Chalkstream fishing is not difficult but it is probably different to anything you may have experienced elsewhere. A Fishing Guide is a useful addition for any fishing trip providing advice, tackle, flies and local transportation.
If you are not familiar with the term it is best to look upon a proper Guide as a blend of knowledgeable gillie, qualified instructor, amiable fishing companion, local tour guide, chauffeur and portable tackle shop all rolled into one - for that is what we aim our Guides to be.
All our Guides are true chalkstream experts, with a strong background in fly fishing tuition – indeed they all have nationally recognised qualifications. Read more about our guides
But more than that they are engaging and informative companions on the riverbank, blending information, hints and anecdotes to help you get the best from the day. They will know the best local pub for lunch, transport you from hotel to river if required and carry a full stock of flies, tippet material and chalkstream outfits.
The Guides are available for hire by the day; the daily fee covers all the extras, including flies. All we ask is that you tip the Guide at the end of the day if everything has been to your satisfaction. Sharing a Guide amongst your party is absolutely fine; we recommend a ratio of one Guide to two fishermen.
Our Fishing Guide fee includes all of the following:
• Chalkstream outfits
• Flies and tippet materials
• Net and polarised sunglasses
• Local transportation
• Full day on the river
Location: River beat of your choice (at additional cost)
Fishing Guide: £385 To book online click the Add option when booking the fishing
Price includes all guiding and tuition services (9.30am-6pm), tackle, flies and local transportation. Gratuity at your discretion.
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2009
Mark spent his working life in the Lloyds insurance market before making a career changing decision by moving to Dorset where he divides his time between guiding, beating and helping out on the river. Born in Germany, Mark learnt his fishing with his father on the River Itchen with his formative years spent on the banks of the River Avon, which likely explains his favourite book and prowess with a nymph.
Earliest fishing memory: Fly fishing with my father
on the Itchen
Dream fishing destination: Patagonia
Dry fly or nymph: Dry fly
Most memorable fishing day: First salmon on the Spey
Favourite fishing book: ‘Keeper of the Stream’ by Frank Sawyer
Favourite film: Tin Drum
Favourite food: Shellfish
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: With apologies to Tommy Cooper; “Two fish in a tank. One said to the other I'll steer, you man the gun...”
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2011
Malcolm can boast that his first ever fish was a childhood salmon; admittedly a salmon parr on a spun worm from the River Roe in Northern Ireland but a salmon nonetheless. However, it wasn’t until much later in life when on holiday beside Loch Awe in Scotland with his three young boys to entertain that Malcolm was bitten by the fly fishing bug when they all gave it a try at a small trout fishery.
Back in southern England where he had settled, pursuing a career in computer systems, Malcolm followed up with more success at Rockbourne Fishery on the edge of the New Forest before spying the value of the Salisbury & District Angling Club, of which seventeen years later he is still a member.
Malcolm was one of the founder Guides at the inaugural River Test One Fly in 2008 and was Confederation Secretary for the England fly fishing team. He is now retired from computers with guiding his passion and daily work.
Earliest fishing memory: Walking back from Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland with two flounders in my hands at 9 o’clock at night, only to be met by my two worried parents. I had fresh-caught fish and bread and butter at 10 o’clock that night.
Dream fishing destination: Tjuonajokk Northern Sweden for Arctic Grayling
Dry fly or nymph: depends on what is catching.
Most memorable fishing day: First day at Tjuonajokk – first cast 53cm Grayling on the fast running River Kaitum.
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: Snake flies or Mop flies – I cannot decide which.
Favourite film: Star Wars IV
Favourite food: Pomegranate glazed slow cooked shoulder of lamb.
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: Wife after returning from fishing trip with husband to neighbour: "I did everything all wrong again today -- I talked too much and too loud. I used the wrong bait. I reeled in too soon and I caught more than he did."
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2014
It is fair to say that Bob probably knows the Berkshire chalkstreams as well as anyone alive that being his ‘patch’ as it were for more than 30 years whilst working as a Fisheries Officer with the Environment Agency. Bob is truly a walking encyclopaedia when it comes to the any questions on our native fish species.
He is a passionate fishermen; you will find him out in all weathers and he is always exploring new places to fish. Bob has something of a reputation of a heron, spotting fish nobody else has seen, so prepare to catch fish in places you wouldn’t think possible. Every year he travels back to his native Austria returning with photos of the gorgeous rivers and some truly unusual fish.
Earliest fishing memory: Catching one of the whitefish species – exact species unknown – from the Millstattersee in Austria aged 6. First trout in Wales on a worm after many attempts aged 11. First trout on a fly, a size 12 Mallard & Claret from Weirwood Reservoir aged 14. This was followed by 3 more on a black dry fly during a fall of hawthorn flies.
