayling days are quite a bargain (see prices table). Why are they cheaper than a day's instruction during the main trout season? Simply because the days are shorter; and on the river, grayling fishing is cheaper than trout fishing.
Pike Fishing with a Fly
During the winter months (October to March) we also offer one-day courses at Woodington Fishery on the special techniques needed for pike-fishing with a fly—featuring instruction on the "Belgian Cast". Equipment provided.
Ideally, all our courses and classes are taken one-on-one, because we feel that this is how you will get the most out of them. However, you may like to bring a friend or two, and if you do it will work out cheaper per person. Unfortunately we cannot undertake to put together groups made up of individual enquirers—this is simply too time-consuming for us to be worthwhile. But if you want to put together your own small group that's fine, as long as they are all at the same skill/experience level.
For all courses, the price includes a two-fish ticket, a Test Valley School of Flyfishing peaked cap, and comprehensive fishing notes covering the day's tuition for future reference.
||Individual (one-on-one) price
|Beginners One-Day Course
||1, 2, 3, 5
| One-Day Course for more experienced flyfishers
||1, 2, 3, 5
|Half Day Course for more experienced flyfishers
||3, 4, 5
|2-Hour Casting Lesson (experienced flyfishers only)
||3, 4, 5
|Guided River Trout Fishing
||1, 2, 5, 6
|Guided Grayling River Fishing One-Day
||1, 2, 3, 5
|Flyfishing for Pike One-Day
||2, 3, 5
- For whole-day courses, lunch (not included in the price) can be taken at a local inn. Let us know at the time of booking if you want to do this.
- Whole-day courses run from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm (or dusk, for river trout, grayling or pike), with a one-hour break for lunch.
- For group classes, the maximum group size is 5 (2 for grayling or pike).
- Half-day courses run from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, or from 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm.
- The minimum age for children taking a course is 8 years. For children aged between 8 and 15, parents or a guardian are requested to be present throughout the period of instruction. River trout fishing, Grayling fishing, and pike flyfishing instruction are for adults only.
- The price of a day's guided trout fishing on a local river depends on the river, the beat, and the date. Please note that this offering is very much for experienced flyfishers only.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING
Tackle can be provided for attendees on any of the courses (except the potential instructor course). If you're a beginner, don't buy new fishing tackle for your first lesson; we will advise on choosing suitable tackle during the day.
If you want to bring your own tackle (this will apply to most people taking the advanced courses) we recommend a #6 fly rod. If you're a beginner and you own a rod but you're not sure if it would be suitable, bring it along. Your instructor will be pleased to give you advice about tackle on the day.
All course attendees must bring and wear eye protection: Polaroid sunglasses are best, but all-round eye protectors will do. Beginners must also wear suitable headgear: a baseball-type cap will do, but the ideal is a broad-brimmed hat.
Try to pick clothing with subdued colours, such as dull greens, browns, and greys. Avoid bright colours (including white). For footwear, bring wellies or thigh boots (if you have them), or some stout shoes. Don't wear trainers: their bright colours can frighten the fish and they don't stand up well to the mud! Always bring some wet-weather gear, "just in case".
Anyone fishing at a fishery (including all course attendees) must have, on the day, the correct current environmental agency fishing licence (called a "non migratory trout licence"). These are available for anglers of 12 years and over, and cost £3.75 for 24 hours. They can be purchased at all U.K. Post Offices, but note that post offices are closed on Sundays. They can also be purchased online. For more information,