I took Paul for a guided days fishing a few weeks a go teaching his about nymph and dry fly fishing, it was lovely to get an email off him with the kind words below.
“I spent 2 seasons teaching myself to fly fish on the upper Severn from books and YouTube. Practicing casting in fields, picking up the odd helpful tip here and there from other fly fishermen. I did not catch a single fish in that first season. But loved it all the same. It was more about getting a feel for casting and being in the river environment so not catching fish was ok. Second season my casting was improving (maybe not much!) and I was starting to consider approach, tactics and fly selection a lot more. It paid off and mid summer 2017 I caught my first ever fish on the fly, a beautiful Grayling. Thereafter I wanted to catch fish. Not just endlessly practice anymore! I managed a handful of stockies since but very sporadic and more through accident than design. There were now just too many occasions where the fish were jumping and I just could not tempt a single one. Teaching myself had worked up to a point and was an extremely valuable process BUT there was a definite point where there were questions that I simply could not answer by myself. The choice to head out with Andy was made at just the right time to give me that boost and encouragement before things got frustrating. We went to my favourite area and in one session caught more and bigger fish than I had managed in 2 seasons by myself. And on nymphs which were a total mystery to me up to this point! Having gone out since I was able to replicate the success with another 9 fish and one monster rod snapping Grayling in one day and so on. Proving that coaching from Andy is spot on, providing the tools and understanding that change the game completely in a way that works. He keeps it simple, convinces you that it’s simple, and installs a great deal of confidence. The trouble with teaching yourself is that you never know if you’re doing it right or wrong. If you catch a fish was it chance or something you did right? If it’s not happening are you doing something badly wrong? It reaches a point where progression slows down or stops with all these unanswered questions. Andy clears all that up, removes the doubts from your mind and replaces it with confidence in your approach and trust in the process. It’s well worth doing and I’d say anyone trying to break into fly fishing would be well advised to go ahead and book a day sooner rather than later! It’s amazing value for money without a doubt, especially considering the lifelong benefit from just one day out. You can’t really put a price on that. Quite important for me is that he doesn’t do the work for you. Anyone can pay a guide to find the fish, select your fly, tell you how to cast and basically do all the catching for you. But Andy is a true teacher who makes you do the work so you get the learning. I’ll be heading out with Andy again asap to keep improving”.