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The Fly Dressers' Guild

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After five years of dedicated service that led the Flydressers’ Guild out of stormy waters and into a position where it is once again strong and well placed to promote Fly Tying for all, at the 2014 AGM Charles Jardine retired as our Chairman and Peter Gathercole was elected in his place.

Peter is a photographer and writer specialising in fly fishing and fly tying. He has written articles for magazines not only in the UK but also in Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and Australia. He has also written a number of books including three on fly tying.

Peter Gathercole - Chairman

Having been writing about and photographing fly fishing subjects for over thirty years I have been fortunate enough to have visited many wonderful locations and fished with some great anglers. I actually learned to tie flies before I could cast one!  A few months later saw me on the banks of my local Eyebrook Reservoir where I learned to fly fish under the tutelage of a physics teacher from my Grammar School and a couple of old Scotsmen who had retired from the local steelworks. Having always been interested in Natural History I soon became fascinated by the link between entomology and fly fishing to the extent that, in addition to the angling photography, a large part of my income came from taking photos for Oxford Scientific Films. Although, like most fly fishers, given the choice I prefer to fish certain water-types, the fact that I illustrate so many articles means that I work in a wide range of locations. This has given me a well-rounded take on all things to do with fly fishing so I can quickly adapt from casting a 12-weight for sailfish to a four-weight toothpick for trout. What's more important though is that I very much enjoy it all.

Charles Jardine - Vice Chairman

I started fishing aged three (perch – is everyone’s first fish a perch?) and caught my first trout on the fly aged six, on the lesser Stour. This water and my father fuelled a passion for fly fishing, but also for conservation and art. My life then meandered through school years, art college, a rock band, journalism and artwork, the family restaurant and an enduring love of cooking and good honest food, more writing, illustrations, painting and teaching …
Plus a lot of fishing along the way, on rivers and then increasingly stillwaters, for tench, pike and roach but mostly for trout, then saltwater, in the UK, the US and anywhere else I could. Throw in fly fishing, casting and fly tying demonstrations throughout the world and you quickly get to a veritable Cornucopia of piscatorial experiences, but hopefully still much more to come!
The new Millennium saw me venture into angling politics, as Angling Director for the Countryside Alliance. I remain associated with them through their Countryside Alliance Foundation, as Angling Adviser on taking fishing into schools to teach school children about angling and its worth. I am very proud to be part of the sports’ fabric and I am deeply committed to its future, hence my determination to see the Guild thrive and prosper as never before.

Chris Reeves - General Secretary

I have been a keen angler all my life and a fly fisherman for over 25 years. As a novice tier I was introduced to The Fly Dressers’ Guild through the London branch auctions and they soon became a regular event in my diary as I am an obsessive collector of hooks and materials.

Over the years as my experience grew I became a show tier and began doing talks to FDG branches. This brought me into contact with many of our members and made me realise what a good thing the FDG branch network was. I became chairman of the Surrey Branch some 6 years ago which subsequently led to my involvement with the committee.

I continue to tie on an almost daily basis if not out fishing and instruct two different groups during the winter.

Stephen Millington - Treasurer

Malcolm Price - Member Without Portfolio

Richard Ellis - Guild Fly Tying Awards and Fly Tying Competition Secretary

I started fly fishing and fly tying as a teenager, fishing on the lakes and rivers around Aberystwyth and reading the local fishing column written by Moc Morgan. After an absence due to the pressure of university, work and family life, I returned to fly fishing and tying in 2004.
I am a keen trout and grayling angler and love winter nymphing. I've completed my Silver FDG fly tying badge and am working (slowly) towards my Gold.
I am currently treasurer of the Thames Valley Branch of the FDG. I have been a Member without Portfolio on the Executive Committee of the main Guild, responsible for organising the Annual Raffle for the last couple of years and have recently taken over as Manager of the Guild Award Scheme.   
Lee Hooper - Fishing Competitions Secretary

I started fly fishing with my Dad and two uncles at about the age of seven, a small stillwater called Algars Farm in my native Wiltshire. I loved grubbing about in the stream and lake, possibly the fuel for a fly tying future, who knows? I recall that when I started showing an interest in fishing, my dad would hook fish and let me play them in. I loved it! Then a great day came, my dad came home with my first fly rod, a Shakespeare 8ft 6#. I was truly hooked!
I remember being fascinated by my fathers fly tying kit and it wasn't long before I was itching to have a go; although encouraged, I think I just messed everything up. I was about 12 when I caught my first fish on my own fly (a blood worm type thing), it felt fantastic.
Since those times, I have been a keen member of The Fly Dressers' Guild and am currently treasurer of the Wilts Chalk Stream Branch. I am a passionate angler and fly dresser who really enjoys helping others to both fish or tie flies. In fly dressing terms I like tying anything from boobies to bumbles, tiny dries to tube flies, but confess to having a soft spot for Irish lough flies.
I am always travelling the country with my fly fishing partner, Julie, fishing small waters & rivers, but also have come to love fishing reservoirs.

David Richards - Membership Secretary

Dave took over the role of Membership Secretary early in 2017 from Malcolm Price.  A full profile will appear shortly but if in the meantime you have any queries about your membership (or - if not already a member, you would like to join) then please contact Dave at

Caroline Emmet - Member without Portfolio

 I started fly fishing and fly tying some fourteen years ago. We were living in Chile then and went on long road trips in the south of Chile and Argentina. My first flies were therefore a Woolly Bugger and a Prince Nymph. I can’t remember catching fish on them, but I was definitely hooked (on fly tying and fly fishing, not the flies).
Back in the UK, when my husband (Chris Reeves) started tying at fly shows, I kept squeezing an extra chair next to him so I could set up my own vice and tie some of the flies I was seeing around me – “I can do that! Give us a hook! And some xyz …”. Eventually, a few show organisers took pity on Chris and his neighbours and gave me a chair and name plate in my own right, which still fills me with awe and gratitude. 
The national Guild and my local branch have therefore become very important to me, as a means of learning or reaffirming my knowledge base of techniques, materials, patterns and their use, which I can then discuss with visitors and other fly dressers at shows and events.

Lawrence - Merchandising Manager

Paul has recently taken over the role of Merchandising Manager and is currently in the process of reviewing and reorganising all ranges.  A brief personal profile will be published soon.

Michael Doran - Webmaster and Web Site Content Manager

I have been an angler for almost six decades, I have been a fly fisher for forty of those, and I have had an avid interest in fly dressing for ten years.  I became an active member of the Guild in 2013 and participate regularly in the meetings, fly tying sessions and competitions of my local branch - North Kent.

As Webmaster and Content Manager I can see many opportunities for using the FDG web site to help the National Guild in what surely must be one of its primary aims - to act as a central hub to promote the activities of its Branches around the country (which are of course the very heart of the membership in practice) as well as linking with the Trade and with professional and amateur fly fishers everywhere.

One of my main goals in my role on the Committee of the Fly Dressers' Guild is to encourage Branch Secretaries to feed me with information on their Branch activities and any matters of interest - both to promote their own events and to share their experiences with Guild members throughout the country and the world.

Last modified on 16 April, 2017