Author Archives: tobyyoung


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Wylye – 26 October 2013

Wylye 2013 003 (1024x768) Wylye 2013 007 (1024x768) Wylye 2013 020 (1024x768) Wylye 2013 019 (1024x768) Wylye 2013 017 Wylye 2013 028 Wylye 2013 016Much water has passed under a lot of bridges since I ended my uniformed service, both army then police, and I had forgotten how much I missed the banter that only members of a uniformed, disciplined service can share.

When I was asked by Roger Sharp, as a professional angling coach, if I would give a day of my time to join a group of ex servicemen fishing the river Wylye, I nearly took his arm off!

However it was my first experience of this sort of day so I arrived at the venue with some trepidation, not knowing what was expected of me by Roger or how the ex service men would react to a stranger, especially one who was “supposed to know it all”. I needn’t have worried on either count, Roger gave me my head and suggested I played it by ear and I soon felt like the lads and I had all served together, although the age difference would suggest otherwise.

The welcome from the members of The Wilton Fly Fishing Club who also gave up their Saturday was equally warm and soon we became just another group of anglers bonded by our common enthusiasm for the sport. And what sport!

The river Wylye which The Wilton Fly Fishing Club had shared with us for the day was all that I had hoped for being both picturesque and full of hard fighting grayling and I was very privileged to be able to share, with some of the lads, their first fish of that species. The members all worked tirelessly all day to ensure that their guests got the full benefit from their wonderful river by pointing out the best stretches and tactics. This ensured that I had a pretty easy day as a coach and was able to take full advantage of the company of a group of great people.

Martin Porter

MKB – 13th May – Trip Report

We have two reports! First from Roger Sharp (FishabilityUK) and Second from Alwyn Royans (Angling Chance Fishing Coaching)

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Roger: “Being as it was a Weekday event I was surprised and very pleased to have eleven anglers turning up for MBKs coloured ponds, near Rake.

I always try to get to the locations in plenty of time to get the tea and breakfast rolls ready for arrival of the budding anglers and every time I’m beaten by Dog and his passengers. This time he’s even set up and fishing when I get there. Bless him. Continue reading

Thorpe Park Pike 27/04/2013 – Trip Report

A Rocky report:

“As always I arrive at the Thorpe Park venue with an air of anticipation, who knows what lies in these waters and surely one of the veterans will land one of the elusive seen but never caught carp!

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08:30, Roger has filled the hot water urns to keep the all important brews flowing all day, and the bacon is on. The veterans start to turn up, and after a mighty bacon butty and a brew, the Anglers familiar with the venue start to choose their swims and get their lines wet. Newcomers Chris and Martha who were soon kitted out and given some guidance were not far behind, some fishing for the elusive carp, others dead baiting and lure fishing for pike.

The weather looked promising, but as always it was a mixed bag, of warm sunshine, cold winds and yes hailstones, but nothing dampens the spirits of these veterans! Continue reading

1st of December at MBK Leisure’s Coloured Ponds

1st December and myself and Dave Milton are out working with Fishability UK, a charity for ex forces personel. We are out teaching some of them to fish and having a bit of a giggle.

We were meant to be at Carthegena Lock but the weather had other ideas and it was cancelled on the Friday morning. MBK Leisure in Hampshire were kind enough to offer their venue at this extremely short notice for the guys to go and fish.

A 2 hour trot around the M25 and down the A3 and we found the venue situated in lovely peaceful countryside. Turning in we followed the pathway down to the far lake and found a group of guys far far too eager to get going who had turned up over an hour early.

Introductions were done with organiser Roger Sharp and the 13 guys attending and the typical banter of forces personel was running rife and giving everyone a good laugh. Continue reading

Bewl Water 17-11-12

The November flyfishing trip for Fishability UK took us to Kent, and the largest lake in South East England, Bewl Water.

Bewl has had a steadily improving year after a near disastrous start – there was only 40% of the reservoir full at springtime, a legacy of two dry winters – but fishing picked up brilliantly after the heavens opened at the end of March, and it hasn’t really stopped raining since.

And they’re off, as boats leave the dock from 9am.

For a mid November day, we were blessed with superb weather, given that the BBC forecast was particularly gloomy. Light south westerlies, mostly cloud, the odd spot of rain, but critically mild at 13c, gave us great conditions for the time of year.


Continue reading

Test Valley

13th October 2012

Excellent day out for the lads at a very secluded lake location in the Test Valley at the weekend.

Six veterans fished on a day of sunshine and showers, with plenty of rainbows on show in crystal clear water, but the fish weren’t giving themselves up too easily.

9 fish caught on the day, best at 3lb 4oz to Sam Bridger, Black daddylonglegs. The choosiest fish responded to tiny imitations of some micro midge hatching off. Continue reading

A Secret Location in Surrey

Alan Tomkins. My day with Fishability UK

As a fishing instructor & guide I get many different fishing related requests, among these enquiries from potential anglers who have come here from abroad and want to catch and eat fish like tench, roach and dace and ask if they can bring a barbecue with them. In another instance I was asked to coach 6 or 7 Arabs who had never fished, but were on holiday in the UK and had just watched ‘Salmon fishing in the Yemen’ and wanted to have a go. More recently I was contacted by Roger Sharp asking if I would be interested in helping out on one of the days that his organisation, Fishability UK had organised.

To quote from their website, “the aim of FISHABILITY UK is to use fishing as a support mechanism for ex-forces personnel finding difficulty in rehabilitating back into mainstream activities. By finding some peace and solitude, and a focus for quiet contemplation, whilst making new friends, those seeking valuable space and time will then be able to regroup and move forward.”


Of course I was delighted to help out in such a worthwhile cause and a bright sunny morning in late September saw me heading for the meeting place, a very secret location in the “home counties”. I guess some people at this point will make the connection of “secret” and “military”, but that wasn’t the reason for the secrecy. With poaching and fish stealing by some of the east European immigrants recently arrived in the UK rife in many areas, some angling clubs are very sensitive about giving out information about their waters. Sad, but true. Continue reading


We now have two videos our website home page, and here they are…. Continue reading