Tuition and Guiding.

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Since moving to the beautiful Galloway countryside I have found that many more of my clients are coming specifically for casting tuition and then perhaps having further days out actually fishing. I have changed my way of working now partly in response to my clients needs and partly beacause I have had a sneaking suspicion for some time that beginners and people here on holiday have different needs than those who are already proficient fishermen who need simply a "guide who knows the water" I have found that new techniques and casts such as double handed Spey casting are better learned in smaller chunks. So I now recommend 2 half days rather than one full day. This means that you have all of the advantages of being fresh to the lesson on the first day and don't get over tired, you then have all evening and overnight for the brain to process the new stuff and are then fresh again for a top up on the second day, this re-enforces what is learned on the first day and can often lead to more things being covered on the second.

Fishing on a spate river or hidden Scottish loch requires different approaches and casts than those you might use with short lines and tiny flies on a southern chalk stream. Much of the fishing is easily accessible but not of the comfy lodge and manicured lawns variety of many southern venues. I have chosen to work mainly on waters which I think are ideal both for safety and lovely surroundings for those fishermen who want to fish in Scotland and learn some new things but are a little wary of being "chucked in at the deep end" The great rivers Spey, Tay, Tweed etc are obvious destinations and ideal for those with lots of experience, money and happy to stand chest deep in big waters, but for those used to more gentle fishing, the rivers and lochs I use are chosen specifically to give confidence and a less scary introduction to salmon, seatrout and loch fishing. Not everyone wants commando fishing!

Guided fishing days out for Salmon, Trout and Sea trout.

Full day guided tuition on both still waters and rivers is still proving very popular with foreign visitors and U.K clients alike who already have some experience. I can supply all tackle required.

South West Scotland is often a sadly neglected area for fisherman visiting Scotland, as a holiday destination it has such a lot to offer, from wild untamed scenery to a myriad of outdoor pursuits.

Here in Galloway we are just a few miles from the sea with five good rivers running into the Solway. These rivers, as with most of our salmon rivers are reliant on spate water to allow the fish to enter the rivers and make their way up to spawning grounds. Damsel fly fishing will choose the river in the most suitable condition for your skill level, our aim being for you to learn to, or improve your Spey casting in the safest way with the best chances of catching fish, though it must be noted that although we can increase your skill levels we cannot influence the weather!

About the local rivers.

The River Urr

At 35 miles long offers pleasant fishing in lovely pastoral surroundings. The river is open until the end of November though these days November is no longer very productive. It is my favourite local wild brown trout river. Weather permitting it offers good sport from Mid April to end of June and if not too hot through to the end of July, as the salmon parr come into the main part of the river the trout become a little harder to find but can still offer some good fun.

Although as with most Scottish rivers the sea trout run is a shadow of it's former glory the Urr still provides sport from April onwards and they can be found even in the uppermost reaches. I have been exploring trout holding areas with some success. This is one of my rivers of choice for beginners and experienced fishermen alike. Permits are available from McCowans in Castle Douglas or Dalbeattie. Annual memberships can also be obtained from the secretary giving access to both river and Buittle loch for 2020.

Each year at the beginning of the season I spend some time walking the beats to spot where fish are holding out

The following pictures are some of the results. All fish were safely returned.

Urr Brownie

Brown Trout caught on the River Urr

Salmon in the River Urr

Salmon in the River Urr

Brownie caught on the Urr

Brown Trout caught on the River Urr

The River Tarf which is a tributary of the Bladnoch is also a favourite brown trout water with smaller but plenty of trout free rising to dry fly. There is also the possibility of a salmon.

The Cree

The Cree is mainly a grilse river and is heavily dependant on water levels. There are Sea trout available in the lower system around May time. I use mainly the NSAA stretch as it has access to both banks and a variety of different water flows. The river Minnoch runs into the Cree and is a stunningly beautiful stretch of water holding some good quality brown trout and decent salmon runs when the water is high enough.

The River Nith

The Nith runs through Dumfries and is a true spate river with some lovely stretches offering brown trout, sea trout, salmon and Grayling fishing. I have access to the lovely private stretch at Blackwood which is a brilliant teaching stretch as it gives access to both banks with clear gravel behind and good width for spey casting

Dalbeattie Loch

This is a lovely loch in spectacular scenery hidden in the hills above Dalbeattie, It has been closed for some years but the great news is that it will be back open in March 2020 when the new season starts.

Buittle Loch Rainbow

Buittle Loch Rainbow

A Happy Family with their catches

A Happy Family with their catches

A Happy Client

A Happy Client

Brown Trout caught on the Nith

Brown Trout caught on the Nith

First day out, first fish.

A typical day will start at around 10.00am either at our fishing venue or a convenient meeting place where we can then proceed to the water. If you require some instruction we will start with an in depth explanation about the lines and flies we use and how they work. I also run through various safety factors you should take into account.

Another happy couple on their first day out together.

I will then take a look at your casting technique if you have some experience already, or start you off from the beginning. This generally takes around an hour and a half if there is one of you, or longer if two of you, and is always done with just a tag of wool, for safety. When you feel ready we will start fishing for real with a fly.

First day fishing, first brown trout

A nice days work on the river for some absolute beginners.

Lunch can be either in a local pub, or you can bring a picnic whichever you prefer and is not included in the price.

In the afternoon we get down to some serious fishing, all along I will be on hand to make suggestions on how to tackle certain problems arising, either through adverse wind conditions or perhaps access to the water. I will suggest which flies would work and where fish might be caught, much of this day is about reading the water, learning about fish behaviour and what the natural flies would be doing at what time of day.

My aim throughout is to make the experience informative and above all fun.

The above photo's are all from guided days out with clients, some on rivers, some on small still waters.

The advantages of having a full days guided tuition with me are many.

Full Guided Day

7 Hours including Lunch Break.
One Person - £190.00.
Two People - £280.00.
Three People - £300.00.
(Maximum of 3 people in total)


Half Guided Day

3.5 Hours
One Person - £100.00.
Two People - £170.00.
Three People - £210.00.
(Maximum of 3 people in total)

For 4 or more people please call or email me for a quote.

Fishing permits are extra as the price varies depending on the water used and the time of year.

© 2005 - 2021 Damsel Fly Fishing unless otherwise stated.