What made you start flyfishing?


Well-known member
Feb 18, 2013
Co. Armagh.
♫ ♪ ♫ It was the summer of '69' ♫ ♪♫♪ .
I was ten, on holiday in Annalong Co.Down. Solid glass rod of unknown origin, Intrepid Black knight reel. Love of fishing starts.
junior fisherman 1969.jpg

Bringing the 30' mackeral skiff "Silver Spray" back to harbour while the owner pretended to be busy in the well. Love of boats starts.

back to harbour 1969.jpg
Dad used to leave me fishing at the end of the pier while he 'watched' me from inside the harbour bar. 'Elf and safety' was "If you fall in there's a ladder over there, swim round to it. You know what you're doing." Supreme compliment IMO.

End of the pier 1969.jpg
That was me hooked. Later I found that coarse fishing was taken seriously at home and cost big money. However the Iveagh Angling Club charged juniors a whole pound for a years membership with nearly seven miles of fly fishing for trout. One cheap glass fly rod and a chinese knock off pfleuger reel combined with a round box of flies from woolies and the dye was cast. I remember the first fish I rose splashed at a woolies bumble bee thingy. I didn't get it. All downhill from there.

Jason 70

Well-known member
Jan 3, 2020
The congested SE
Doing everything else badly, I thought there must be something I'm good at.......there isn't.

Almost got put off fly fishing by the elderly curmudgeon who ran a fishing shop in Edmonton, North London. Can't recall his name, but then he showed me how to cast; lovely to watch and a very knowledgeable man. For the first few years, went back time and again until sadly it closed, and, I believe, he passed away.

Dave Coster could be a little grumpy too, a few miles away from Dons his shop being in White Heart Lane, I used to get the bus down from Hackney to get my bait. It seems a lifetime ago now.


Well-known member
Jun 21, 2007
North Lancashire
Moved from the coarse fishing dominated south of England, to the game fish dominated waters of the far North West. A mate at uni taught me to fly fish. Thank you, Guy Mawle.


Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
A number of things led me to it. When I was little in the late 80s or early 90s, I went to a trout fishery somewhere, which allowed you to catch and keep a fish for your tea. Very tourist oriented, as it was guaranteed and by that I mean that it was a rather small pond with a massive number of trout in it. You chucked a few handfuls of something? Probably pellets, I was rather young at the time, then dipped a rod in and seconds later a trout was on the end of it. I remember it giving a serious scrap to a young kid. Can't remember eating it or anything like that. Honestly not sure where this was, so if anyone knows of somewhere like that, probably in Devon or maybe Cornwall that would have been operating around 1990 or so I'd be interested to know where.

This must have planted a seed, as a few years later, probably around the age of 10 or so I started coarse fishing on a local gravel pit. No one in my family fished, so I must have saved up my pennies and I have a strong memory of going to the local tackle shop with Dad and the owner picking me out a rod, reel, few floats, hooks, line and some split shot. Sold me a permit for the pit for a fiver and some maggots and I was off. Never caught much appart from roach, perch and skimmmers. I even fished a bunch of quite famous swims (for Barbel) on the River Ouse, as that was on the club ticket, but never caught anything much there. I still used to love going down there at weekends and on school holidays tho. Mostly on my own, sometimes with another kid on the estate who fished.

I also did a spot of sea fishing on a holiday in Islay, when I went out on a fishing trip with a local fisherman. That was pretty nuts at the time as at one point he gave me the tiller while he was checking on a lobster pot, right next to a load of big rocks. With the benefit of hindsight, he probably just did that on his own normally. Seemed big to 11 year old me tho. We didn't catch anything, so he gave me a nice big crab as a consolation prize. After that I did a lot of crabbing in the harbour. Mostly on my own, not sure that'd be allowed these days, you're not allowed to let your kids out of your sight now.

Another holiday trip to France and we happened to be next to a lake, which I fished solidly for days. Didn't catch a thing till towards the end when I finally cottoned on to whacking a feeder right into the middle of the lake and started pulling out the odd (largeish) roach. After 3 days of effort I was so exicted and I clearly recall showing the fish off to some road workmen who were on the road behind me. I got a nice round of applause. Which was very nice of them. Maybe 13 at the time? Not sure really.

I drifted out of fishing when I went to secondary school and got into things like Warhammer and also as computers were becoming popular them. But I probably kept on doing the odd bit till I was around 15 or so.

I then kept doing the odd bit of fishing mostly on holidays if we were by the sea and there was a rod left in the house. I always got a hankering to fish when on holiday.

A few years back the interest in fishing came back quite a bit. Mainly cause I've always liked the idea of catching and eating my own fish. So I found fly fishing. I spent a few years reading and dreaming before I moved to near the Usk. Having such a great river on the doorstep pushed me to get started. Got a cheap outfit from Garry Evans (they gave me an amazing price, but it paid off for them and I've bought a load more kit from them) and joined MTAA (it's nice and cheap with plenty of beats) and got going. Took me ages to actually catch anything off the river. I'm still terrible at it, my casting is largely self taught. I've also started fly tying as well. Even worse I've bought a small lure rod for the local canal, where I know there's some pike and as I've never caught one, I'm keen to do that. I'm also now looking for a river coarse rod so I can try for Barbel on the Wye. Never caught one so keen to give it a bash.

corto maltese

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2014
Provence, France
My Gramps, who, when he thought I was going down a bad road, pulled me aside and gifted me his tackle.
He suffered from emphasymyia (?), I can't spell, so hadn't used his ccane rods for years, we were about to depart for a family holiday, mum, dad n kids, to lake Windermere, so I spent a couple of afternoons grass casting and being infected with his passion, god bless you Gramps.
After the holidays and one, lucky, marvelous trout by pure accident on a dry, I abanded it for girls and motorbikes untill five years ago when I dreamt about him, those afternoons dry casting and that trout.
That's when I dusted off his old rods and joined the forum, never looked back and think of him every time I go and wet a line 👍IMG_20200703_184522.jpg
The only photo I have of him fishing, somewhere in Dartmoor in the 60's Mum says 😁
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