Background

I started coarse fishing in 1962 at the grand old age of 8, mostly in the local parks in Liverpool. I was introduced into sea fishing when I was about 18 by work colleagues after having fished most of the canals and lakes in the north west of England, as well as some down south and some in Scotland.

Whilst on holiday in Scotland, after unsuccessful attempts to go coarse fishing and then sea fishing, someone suggested fly fishing seeing as I was "in the home of fly fishing".  The next day, I visited a nearby loch, hired some tackle and paid for an hour's tuition, albeit from an unqualified instructor who after 10 minutes decided that I could cast and left me to it.

After months of frustration at not catching fish, I decided to take a lesson from a qualified coach.  This opened up a whole new world and from that day on I was definitely hooked on fly fishing.

I have fly fished throughout England, Scotland and Wales and also in New Zealand.  Through my fishing experiences I have forged strong links with both Meadow Fishery in Cheshire and Windsor Lodge in Waitahanui, Taupo, New Zealand.

After several years of successfully qualifying to take part in the Troutmaster's Competitions and meeting so many kind, knowledgeable and dedicated people along the way I decided that it was time to put something back into the wonderful sport of fly fishing and become a qualified coach myself.

I have been described by others as a Stillwater Specialist, although I am working very hard to gain a lot more experience on rivers.  I was fortunate enough to be mentored by Louis Noble, APGAI whilst working towards my GAIC qualification.

Qualifications

G.A.I.A Qualified Professional Game Angling Instructor

Fully licenced by the Angling Trust

CCA Level 1 in Coaching Angling (Game)badge
UKCC Level 2 certificate in Coaching Angling (Game)
G.A.I.C Single Handed (Trout)

First Aid Certificate

Member of the Game Angling Instructors' Association
Member of the Salmon and Trout Association

Attended a Good Practice in Child Protection course
Enhanced DBS Disclosure


And finally ... CONGRATULATIONS to my wife, Nicole, who now joins the team.

Nicole's background

I was first introduced to fishing 20 years ago by my husband Ian who took me with him whenever he went sea or coarse fishing.  Although I enjoyed those days and nights watching Ian catch fish, I was never tempted to take the sport up - until he started fly fishing.  After he'd been fly fishing for a couple of years, I thought that I might like to have a go myself and so Ian bought me a fishing lesson.  I went on to catch my first fish at Jericho Loch in Dumfries - a lovely 31/2lb blue trout.

We'd both been fly fishing for a number of years when Ian decided to become a coach and we started mixing with the ladies and gents in GAIA.  After a lot of gentle encouragement from Ian, and Mark Patterson, APGAI instructor, over a couple of years, I eventually took up the gauntlet myself and signed up for the Angling Trust Level 1 qualification in January 2012, just before my birthday.  Well they do say life begins at 40 … within 6 months I'd passed my Level 1 and joined Ian as his assistant coach.  I then started training for my Game Angling Instructors Certificate and was lucky enough to be mentored by Chris Aldred, APGAI and FFF Master Casting Instructor/Two Handed CI.  I'm also very grateful for all the support, assistance and friendship from Roger Miles, APGAI, BFCC casting instructor and FFF MCI.  On 25 October 2013, I passed my assessment at the River Dee in Llangollen. In September 2014 I passed my Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Angling.

I'm looking forward to coaching alongside Ian at Meadow Fishery, and I hope to encourage more ladies and young people to take up the sport of fly fishing.

Qualifications

GAIA Qualified Professional Game Angling Instructor

Licenced by the Angling Trust

1st4sport L1 ACA (QCF) Level 1 Coaching Angling Certificate (Game)
1st4sport L2 CCA UKCC Coaching Angling (QCF) Certificate (Game)
GAIC Single Handed

First Aid Certificate

Member of the Game Angling Instructors Association
Member of the Salmon and Trout Association

Attended a Safeguarding and Protecting Children course
Enhanced CRB certificate