Tom Bird was the Guest Speaker on 7th February 2019. Tom is a member of the England Squad and the Five Nations Team and is a Ranger and Fishery Guide at Draycote Water.

Tom’s passion is fishing the dry fly on still waters and he has gained considerable experience and respect for his demonstrable skill at this aspect of fly fishing and also based on the Dry Fly Fishing Master Classes he has given at Draycote.

The first half of Tom’s presentation included all aspects of dry fly tactics on still waters. This included recognition of various fish rises and movements, fly selection, fly treatment and presentation, casting strategies, fly line selection, leader and tippet selection, leader setups and information on the topography and fish movements in Draycote Water. This was an intense session packed with Tom’s considerable experience and detailed knowledge of the subject.

The second half was taken up with tying a number of the successful fly patterns used at Draycote and elsewhere. The first fly pattern was the fly developed by Paul Davison called the Midas fly. This was followed by the Big Red, Crippled Midge, Bob’s Bits and finally a Bob’s Bits variant.

This was an exceptional evening in which everyone learned something new about dry fly fishing and will no doubt encourage more to try this method in the coming season.