Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

November Catch Up!

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

I have been away from my blog for a while busy with the odd day’s salmon fishing, off road driving, fly fair at Stoke, GAIA agm at Caer Beris, and becoming their chairman so where do I start.

Let’s try salmon fishing my last day of the season was Kinkell Bridge on the river Earn.  It had been a while since I was last there and it turned out to be a pleasant day, no fish but a good day nevertheless.  I fished the Murray’s and March pools in the morning and Machny in the afternoon.  These are great bits of fly water but sadly no fish were responding to my flies.  Saw a few moving but suspect that the water was a bit too high for the fly, at least it gave me to practice some casting left hand up.

I was a guest of Douglas Goodwin if Petrus and as always Douglas made a great lunch this time it was Simon Howie pies and claret, well done Douglas!

Off road driving, I had never tried it before and as Susie had  a new Freelander we got a half day at the Land Rover place in Dunkeld so we all went up, it was half term and Lyle came to.  The experience was superb I had never imagined that these cars did what we did.  I drove a Discovery with Lyle in the back and Susie stayed at the Dunkeld House Hotel and relaxed.

Off road with Lyle

We drove up and down very steep muddy hills, motored on an angle with the car leaning over incredibly, grounded the vehicle on a hillock and drove through water.  I loved every minute of it if a little scared at times driving a £50,000 vehicle through some tight gaps in trees on slippery slopes.  Now the good news the day was booked for a Freelander when we got there, there was not one available so they gave us another return visit for the Freelander so I am looking forward to that.

Stoke Fly Fair 2010, it had been a number of years since I had been there and loved it.  Caught up with a number of old friends and saw some great demos, Paul Little as always great value and I managed to learn something from him about jay feathers.  I bought some materials, a cape from Lakeland flies and bug bond from David Edwards, great value just for the uv torch.

How far have I got?  Next is the GAIA assessments, CPD day and AGM, what a busy weekend.  I have bagged some more assessments this time in a support role on my journey towards becoming a full blown assessor with GAIA.  I still need to have a support role with a few more and it looks like it will take me another year or so to complete my apprenticeship.

Mike Heritage of the BFCC going for it!

Mike Marshall

I had a 1-2-1 with Mike Marshall whilst I was there and what an eye opener it turned out to be.  What that man can do with distance and loops is amazing it was a delight to have been in his company.

CPD day was great a superb job by Philip Maher on the 5 essentials with a number of other demos including a couple from the BFCC by Mike Marshall and Mike Heritage, what great guys. The BFCC will be in Glasgow on the 11th September 2011 which should be fun.

The AGM well what can I say I am GAIA’s new Chairman so let’s see if I can make a difference.

Leslie Holmes

Mark looking pained!

GAIA Ireland

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

What a weekend, I have just returned from a great 3 days in Ireland, Clonmel to be precise fishing the Suir and Blackwater and helping with GAIA assessments for Ireland.  First thanks to Phillip Maher who went out of his way to ensure that we were all fed, watered and for some of us to catch a salmon.  Phillip leases water on the Suir and Blackwater and runs a successful tackle business; he is also one of the best casting instructors that I know.

River Suir in Spate

The plan was for GAIA members to collect, carry out assessments of candidates and fish for salmon, we fished from day break until dark on beats allocated on the Suir and Blackwater.  The Suir firstly which was out of sorts and running about 18 inches higher than acceptable and coloured.  I did however “meet a fish” briefly on and off but I did get to see it.  Great expression that “meet a fish” Uncle Willie the ghillie used it all the time, I liked the idea that I would “meet” a fish.  Some of the lads caught a few fish but mostly on flying C’s or prawn.  The Suir is total catch and release and single hooks only, somehow whilst I was happy to fish singles I would have felt more comfortable with a double or treble to secure that fish.  Silly really as carp fisherman seem to do remarkably well with single hooks.

River Suir on an autumn day

Next day I was on the Blackwater at the top of the tide, at low tide at Cappoquin county Waterford. First time down the pool and I hooked a 12lb fish.  That was my day off to a great start and as far as I was concerned complete we returned for breakfast then spent the remainder of the day on the Suir.  I returned the next day to the Blackwater with Willie Holmes.  Willie runs a fishery in Northern Ireland and a guiding service to Canada so if you want to catch a sturgeon he is your man. As it turned out he also was a pretty good salmon fisherman with two that day.

Mark Patterson ran the assessments for GAIA approximately 7 in total trying for their GAIC and APGAI qualifications I think in the end there were 3 passes.