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2015
Steve has been fishing since the age of five and started with his grandfather on the beaches of the Solent catching plaice. Since then his passion for fishing has spread over many disciplines pursuing carp, barbel, grayling, trout, salmon and bass.
However his true love is fishing on small chalkstreams for wild brown trout with a short 3wt rod and a dry fly. Steve is also a part time river keeper for the Portsmouth Services Fly Fishing Association and is the Chairman of the Hampshire river keepers association.
Earliest fishing memory: Catching my first grayling at the age of 6
Dream fishing destination: Maldives for bonefish
Dry fly or nymph: Dry Fly
Most memorable fishing day: Salmon fishing on the Isle of Harris with my son as the ghillie
Most memorable catch: 16lb pike on the Fly
Item of fishing tackle to send to room 101: A "Fly" called the Blob, but it's not fishing.
Favourite film: Saving Private Ryan
Fishing hero: My Granddad
Favourite food: Indian or Thai
Favourite fishing book: Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2017
Ian was brought up and has lived much of his life on the south coast of England. He qualified as a chartered accountant in London and worked for many years in business. More latterly he had his own financial consultancy until the lure of moving water prompted early retirement from all that.
He has been fishing most of his life and in the last 15 years has concentrated almost exclusively on fly fishing. He is passionate about fly fishing and also enjoys passing on new skills and techniques to clients. He is equally at home fishing for trout and grayling on the southern chalkstreams or fly fishing for bass at the western end of the Solent close to his home. When Ian is not fishing you will find him sailing – so he obviously has a thing about water!
Earliest fishing memory: Catching roach on the Norfolk Broads on a family holiday, age 5.
Dream fishing destination: Hmmm – any pristine bonefish flat or New Zealand??
Dry fly or nymph: Dry if practical.
Most memorable fishing day: Nearly every fishing day is a memorable in some way but the one when I caught a 7lb bonefish was special.
Item of fishing tackle to send to Room 101: Braided loops
Favourite Film: Master and Commander
Favourite food: Fisherman’s Pie!
Fishing hero: Not really a hero but it all started with Mr. Crabtree for me – so Bernard Venables
Favourite fishing book: The Longest Silence – Thomas McGuane
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: Fishing is far too important for jokes but if you insist: Two parrots sitting on a perch. One says to the other: ‘Can you smell fish?’
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2018
Steve, or Fishy, as he is known amongst his closest friends, has been fishing of some description since badgering his father and uncle to take him with them coarse fishing on the Romsey Barge Canal - from that moment Steve says he was hooked.
Born and raised in Romsey he was surrounded by the Hampshire chalkstreams rivers so it was almost inevitable that he would become a passionate trout and grayling angler travelling extensively throughout the United Kingdom and around the world in the pursuit of wild trout. He was of the earliest members of the Wild Trout Trust since joining them at the CLA Game Fair held at Broadlands House in 2002 and Steve remains an avid supporter.
He really enjoys passing the knowledge and skills that he has learnt to new fly fishers and witnessing the sheer enjoyment on their faces when it all comes together.
Earliest fishing memory: Catching jack pike in Romsey Barge Canal
Dream fishing destination: Done New Zealand twice so it must be Montana or Iceland.
Dry or Nymph: Dry all day!
Most memorable fishing day: Trophy wild brown trout on the South Island New Zealand
Item of fishing tackle to send in Room 101: Knotted Mesh landing nets
Favourite Film: Lord of the Rings
Favourite Food: Venison Steak
Fishing Hero: Oliver Kite and recalling watching Kites Country when I was a small boy.
Favourite fishing Book: The Pursuit of Wild Trout by Mike Weaver
Best corny fishing Joke: What kind of music should you listen to while fishing? Something catchy.
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2021
Peter Cockwill has a lifetime of fishing to call on, starting from his earliest forays as a child in his native Cornwall. He parlayed his hobby into a profession managing a syndicate stillwater for 34 years and owning a fly shop in Surrey for 31 years. His Albury store was a Mecca for fly fishers which a huge selection of fly tying materials and famous for initiating UK distribution of Loomis rods, Teeny Fly Lines, Abel Reels and Temple Fork fly rods.
Peter is a prolific contributor to fishing magazines and author of seven fishing books. He us one on the UK’s best known stillwater anglers with many specimen catches, a solid competition record plus his monthly column in Trout & salmon.
An instructor since 1981 Peter has hosted trips for 35 years, principally to Alaska and Argentina, but also many other locations. He produced one of the first fly fishing videos in 1986, is a well-known club speaker, and has many times been on TV and radio. But more than all this he just loves to fly fish - especially for grayling.
