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About Us

Fishing Breaks is the company I founded over thirty 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 (and famous!) 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 than 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.

My mission was back then, and remains today, 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 come a long way in three decades, 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.

But, however good the rivers might be it takes more than just great fishing to make a great company and I am indebted to a wonderful team who all make it happen both here in the office and out on the river.

Diane Bassett

Raised in Yorkshire, Diane had never knowingly clapped eyes on a chalkstream until she moved south with her husband and young family, living close to the River Itchen. Even then fly fishing remained something of a mystery until she got to know Fishing Breaks through the company that did, and still does, provide all our catering for river parties.

Swapping food for fish Diane has become the lynchpin of the firm; she will nearly always be your first point of contact be it by phone or email. Questions, bookings, special requests, information  ..... well, just about everything that happens at Fishing Breaks will pass across her desk in a season.

In the 15 years since Diane arrived, she has become an accomplished fly fisher, plenty capable of out-fishing us Guides when the mood takes her. When the hatch is on don’t expect her to answer the phone a minute after 5pm as she’ll be out on the river ‘checking out’ as she calls it, a spare Fishing Breaks beat or on one of the Salisbury & District Fly Fishing Association waters of which she is a member.

Sarah Lindsay

Sarah is the new arrival to Fishing Breaks, based in the office here at Nether Wallop Mill coordinating the fishing diaries and daily taking your calls for bookings and questions. If you speak to Sarah, you’ll pick up a Scottish accent first acquired in her teenage years when her Army parents moved the family to Aberdeen.

As with many of her generation Sarah joined in on the oil boom of the 1990’s, working in the industry until recently, when the siren call of the chalkstreams bought her and her husband Ewan south to Hampshire. A keen fly fisher for over a decade, Sarah cut her teeth on Scottish stillwaters, but it was really the chalkstreams that has ignited her passion for all things fly, setting a high benchmark for things to come with her first ever Hampshire trout, a 4lb fish (pictured) from the River Dun. Holidays for Sarah and Euan are all about fishing; Key West and the Florida coastline are the perfect combination of winter sun and saltwater adventure.

But ask Sarah for her most enduring fishing memory so far it will be her first sight-caught trout on a nymph. She truly has the bug!


Simon Fields - River Keeper

Simon was brought up in a small village called Westhoughton near Manchester, always having a keen interest in fishing – his first catch were some crucian carp from the local farm pond. After Secondary School he attended Myerscough College to start pursuing his passion with a National Diploma in fisheries management. This lead to Sparsholt Collage in 2010 where he graduated with a BSc in aquaculture and fisheries management. Simon was lucky enough to have already been involved with Fishing Breaks on a work placement as part of his studies, so worked with us for a season before spending 3 years as a fisheries manager at Holbury Lakes on the headwaters of the River Dun. We were delighted when he was able to re-join Fishing Breaks in 2017. He lives in Allbrook, on the outskirts of Southampton, with his beautiful wife Becky who is a secondary school English teacher.

Fishing Guides

Click here to read more about the team of Fishing Guides.

I hope you enjoying browsing the web site and have time to come fishing with us sometime soon.

Best wishes,


Founder & Managing Director











Fishing Breaks
The Mill
Heathman Street
Nether Wallop
Hampshire SO20 8EW

01264 781988
Overseas +44 1264 781 988