Expert Fly fishing lessons for beginners and novices

5 star reviews

Hello, And Welcome To Learning To Fly Fish. Fly fishing lessons and experiences in Somerset, Devon and Dorset, for beginners and novices.

My Name is James and I am a fly fishing instructor, I have been fly fishing since I was 8 years old (39 years ago) I have a vast fly fishing and fly casting experience ranging from the remote hill Lochs of Scotland fly fishing for truly wild Brown Trout, Scottish rivers catching the mighty Atlantic Salmon, to my "back door" the stillwaters and reservoirs of the Midlands. I was manager and water bailiff at Ringstead Grange trout fishery about 20 years ago. I studied at Inverness College in the early 1990's and hold a Scotvec Diploma (Distinction) in Aquaculture and fish farm management, and am a tackle tester for Fishing Republic PLC and Yorkshire Game Angling. I also carry £5 million public liability insurance and £1 Million pounds Professional Indemnity Insurance for your peace of mind.

Fly fishing lessons near me? I am based in the Blackdown Hills Somerset and offer fly fishing tuition / lessons and experience days for Somerset, Devon and Dorset

I am a self taught fly fisherman, learning the hard way but you don’t have to waste years learning to fly fish I can teach you to fly cast and fast track you to one of the most rewarding fishing sports possible. I specialise in teaching beginners and novices to fly fish, everything from fly casting lessons, fly selection, finding the fish and playing and landing a trout.

Have a read through the site and if you have any questions or would like to book some tuition / fly fishing experience  just let me know. In the meantime Tight Lines! Please have a look at my genuine testimonials here.

I offer one to one fly fishing lessons, you may see cheaper lessons advertised but these are usually groups of at least 10 people sometimes as much as 20, so double check all the details. I will teach groups up to 4 people (20% discount for two or more guests) if you have relatives or friends that want to learn too, if not as mentioned my fly fishing tuition is done on a 1 to 1 basis, from March to the end of December

COVID 19 - Please note I am triple jabbed, all tackle is disinfected before and after use. Hand gel is used, and socially distanced lessons can be conducted.


a fly fisherman in the water learning to fly fish

About me, your fly fishing instructor

I started fly fishing when I was about eight years old on the Scottish highland lochs and rivers, as well as local stillwaters such as Elinor and Ringstead Grange. I Was the head bailiff and fishery manager at Ringstead Grange trout fishery in the late 1990's.

I have taken Rainbow Trout to 14lb (fishery record), Salmon to 25lb (largest Salmon caught on the Ness sytem that year), Sea Trout to 14lb and wild Brown Trout to 8lb. I live, eat and breath fly fishing and hope I can pass on my passion to you ! 

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fly fishing introduction and taster

What is Fly fishing, and how is it different to coarse fishing?

As the name suggests fly fishing uses an artificial fly to imitate what the fish are feeding on manly nymphs and dry flies. The flies are tied using natural and man made materials like feathers, animal fur, deer fur and wool etc. Fly fishing is an art form and a skill, the first thing you need to learn is how to cast the fly which takes time but is very rewarding when you get it right. Fly fishing targets mainly game fish like Trout, Grayling and Salmon. 

Coarse fishing is much easier to learn, the casting can be learnt very quickly. Coarse fishing uses completely different rods and reels and bait like maggots or worms, targeting coarse fish like Carp, Pike and Tench. Which can also be targeted with a fly rod.


a fly fishing rod and priest

Fly fishing courses, for beginners, novices and improvers

My Fly fishing instruction for beginners course covers all the basics from tackle explanation and selection, basic fly casting, fly selection, how to find the trout on any given reservoir, stream or river, to how to play and land the fish. I also offer a novice / improver course for those that have already started fly fishing and want to improve their casting or learn advanced fly fishing methods like the single haul, double haul or reverse casting.

Available at multiple still waters across Somerset, Devon and Dorset. All fly fishing tackle supplied for free. For a maximum of four people at a time if you want to bring a friend or relative otherwise its one on one tuition, 7 days a week from February to November  Read more

Fly fishing courses available
20% discount for two people or if 1 person books two days tuition

Beginners Fly Fishing Course
£169a day
  • Includes all tackle
  • One 2 One tuition
  • Approx 8 hours
  • Gift voucher available
  • Excludes fishing ticket at £10
Fly Fishing Gift Vouchers
  • Great for Birthdays and Christmas
  • Can be for full cost or part
  • Valid for 1 year
  • Fully personalised.
Improvers Novices Fly Fishing Course
£169a Day
  • Improve casting
  • One 2 One Tuition
  • Learn new techniques
  • Catch more fish
  • Free tackle hire
Boat Fly fishing Course
£169a day plus boat
  • Learn how to fish from a boat
  • How to safely handle a boat
  • How to fish on a drift
  • Drogue fishing
  • Fishing at anchor
  • Plus lots more

Check Fly fishing Tuition Availability

fly fishing availability

You can check the date you want for your fly fishing lessons is free on my availability calendar 2022 

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Fly fishing gift voucher

Fly fishing Gift experience vouchers - Ideal for Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries, Fathers Day, Mothers Day or Retirement gift

Looking for a birthday or Christmas fly fishing gift for the person that has everything? I offer fly fishing lessons / experience gift vouchers, valid for 1 year.

You can either contact me for details or buy online. The voucher will have a personal message from you and details the day ahead. Its two sided and will be emailed to you as a PDF so you can print it off. Vouchers are valid for 1 year and can be either for a full days experience / tuition £169, including any fishery ticket cost, or for any amount you like (minimum £25) so the recipient can make up any balance.


tripadvisor fishing days

On holiday in Devon, Somerset or Dorset in 2022? Why not try something different !

