Fishing Breaks is the company I founded over twenty years ago because I had a passion for all things fly fishing, but in particular the chalkstreams of England.
Bought up in Hampshire I was lucky enough to have great fly fishing on my doorstep, but as I grew up, got a job and moved away I realised what a closed world the chalkstreams were unless you were in the ‘know’. So with little more that a germ of an idea, a telephone and the book of my fishing contacts, I set out to change that.
Back then taking fishing for the day, as people liked to term it, was a haphazard affair which involved tracking down obscure adverts in magazines or following up contacts gleaned in the local pub. If you needed a gillie you would soon discover that it was job description for someone filling the time between waking up and the pubs opening. And heaven forbid that anyone might have a professional casting qualification.
So I set out to make the best beats accessible and bring a new level of professionalism to the whole business, but never losing sight of the fact that the chalkstreams are some of the most precious and unique trout fishing rivers in the world. By building relationships with the river owners I gained their trust to sell day rods on their behalf, the income helping to make the rivers pay their way. For anglers I knew that buying a day of fishing should be pleasure rather than a chore, with the prospect of that day something to look forward to. I introduced the term Fishing Guide to the chalkstream lexicon and demanded the highest standards of myself when I was a full time Guide and now from the team that make up Fishing Breaks.
Fishing Breaks has comes a long way in a quarter of century, but it is still a very personal business. I have fished every yard of every river we have. I talk daily to our river owners and keepers from our office here at Nether Wallop Mill, in the heart of the Test valley, where the river truly runs beneath the building and overlooks the trout lake which is home to our fly fishing school.