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Fishing Breaks - Fishing Guides

Our team of Fishing Guides are the acknowledged local experts on all the famous chalk streams in southern England.

You will find their help & advice invaluable, especially on an unfamiliar river or beat. All our Guides hold the nationally recognised APGAI, GAIA & REFFIS casting, instruction & guiding qualifications.

If you are not familiar with the term it is best to look upon a proper Guide as a blend of knowledgeable gillie, qualified instructor, amiable fishing companion, local tour guide, chauffeur and portable tackle shop all rolled into one - for that is what we aim our Guides to be.

All our Guides are true chalkstream experts, with a strong background in fly fishing tuition – indeed they all have nationally recognised qualifications.

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 Orvis 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.

Our Fishing Guide fee includes all of the following:

• Orvis outfits
• Flies and tippet materials
• Net and polarised sunglasses
• Local transportation
• EA Fishing licence
• Full day on the river
The idea for the River Test One Fly (RTOF) was conceived by Fishing Breaks founder Simon Cooper having competed in the American equivalent since 2005. Though he has never come close to winning, every year Simon makes the 5,000 mile trek to Wyoming with ever increasing excitement. For this is a contest that pits man against man and fish against fly – it is an unequal contest as the trout always win, but you can share the passion of one of the world’s truly great fly fishing events which is now held in England, the true home of fly fishing.

The 2008 Inaugural RTOF was a great success, garnering praise and congratulations from all those who took part. It was filmed for Sky and a one-hour special is due to be broadcast in 2010. The 2009 event was extensively featured in the angling press, Country Life and The Field, with over £2,000 raised for the Wild Trout Trust.

But the clue to the difference to other fly fishing tournaments is in the name - the One Fly is exactly that – at 10am each morning every competitor selects and ties on the fly that must last all day – lose it and you’re out! Points are awarded on a sliding scale according to the number and length of fish caught. There are no cash prizes – just the glory and kudos of winning. There are prizes for the best fish, top Guide, winning team, best fish and so on, all generously donated by sponsors.

This last point is important – the One Fly is a not-for-profit event. The entrance fees are used to cover the cost of running the annual event and any surplus is ploughed back into charitable causes.

Fishing in England
Unlike some countries where rivers have public access usually for the cost of a licence all rivers in England are privately owned with the fishing controlled by the landowner. Access is usually by payment to the landowner or via agents such as Fishing Breaks who represent the owners.

Who can fish and when?
The trout season runs from mid-April to late-October. Anyone may fish for a single day or more. Fishing is available for any number from one to small groups.

Where are the rivers?
Click on this map

Fishing Guides
Chalkstream fishing is not difficult but it is probably different to anything you may have experienced elsewhere. A Fishing Guide is a useful addition for any fishing trip providing advice, tackle, flies, local transportation and government licence.

Government fishing licence
If you have a Fishing Guide you are covered by our block licence. Otherwise we will show you how to buy the visitors version that may be purchased on-line in advance of your trip. The cost is only a few UK pounds.

Clothing and tackle
No specialist clothing is required as you are unlikely to experience any extremes of weather. Dress for a spring or summer day outside, with a hat, sunglasses, rain jacket as a backup and rugged or waterproof footwear. If the fishing requires waders we will tell you and you should bring your own. Tackle is typically a 3-5 wt outfit; bring you own or the Fishing Guide will provide everything you require. More details Already Booked?

Saltwater fly fishing is great way to explore the many different and exciting species to be caught on the fly along the coastline of southern England. The hard fighting sea bass is the most talked about fish to go after on the fly but pollock, bream, mackerel and very occasionally, mullet are just as much fun.

Tony King, one of our long standing trout guides, has a home that overlooks Weymouth Harbour and has spent many years exploring every gravel spit, sand bank and estuary to locate the running channels.

Saltwater fly fishing is not like conventional sea fishing as the fishing is done with a combination of time in the boat and wading. Each day starts with a 20-30 minute boat ride from the Weymouth quay to the first mark of the day. With Tony at your side you will either cast from the boat or wade a short distance to reach the fish. This will be the pattern for the remainder of the day moving around Tony’s favoured spots in the harbour depending on the weather, tides and fish.

For lunch we will pull the boat up on an isolated shingle bar beside one of the longshoreman’s fishing shacks. Tony will prepare the catch and cook it over a fire, so it’s a chance to relax and enjoy some dry land.

Although the fishing is confined to the inland coastal area, it is important to understand these are still tidal waters and therefore they require the skills of a guide for safety reasons. Both Tony and his boat are fully certified under the Maritime and Coastguard Agency but we do ask you to wear lifejackets at all times and be a competent swimmer.

The season runs from May to September and Tony provides all the saltwater tackle and flies.

The Foundation Courses are ideal for novices or anyone returning to fly fishing after a break. The Courses are run at our fly fishing school on Saturdays from April to October (see below for dates), all the equipment is provided and group sizes are kept small (four pupils) to ensure maximum individual coaching.

This is a very practical course, where we aim to get a rod in your hand and fishing with confidence in the shortest time possible. Here is a brief, but far from exhaustive list, of the topics that will be covered:

• Selecting the right tackle
• Tackling up
• Casting; overhead, roll cast and shooting the line
• Fly lines, knots and tippets
• Flies and fly selection
• Hooking and landing a fish

Each day runs from 9.30am-5.30pm, with a break for lunch. There is a fully equipped Fishing Cabin at the fly fishing school and a wide choice of local accommodation in Stockbridge, just four miles away.

Fishing Breaks - Fishing Guides
Heathman Street,Nether Wallop
Stockbridge Hampshire SO20 8EW
01264 781988

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