But more than that they are engaging and informative companions on the
riverbank, blending information, hints and anecdotes to help you get the
best from the day. They will know the best local pub for lunch, transport
you from hotel to river if required and carry a full stock of flies, tippet
material and chalkstream outfits.
The Guides are available for hire by the day; the daily fee covers all
the extras, including flies. All we ask is that you tip the Guide at the
end of the day if everything has been to your satisfaction. Sharing a
Guide amongst your party is absolutely fine; we recommend a ratio of one
Guide to two fishermen.
About Our Guides
Despite over three decades living in Sussex Alan’s accent soon
reveals his Geordie roots, born and bought up in County Durham. For
most of his professional life Alan was in the household chemicals business
and many of the familiar bottles under your kitchen sink Alan will have
had a hand in at one time or another.
Now retired Alan spends his time guiding, looking
after his fishing on the River Ouse and in the winter enjoys beating
and picking up with his dogs on the local shoot. He recently completed
10 years as Chairman of the Fly Dressers Guild.
First fish: A sprat off South Shields pier
Dream fishing destination: Montana, USA
Dry fly or nymph: Dry fly
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: Hook
Favourite film: The Great Escape
Fishing hero: Donald Downs
Favourite food: Steak
Would you teach your wife to fish? There would
be no point in teaching my wife to fish; like all women she knows
Of all our Guides Tony King has to be the most travelled having caught
a fish (species unspecified!) in every continent of the world. Equally
at home with a salmon, trout or saltwater rod in his hand, Tony is a
highly accomplished fly fisher with a natural eye for teaching. He covers
all the disciplines running our saltwater and salmon classes and specialises
in guiding on the Dorset streams.
Born and raised in the south, Tony now lives in Weymouth, Dorset overlooking
Portland Bill with one of the best vantage points for the sailing during
the 2012 Olympics.
Earliest fishing memory: Catching bleak on the River
Lee with Uncle Den
Dream fishing destination: Any small atoll in a big
Dry fly or nymph: I enjoy both equally
Most memorable fishing day: Catching a 27lb Salmon
in my back garden
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: Overly
Favourite film: Mr Hulot’s Holiday
Favourite food: Fresh mackerel, fresh peas, and mashed potatoes
with mushroom sauce
Fishing hero: Richard Walker
Would you teach your wife to fish? It would not be
my first choice of activity
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: “Anyone
who thinks they know a lot about fishing hasn’t done enough yet.”
John Stephens was born close to the banks of the River Avon at Salisbury
Hospital in Wiltshire, the river on which he caught his first trout
on a dry fly at the tender age of ten. He spent his formative years
on the Avon at a time when Frank Sawyer, inventor of the Pheasant Tail
Nymph, was still active. As a young boy John frequently met Sawyer but
never realised the legend that Frank had become by that time.
First fish: A mullet in Spain
Most memorable fishing day: Catching my first trout
on a fly (a dry fly!), when I was about 10 years old on the river Avon
at Enford in Wiltshire
Dry fly or nymph: Dry fly
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: 99% of
Would you teach your wife to fish? I did and we are
Best fishing joke: Q. "What time do the fish rise?"
A. "Before you arrive, after you go home and sometimes at lunch time
depending on whether you go to the pub or not."
Born and bred in Dorset, Marcus McCorkell spent his formative fly
fishing years on the River Allen, having been taught the essentials
by his father who ran a local syndicate. The youngest of our Guides,
Marcus has managed to dodge a career thus far: in his time he has worked
in Farlow’s, guided in the Russian salmon camps and laboured long
and hard as a river keeper on our beats.
Earliest fishing memory: Learning to fish with my
Dad aged six near Dorchester
Dream fishing destination: A small wild chalkstream
on a sunny April day
Dry fly or nymph: Nymph
Most memorable fishing day: Guiding on the Brevyeni
section of the River Ponoi. The camp was shut and we were fishing Brevyeni
by flying down each day from the main camp. The most downstream set
of rapids were impassable so we parked the boat and hiked down to a
football pitch sized pool of calm water in between the rapids. My client
caught two salmon in two casts, both over 15lbs. The location made it
feel like we were catching salmon on the edge of the world
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: The dry
fly only rule
Favourite film: The Three Kings
Favourite food: Thai
Would you teach your wife to fish? I'd give it a go
but she's more used to teaching me things so not sure how the role reversal
would go. Badly I suspect.