Earliest memory: Catching dace in Bude canal with my father, who was a ghillie on the Torridge
Dream Destination: Remote tented camp on a steelhead river
Dry or nymph: Either, so long as it's visual.
Most memorable day: August 2008 when I had the fully authenticated, Alaska State Record grayling - 5lb 1oz.
Item of fishing tackle to send to room 101: Landing nets with collapsible frame
Favourite Film: Dances with Wolves
Favourite Food: Cornish Pastie (proper job).
Fishing Hero: Charles Jardine who is so multi-talented - and a genuinely nice man.
Favourite Book: Anything by John Goddard or Taff Price
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: Pictures of anglers with hat and glasses and a dubious weight for the fish.
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2021
Lindsay’s first fish was a ruffe caught, aged four, with his father on the Isis in the Oxford University Parks, his hometown. Progressing to the banks of the local waters as a teenager, interest in fishing stopped and started as other interests intervened including representing Great Britain in white water slalom.
Moving to East Anglia Lindsay took up beach fishing as well as coarse fishing on The Broads then moved to Poole where he continued on saltwater, buying his first fly rod forty-five years ago.
Having retired from the University of Bournemouth after some twenty years of teaching film making, photography and animation Lindsay became a Level 2 angling coach and qualified as a GAIA fly casting instructor. He has his own boat, extensively fly fishing for bass in the local coastal waters around Poole mixed with chalkstream fishing on the Salisbury & District Angling Club waters.
Having spent most of his working life teaching, Lindsay sees guiding and instructing as a way of sharing his knowledge whilst still expanding his own knowledge.
Earliest memory: Catching a ruffe with a broom handle fishing rod from the Mesopotamia in Oxford aged 4 with my father
Dream Destination: Bahamas
Dry or nymph: Dry
Most memorable day; 45lb conger eel on 8lb class boat rod
Item of fishing tackle to send to room 101: Tippet that stays curled
Favourite Film: Lawrence of Arabia
Favourite Food: Pizza
Fishing Hero: My Father
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2021
Richard took up fly fishing in his late teens. His girlfriend’s father, a “boffin” scientist was feared by most of her contemporaries. Richard found out her father and brother were keen fly fishers; what better way to gain acceptance from your future father-in-law than to take up his sport? Yes, they did get married 4 years later and having lived in a fishing family all her life his wife was very accepting of Richard’s numerous days out on the river.
Richard, a qualified fly-fishing instructor gets as much pleasure from helping a beginner bank his first trout as he does from fishing for them himself. His fishing goal is to get more young people away from their computers into the great outdoors and cast to that elusive trout.
Earliest Fishing Memory: A day on the Wye with my father-in-law salmon fishing
Dream fishing Destination: Any of the great salmon rivers in Norway
Dry fly or nymph: My out and out preference must be dry but will fish a nymph as the conditions dictate.
Most memorable fishing day: Catching my first sea trout (7lb+), on the fly, in the dead of night on the River Dyfi – and almost losing it as I “walked it” up the gravel beach!
Item of fishing tackle to send to room 101: If legal, it doesn’t exist for me. It will be the perfect piece at some time.
Favourite film: Too difficult to decide, either Cabaret or West Side Story (the original)
Favourite food: Anything with lots of garlic
Fishing Hero: The late Peter Roberts, a Fishing Breaks Guide
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: What do you get if you cross a cod, a bird’s leg, and a hand? Bird’s thigh, fish fingers!
A Fishing Breaks guide since 2021
Andy Parker has been fishing ever since he was old enough to ride a bike down to the Bow Brook and River Loddon just outside Basingstoke on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.
Andy often terms himself a ‘Jack of all Trades and Master of Some’ due to his enjoyment of all types of fly fishing. Being a member of several angling clubs, allows Andy to embrace his passion for river fishing from wild Exmoor brown trout to the elusive Welsh sea trout.
Taking the opportunity for early retirement this year has now given Andy the chance to take to guiding and instructing full-time, or as full-time as his passion for going fishing allows!
Earliest fishing memory: Catching chub, free lining bread on the River Loddon.
Dream fishing destination: New Zealand.
Dry fly or nymph: Dry fly.
Most memorable fishing day: Catching tarpon on the fly in Cuba.
Item of fishing tackle to send to room 101: Knot tying tools.
Favourite fishing book: Oliver Kite: Nymph fishing in Practice.
Favourite film: Hunt for Red October.
Favourite food: Rib-eye Steak.
Fishing hero: A neighbour from my childhood fishing, aptly named “Rod”.
Best fishing related joke you have ever heard: Little Girl: "Mummy, do all fairy stories start with 'Once Upon a Time'?". Mum: "Not all, your father's start with 'You should have seen the size of the fish...’