Guiding

The purpose of Guiding is not only to help people to catch fish, but ultimately to better enable them to catch fish themselves through relating an understanding of exactly why the fish are caught in terms of technique and presentation for the circumstances.

I teach and fine tune game angling techniques such as for instance Irish Lough style short line wet fly fishing for trout or salmon, or furrowing mini tubes, or pulsating Irish shrimp flies while retrieving line on a salmon river. Sunk line fishing. Fly choice.

There is a long term learning curve involved in wild fish game angling, as there is in Fly-Casting and experience counts greatly. The greatest way to shorten the learning curve is to learn from the already experienced. Game Angling is also a country sport with an associated sporting tradition, etiquette and learning curve.
Why Take Lessons?

In my own opinion, importing knowledge from others is the single most important thing one can do to learn any skill.

It certainly is invaluable in fly-casting and the smartest move usually, with the proviso of course that it is someone who is genuinely experienced in their field, and also still enthusiastic about teaching others.

Without importing knowledge many years may pass without a key and helpful piece of knowledge that you eventually see, learn or import from someone, knowledge allowing extra control or understanding. Knowledge you could have had and used earlier.

My honest contention is that you most likely won't learn how to cast properly otherwise. There are so many ways to go wrong with this counter intuitive skill, the subject is just too subtle.

Specific techniques can be explained all day about use of the body or the rod, or a video can be watched, however a practical physical demonstration with an accompanying explanation is best, then the exact concept and technique may and the fine tuning of it can occur.

One can't beat a practical session for learning fly casting. Of course the concept and explanation is important too but a practical demo with the explanation is the most important combination.


I would recommend going to different Instructors and learning different styles, just to see what is out there or what areas some people specialise in. Knowledge is key, theres not much point in re inventing the wheel, or indeed in struggling for years without some helpful gem of information that others of experience are carrying.


A Fly-casting lesson is actually an investment in yourself. You personally will benefit for the rest of your life from improved technique and understanding.

Fulcrum Fly-casting style has many benefits, do you find for instance, as many do, your fly catching the bank side vegetation or hitting the ground behind you? The unnecessary nuisance value involved is due to a lack of line height behind management technique.

Sometimes people have difficulty with the wind and with fly turnover into the wind. I have often seen people stop fishing when a sea breeze comes into the tidal pools of the Moy, or alternatively when a strong downstream wind occurs for left bank fishers as they cannot cast on their left hand side. None of these things should remain a problem once Fulcrum style techniques and exercises are learned. Unrolling a line into the wind is a matter of course of using correct technique.

The Double Haul, an essential for control over distance and economy of effort, learn a system that will allow you to teach yourself perfectly in your own time - no safety net required.

Are you unsure of left side (or off side) Spey casting with the double-handed rod or do you try to avoid it? There is no need to ever avoid casting on your off side, it is really quite easy when you understand the incline exercise progression.

If you are intending to go to Scotland Norway or Russia make sure and go prepared, being able to cast left and right hand up on a double handed rod. Or simply learn the essentials of the various Spey, Scandinavian and Scottish shooting head techniques for fishing anywhere.

When you take a lesson with me I will show you what it took me many years and some traveling to learn from many different Instructors and some of the excellent techniques and exercises they use to teach. I can show you all single handed casting techniques and all double handed techniques including Spey casting as I was taught in the Spey and Tay Valleys by some of the very best Spey casters in the world. I supply notes and diagrams.

To learn traditional and modern Scottish style Spey casting properly it is necessary to learn Spey casting standing in the water. Learning on a platform high above the water is not realistic or beneficial. It is also necessary to learn how to cast a proper Spey line off both the left and right hand sides of the body using left hand up grip on the left hand side. The only way that you can be taught how to deal effectively with the larger Classic salmon rivers is to be taught standing in the water.
Instruction Fees

My rates for Fly-casting and Game Angling Instruction with single or double-handed rods are

1 hour €50
2 Hours €80
Half Day (4 Hours) €140
Full day (8 hours) €200


Notes and Diagrams are supplied - no extra charge for two or more people sharing the lesson. i.e. for two people €80 is then €40 each.

Lesson subject(s) up to you and may be mixed with both single and double handed techniques.
As it is a weather dependent activity, all bookings are flexible and changed due to adverse weather conditions (strong winds, stormy weather) with no financial penalty.

Spey casting technique should preferably be learned standing in running water if possible, or in still water. One simply cannot learn Spey casting techniques properly on grass. The traction of the fly line on a fluid surface is necessary.
The purpose of guiding is not only to help people to catch fish but ultimately to better enable them to catch fish themselves through relating an understanding of exactly why the fish are caught in terms of technique and presentation for the circumstances. To teach and fine tune fishing techniques such as for instance Irish Lough style short line wet fly fishing for trout or salmon, or furrowing mini tubes, or pulsating Irish shrimp flies while retrieving line on a salmon river.

There is a long term learning curve involved in wild game fish angling, as there is in Fly-Casting and experience counts greatly. The greatest way to shorten the learning curve is to learn from the already experienced. Game Angling is also a country sport with an associated sporting tradition and etiquette.

For me the Atlantic salmon is the most perfect fish for the Game Angler. Atlantic salmon are heavily influenced by prevailing water and weather conditions and their physical surroundings. In Atlantic Salmon angling understanding the influence of water and weather conditions and other factors such as riverbed topography and currents on the fish, and on methods and techniques is often critical to success.

I am an all methods salmon angler.


I don't generally Guide nowadays on heavily fished association stretches such as East Mayo. There are too many people fishing too often with all methods, or from early to late to successfully Guide on such waters. Easy access and the boom of modern salmon anglers and fly anglers means it is not what it once was, not to mention the grilse run being about a month late.

Combat fishing is not my cup of tea. I mainly Guide on Private fishing.
Fly Casting Matters

The phrase 'fly casting matters' essentially has two meanings.

Firstly, any specific aspect of fly casting technique or tackle, is an individual fly casting matter.

Secondly, as an overall or an all encompassing phrase, good fly casting technique and ability matters for fishing purposes, and for the better enjoyment of fly fishing.


A fly rod and fly line are in effect a vehicle with which you will transport the fly to the fish, just as a car is a vehicle which will transport you somewhere provided you are able to control and drive it. If you can't drive at all, or are yet unable to drive properly, a vehicle is not as much use to you personally as it could be. Nor would you be able to discern properly the differences between a good vehicle, and a poorer vehicle. Personal control over driving ability is a necessary pre requisite for that discernment and to have the best use from a vehicle. So it is also with fly casting.

Fly casting is a very subtle and generally a counter intuitive skill. I do not teach people anything I thought up myself. I traveled and was formally trained in various fly casting techniques from various World class fly casting mentors when I was younger. Many of the formal training techniques and practices for effective fly casting and line control that I learned from others, and the logic behind their use are what I teach. For instance the incline exercise progression, or the half lift exercise.


Loop Morphology

There are many different things that matter in fly casting, and it is also always a combination of compound movements in applying and directing leverage, and the effect of those compound movements on the rod and line, therefore the properties of the rod and line must first be understood.

It all relates to controlling
loop morphology - loop shape and loop formation. Most importantly to achieve control over this with efficiency, with economy of effort.

Economy of effort or efficiency only comes from correct technique like for instance through using the right type of leverage and a balancing of the stroke so that the main power application occurs in our comfort zone - bio mechanically speaking.
 photo South view from North end Doolough_zpsiqsi7pgu.jpg
Doolough practice bay for Spey casting in the Delphi valley, not many better spots for scenery
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