Mark spent his working life in the Lloyds insurance market before making
a career changing decision by moving to Dorset where he divides his
time between guiding, beating and helping out on the river. Born in
Germany, Mark learnt his fishing with his father on the River Itchen
with his formative years spent on the banks of the River Avon, which
likely explains his favourite book and prowess with a nymph.
Earliest fishing memory: Fly fishing with my father
on the Itchen
Dream fishing destination: Patagonia
Dry fly or nymph: Dry fly
Most memorable fishing day: First salmon on the Spey
Favourite fishing book: ‘Keeper of the Stream’
by Frank Sawyer
Favourite film: Tin Drum
Favourite food: Shellfish
Would you teach your wife to fish? Yes
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: With
apologies to Tommy Cooper; “Two fish in a tank. One said to the
other I'll steer, you man the gun...”
Born and raised in West London, Peter relocated to the Hampshire/Dorset
border in the 1970’s. Over the years he has probably fished for
nearly all the fresh and saltwater species that swim within or around
Having spent a number of years competing as a tournament caster, Peter
eventually turned his attention solely to fly fishing, and now divides
his time between coaching, guiding and chasing that elusive 3 pound
Earliest fishing memory: Catching my first perch on
the Grand Union Canal near. Paddington at the age of 7.
Dream fishing destination: Cuba for bonefish, permit
Dry fly or nymph: Whatever the fish are taking.
Most memorable fishing day: : Hooking my first bonefish
on the flats in the Dutch Antilles. WOW!!!
Item of fishing tackle to send to room 101: Waders
that leak after one season
Favourite fishing book: “Single-Handed Spey Casting”
by Simon Gawesworth
Favourite film: American Graffiti
Favourite food: Pie, Mash and Liquor (Brings back childhood
Fishing Hero: There’s two: Richard Walker and
Fred J Taylor
Would you teach your wife to fish? No. Life’s
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: Q) What’s
the fastest fish in the water? A) A motor pike.
It is fair to say that Bob probably knows the Berkshire chalkstreams as well as anyone alive that being his ‘patch’ as it were for more than 30 years whilst working as a Fisheries Officer with the Environment Agency. Bob is truly a walking encyclopaedia when it comes to the any questions on our native fish species.
He is a passionate fishermen; you will find him out in all weathers and he is always exploring new places to fish. Bob has something of a reputation of a heron, spotting fish nobody else has seen, so prepare to catch fish in places you wouldn’t think possible. Every year he travels back to his native Austria returning with photos of the gorgeous rivers and some truly unusual fish.
Earliest fishing memory: Catching one of the whitefish species – exact species unknown – from the Millstattersee in Austria aged 6. First trout in Wales on a worm after many attempts aged 11. First trout on a fly, a size 12 Mallard & Claret from Weirwood Reservoir aged 14. This was followed by 3 more on a black dry fly during a fall of hawthorn flies.
Dream fishing destination: British Columbia tops the list.
Dry fly or nymph: Nymphs for preference, either sight fishing on chalkstreams or deep nymphing on Austrian rivers.
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: Definitely the Blob followed by those who use it and call it fly fishing.
Favourite film: Either “The Longest Day” or “Saving Private Ryan”
Fishing hero: Has to be Bernard Venables. He inspired several generations of anglers. Followed by Richard Walker who taught us that “observation plus thought equals fish”.
Favourite food: Good well aged steak – rare.
Would you teach your wife to fish? Lost cause I fear. She’s better with a camera taking pictures of me fishing!
Most memorable fishing day: Of the many, probably catching my biggest grayling – 3lbs 14oz in Austria aged 15. A fish I’ll probably never better. Closely followed by my second steelhead in BC ten years to the day after my first.