Are you on holiday in Somerset, Devon or Dorset? Looking for something different to do? then why not let me teach you the fine art of fly fishing. I visit some of the most beautiful fisheries in the south west including Hawridge reservoir, Sutton Bingham reservoir, Clatworthy reservoir, and Wimbleball fly fishery.


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Customer Testimonials / Reviews.

Read my genuine testimonials from past guests. Read All Reviews

Paul - Tiverton Devon

"“A superb day out with a master of his craft.” Friendly, fun and enlightening.

Unlike those occasions when one leaves a restaurant, a film or a music concert thinking it to have been expensive or a waste of money, a day’s tuition with James is worth every penny and, if you were to feel it to have been overpriced I would suggest you consider afterwards whether you had listened carefully or paid sufficient attention to his excellent guidance.

Do not for a minute think that he is going to guarantee that you’ll catch a fish (although he’ll do his best to help you do so). No, he’s there to give you the skills and the confidence to do so as you progress into the addictive world of angling and that’s precisely what you will acquire from a day on the water with James. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to novices or accomplished anglers wanting to fine tune their technique.

Dave - Torquay

"Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
Had a lesson with James on 8th April at Hawkridge Reservoir Somerset. Not one of his younger students as I won’t see 60 again and prior to the day with James I was able to cast a fly so not a complete novice.

Great day and I can not recommend his patient instructional style enough. Taught me how to single and double haul cast. I had a list of queries regarding what I was doing wrong and problems I had when fly fishing and James took the time to address each of them, regardless if it was about tackle, reels, lines, leaders or flies.

To round the day off caught two good fish as well as losing several others.

Hope to fish with you again when we catch up James.

Thanks for the great day

Tom - Taunton, Somerset

"Hi James, Thanks so much again for yesterday. It was fantastic fun and I was so pleased to have been able to land one from start to finish!"

Paul - Bridgewater Somerset

"Hi James, Thanks for a great day, really enjoyed it, knackered but loved it!"

Scott - Leighton Buzzard

"Another cracking lesson today, thanks James really appreciated it and yes you are right, I am now hooked on trout (and still pike!) see you again soon! First trout fly lesson!!"

Robin & Kathy - Milton Keynes

"Hi James,
Thank you so much for guiding my wife and me yesterday. Cathy was particularly impressed with the attention you gave to her.

Phil Dorchester

"Having not cast a fly for a few years, I asked James to help me brush the rust off my casting. He quickly spotted two areas that I needed to sort out and then taught me the back cast and how to haul (single and double). He pointed out the limitations of my tackle and lent me appropriate tackle for the venue. We then tried to catch fish which proved to be very difficult. Along the way James showed me some new (to me) techniques. We had a fly past from an osprey and kingfishers and I took a fat trout home for tea! I would have no hesitation in recommending James for either beginners or returners to the sport."

Mikey - Yeovil

"My dad and I went on a day trip with James, he was a very good teacher, so even though neither of us had done this before, we were both picking it up pretty quickly. He had lots of helpful advice for us when we do this again in the future, I would highly recommend!"

Robert -  Taunton

"My son and I had a fantastic day with James as an introduction to fly fishing. His extensive knowledge, incredible patience and great sense of humour made for a really enjoyable and memorable day for us both. Top tips on technique and really helpful advice on getting started with buying tackle. Many thanks for a great day and start to a new pastime."

fly fishing frequently asked questions

Fly fishing lessons FAQ

Can you teach yourself to fly fish?

Do I need a rod License? 

How many people do you teach per lesson?

Do you supply all the fishing tackle? 

Do you teach children?

what fisheries do you go to?  

How do I learn to fly fishing?

How much do fly fishing lessons cost?

Is fly fishing hard to learn?

What do you need to fly fish?
What time of year is best for fly fishing?

What Trout fisheries / reservoirs do you use?

How do I buy a fly fishing gift voucher?

Fly fishing FAQ's

Locations I cover for fly fishing lessons.

fly fishing lessons in Devon and Somerset

I offer fly fishing courses and tuition in the following areas:

Somerset including: Taunton, Wells, Wellington, Yeovil, Dulverton, Chard, Somerton, Bath, Minehead, Bristol, Bath

East Devon including: Exeter, Honiton, Cullompton, Tiverton, Exmouth, Credinton 

West and South Dorset including: Lyme Regis, Axminster Sidmouth

The trout fisheries I cover and recommend are: Sutton Bingham reservoir and the west pond, Hawkridge reservoir and Clatworthy reservoir. Wimbleball fly fishery

Join me on social media.

the fly fishing instructor on twitter, facebook and youtube

Your welcome to join me on social media, I have a great facebook group, Twitter and Youtube

Facebook group, fly fishing for beginners click here

Twitter click here

Youtube click here

corporate fly fishing days

Corporate fly fishing days and Experiences

I provide corporate fly fishing days for your most important clients / suppliers or key member of staff. Aimed at either beginners or experienced fly fishermen. I provide a high quality picnic lunch and arrange all fishing permits etc, and will act as guide and Ghille for the day.
Covering a 50 mile radius from Taunton Somerset and a huge number of still waters and reservoirs.

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fly fishing blog logo

Read my fly fishing blog

Keep up to date with all things fly fishing, including fishing tips, experiences, fly fishing tackle and trout fishery reviews, fishery reports, news and recipes on my blog as well as how my customers got on with their fly fishing lesson. Its updated as and when so keep checking back from time to time.

Read my fly fishing blog

fly fishing videos for beginners

Watch my fly fishing videos

I have put together some great You Tube videos for your information, everything from fishing knots, gutting and filleting a trout to some great action videos of Trout being caught on the fly! (please note some may not be suitable for children due to fruity language!)

watch fly fishing videos


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