My fascination with tying started when I was nine or ten years old and before I had picked up a fly rod and learned to cast. I grew up in a busy market town called Monmouth in South Wales and would cast with a spinning rod, split-shot and rough looking flies I tied by hand, using feathers and borrowed Nan’s cotton. The shad (now protected) would migrate up the river Monnow and provide great sport. The Jersey Herd was the killer fly back then and was the first fly I tied when I received my Veniard starter kit.

In my teens my family moved to the South East of England, but my tying and fishing continued with many trips fly fishing the small local trout lakes; to competing in the youth competitions on the big Midlands Reservoirs like Rutland, Grafham and Pitsford.

I am married to Hayley, have three children and now live in a picturesque town called Marlow in Buckinghamshire, England, which is on the banks of the river Thames. Coarse fishing for big barbel, chub and pike dominated my spare time for a number of years due to a busy family life. However, my love of tying and fly fishing continued during the spring months.

I accidently caught my first pike on the fly on Farmoor Reservoir a few years ago while targeting the famous hard fighting rainbows there. Being both a coarse and fly angler I decided to pursue pike fly fishing seriously and more recently from a Kayak on my local river. This fuelled my current obsession for tying the big patterns to fool these beautiful fish. My kayak fly fishing experiences have been very successful to date and more importantly so much fun. Provided you paddle safely I would recommend it, as it gives you the freedom to cover water, especially on large rivers and lakes.

My predator flies see influences from the American saltwater patterns and the Scandinavian pike flies. So my preference is to tie large patterns with plenty of movement using mostly natural hair like bucktail, nayat, wool and flash materials. I also tie a variety of natural and synthetic predator flies for both fresh and saltwater species, like perch, zander, bass and tarpon using the latest materials available.

What attracted me to tying predator flies is the endless possibilities to be creative and continue my learning. Therefore I enjoy supporting other tyers, sharing patterns through photography on social media, producing my own tutorials for Youtube and supporting the Fly Dressers Guild through demonstrations.

It is a great honour to be invited by Veniard to tie on the BFFI Tyers Row this year, amongst so many talented tyers and to help promote our wonderful, diverse sport and past-time for future generations to come.


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