Tony Hogg is slowing easing his full time career away from his IBM
day job that pays the bills to more time teaching and guiding. A native
of Hampshire, Tony was born almost equidistant between the Test and
Itchen. Despite his illustrious birthplace it took Tony a few years
before he was able to fish either with a fly.
Tony first became keen on fishing in his early teens, going coarse
fishing on free fisheries then on local club waters, including the Itchen.
He dabbled with fly fishing in the close season, but didn't do fly fishing
seriously until his mid 20s when he started on small stillwaters and
then lochs and reservoirs before finally moving on to chalkstream fishing.
Earliest fishing memory: Catching immature pollack
and coalfish off Scalloway Pier in the Shetland Islands with a bamboo
pole rod, string, hook and a bit of mackerel, aged 6
Dream fishing destination: New Zealand or Iceland
Dry fly or nymph: Nymph
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: Fish finders
Favourite film: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Favourite food: Italian
Would you teach your wife to fish? No
Favourite fishing book: 'How to Fish' by Chris Yates
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: Two
not very bright anglers are out fishing in a boat when they start catching
a lot of fish. First angler: "We should make a note of this spot
and come back here tomorrow" Second angler: "I'm ahead of
you, I've put an X on the side of the boat" First angler: "Don't
be daft mate, we might not get the same boat tomorrow!!"
Steve has been fishing since the age of five and started with his grandfather on the beaches of the Solent catching plaice. Since then his passion for fishing has spread over many disciplines pursuing carp, barbel, grayling, trout, salmon and bass.
However his true love is fishing on small chalkstreams for wild brown trout with a short 3wt rod and a dry fly. Steve is also a part time river keeper for the Portsmouth Services Fly Fishing Association and is the Chairman of the Hampshire river keepers association.
Earliest fishing memory: Catching my first grayling at the age of 6
Dream fishing destination: Maldives for bonefish
Dry fly or nymph: Dry Fly
Most memorable fishing day: Salmon fishing on the Isle of Harris with my son as the ghillie
Most memorable catch: 16lb pike on the Fly
Item of fishing tackle to send to room 101: A "Fly" called the Blob, but it's not fishing.
Favourite film: Saving Private Ryan
Fishing hero: My Granddad
Favourite food: Indian or Thai
Would you teach your wife to fish? Yes
Favourite fishing book: Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing
My introduction to fly fishing reads like a Mark Twain tale: a neighbouring
farmer inherited a few miles of that lovely Hampshire chalkstream, the
River Meon and gave me free range over it. Not having a clue about fishing
(nobody in my family did) the village doctor was enlisted as my tutor.
However, he had no interest beyond a day of free fishing so as soon
as we reached the river he abandoned me.
My confident casting, self taught on the lawn at home, soon fell apart
confronted with the narrow stream and wild vegetation on the bank. Having
lost all my few dry flies I disconsolately rummaged in my bag and found
a grubby Bloody Butcher which I proceeded to fish in true wet fly fashion.
No doubt F W Halford was spinning like a top in his grave but I didn’t
care two hoots as within a few minutes I had landed a twelve inch (well
probably 10”) wild brown trout.
Nearly four decades on I still feel bad about that fish as I knocked
it on the head and transported it home with great ceremony. My father
soon arrived home having met the Doctor in the pub (I am pleased to
report he caught nothing) and our family ate the fish for tea.
Earliest fishing memory: On the village pond
for goldfish and being told off by a fearsome old woman who told
me I was
Dream fishing destination: Falkland Islands
Dry fly or nymph: Whichever the fish are feeding
on at that particular moment
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: Braided
Favourite film: Layer Cake
Fishing hero: Dermot Wilson
Favourite food: Sandwiches
Would you teach your wife to fish? I did until
she got better
Favourite fishing book: ‘Fishing the Dry
Fly’ by Dermot Wilson
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard:
What did the fish say when it swam into a wall? Dam!