Mark Patterson with a Suir fish

It was a great weekend and one that I look forward to going back to in 2011

A Blackwater fish of 12lb


Tweedswood Spey Days with Hardy & Greys Academy

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

We had a great time once again at Tweedswood  for our Spey casting weekend with Hardy & Greys and instructor Ken Muter.  We had a good turn out although we were also affected by the Icelandic volcano we were a pupil down as they were stranded abroad.  Weather conditions were perfect a high over the UK which no doubt was the main reason that a volcanic ash cloud sat above our airports.

Thanks go to Kevin Paterson, ghillie at Tweedswood who always does a great job of making us feel welcome

The format also worked well of using the Sunday for casting coaching and the Monday for fishing and more coaching.  It was a great way also to try Hardy & Greys rods and lines  which certainly impressed

Marion Matthewman

The next course is June 20th and 21st we do have a few places so book early if you want to be sure to be there.

This is what one of our pupils said about us;

“A personal thank you for an excellent weekend of casting in good company.  I can only say that this was the best two days of learning I have experienced, and appreciate all the additional notes and handout hints, plus numerous other mini conversations about fish and fishing which threw up nuggets of information.

A great venue and of course the every helpful ghillie who manages to dot the T’s and keep us in order.  I look forward to joining you on another session sometime this year.”

Tweed plecoptera or stonefly

Tweedswood Day Two 13th March

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Andrew Toft with tight loops

Another great day on the Tweed day two of our GAIA meeting.  Brilliant weather sunshine strong wind, very bright and cold, 60 GAIA members and guests assembled for a day of development and fun.

Further successes from yesterday were Dudley Hosfield and John Symonds GAIC Salmon, Richard Jacques, Mike Lonsdale GAIC Trout congratulations to them all they worked hard to achieve their success.

Tweedswood Viaduct

Back to today we had arranged workshops with Ronnie Glass Scottish Rivers team member on Grayling fishing, Kenny Galt from the Tweed Foundation who gave interesting discussions on Tweed fly life.  Gary Scott was Salmon fishing and Andrew Toft was Fulcrum Casting.  Peter MCCallum and Wendy Gibson were our fly dressers they were joined briefly at lunch by Pat Stevens of Flytek.  Louis Noble and Mark Roberts were giving APGAI casting overviews and the master of spey casting Peter Anderson gave a demo over lunch always a joy to watch.  Finally Ray Morris discussed customer service before dinner.

The casting was well received some of my pals from the Glasgow casting club were bowled over and I know were inspired to join GAIA  and plan taking a GAIC assessment next time around which is great.

Gary Scott

We also had some boys over from Ireland who were amazing and gave freely of their time Philip Maher, Mark Roberts and Leslie Holmes.  Leslie is a Mullet fisherman with a fly and I have planned to go fish with him in June of this year which I am looking forward to doing.  Other invites include a trip to Waterford in September for an FFF meet which I will do.

Other notes for me to remember are Loop Opti Lake  and the Michael Evans are lines for me to get hold of as they cast a treat and the Sage XP 4 piece 5 or 6 is a great rod that I have to look out for so if anyone wants to sell one please get in touch.

Peter Anderson holding court!

Finally a big thanks to Kevin Patterson ghillie at Tweedswood who was patient with us all for two days
and who helped me organise the event.
These photos incidently are by kind permission of a successful candidates John Symonds who obtained  his GAIC double handed  assessment.

GAIA Weekend

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Well the weekend has now arrived and we are on the banks of the Tweed at Tweedswood near Melrose.  What a fantastic river the Tweed is and what a beautiful fishery.  GAIA members from all over the country and Ireland North and South, have collected to carry out assessments of new members and to develop their own personal skills.  This is the largest collection of GAIA members ever to assemble in Scotland.  What I like about this organisation is its willingness to assist all its members, no matter how experienced, they are always willing to help.

Mark Roberts and Allan Carter

Something like 18 guys lined themselves up for assessments in single handed and double handed casting in both GAIC and APGAI, we had 10 pass.  These tests are nerve racking no matter how experienced you are.  Three of us were reassessed myself Alberto and Brian McGlashan in single handed trout and Philip Pledger in double hand salmon all three of us passed.  Alun Reece is a new APGAI trout and Scott Loudon and Ray Morris GAIC trout I will get more names tomorrow. 

 Tomorrow is a CPD Day and we are expecting approximately 60 guys to come learn and play

Happy Scott Loudon and Brian McGlashan

Sunset at a busy Tweedswood