Fishing Breaks, based in the world-famous Test Valley, Hampshire, is going to be offering special fishing days for women in 2024. These will be exciting and rewarding experiences and Fishing Breaks is believed to be the only company in the country to offer them, organised and led by one of the most experienced fly fishers and guides in England, Gilly Bate. Gilly believes firmly that fly fishing more than just fishing, but about the whole experience in the outdoors. She is committed to helping all her pupils have a memorable experience that will endure for a lifetime.
More and more women are turning to fishing, due to the pandemic which encouraged people to get into the outdoors, as well as the popular series on BBC TV Mortimer & Whitehouse Go Fishing.
Says Simon Cooper, owner, and founder of Fishing Breaks; ‘We’ve found that there are a number of myths surrounding women’s fishing that are sometimes a barrier to participation. 1) That it requires strength and male physique. No upper body strength is required, just a willingness to embrace something new in the outdoors in all weathers, some walking and being on your feet all day. Women, families, children, and young people can all participate. 2) it’s very expensive. You can spend as much or as little as you want to have the same enjoyment. Regular fly fishing is no more expensive than a home gym or golf membership. 3) Takes up time. Fly fishing can take up to a day, and most fishing forays are a single day out, but not requiring an overnight stay, unless of course you want to make a break of it. 4) Locations are a long drive away. There will always be somewhere affordable to fish within at most a 30-mile radius, unless you live in the centre of a large city. 5) It’s difficult to learn. Most people will be proficient after just a single day with an instructor. Then like every sport, if you keep it up, you’ll quickly improve. Fly fishing is also incredibly rewarding, being a challenge, but also a chance to relax in the outdoors. Plus, you can eat what you catch!
Gilly Bate has developed an incredible experience for women, proving that fly fishing isn’t just for men and boys. She’s running two different events to cover all abilities. The Foundation Course is for novices or anyone returning after a break and needing to brush up their skills. This will be held at Nether Wallop Mill, the home of Fishing Breaks, and where there’s a fully equipped fishing lodge with WC. This practical one-day confidence-building course will include tackling up, casting, flies and fly selection, knots, hooking and landing a fish and more. And there’s the One Day Chalkstream Course on the River Test – a Mecca for fly fishing. This course is for anyone with some experience and will ensure you develop the skills to outwit the native brown trout! The course will include tackling up for rivers, stalking and river tactics, which flies to use and when, entomology (study of insects) and more. Just as with the beginner’s course, Bullington Manor has a fully equipped Fishing cabin.
Says Gilly; ‘Fly fishing is for everyone and that very much includes women, who can then pass the joy of the sport onto their friends and family and make it a lifelong passion.’
For full details, dates, prices etc, visit the Fishing Breaks website. Fishing Breaks offers many different experiences for everyone, including Fishing for a Day, a Day on the River with a guide, Fishing tuition, a family day or Adult and Child Day, Kids fishing camps and Fly Fishing School. To find out more about the unique possibilities presented by Fishing Breaks visit