I started Fly Fishing and Fly Tying at the same time, over thirty years ago, it quickly became an obsession. Starting on small rivers near my home next to the Clyde Valley in Scotland I fished with dry flies chasing small Brown Trout, I’ve moved on to bigger rivers for bigger Trout and Grayling, stillwaters for Pike and other countries for any species that will take a fly anywhere from dredging the bottom to riding high on the surface. I always find myself coming back to the small rivers with tight casting and lightning fast little Browns though and that, along with stalking big Brown Trout with a dry fly is where my joy in life comes from. Given the chance I would spend every day I had in this life on a riverbank with a dry fly on my leader.

Fly tying is, for me, an essential part of that and while fishing is often a solitary time fly tying has always been more open and social; a time to share. A great pleasure in Fly Tying is being able to study the natural insects that are the mainstay of the fish’s diet and the rivers themselves and use that as a starting block to create flies that are not necessarily a realistic copy but will imitate a behaviour, create a footprint or make life easier in some way for an angler. Basically be a simple fly that’s accessible to tyers of all levels and will fish well, that is what I try to do.

Another real pleasure I get is to be able to attend Fly Fairs and share my ideas, meet some really great people on both sides of the benches and learn from those around me. It’s a real honour to be invited to tie at BFFI again and I am hugely looking forward to seeing you all there.


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