The river Annan, South Scotland, is where the popular and successful Salmon Schools are run by Anthony Steel, owner of Kirkwood and Mark Bowler, FlyFishing and FlyTying magazine editor. Each year, for 7 years now, someone at the school has caught a salmon! A place at the school is an ideal Christmas or Birthday present.
For 2013 there are four different Salmon Schools Advanced School, Starter School, Skills School, Ladies School and Ghillies Gathering.
Advanced School for those who already fish and want to improve and refresh skills, 6-10 Oct price £950. Starter School, for those who have never fished before 8-11 Sept price £950. Skills school for those who have done a little fly fishing before (possibly trout),
3-10 Nov price £950 for four days or £750 for three days. Ladies Only School, 10-13 Oct price £750, a popular and successful course. All the above prices include – food, accommodation, fishing, tuition and guidance, except alcohol.
For professionals – full or part time, there is a Ghillies Gathering a week of fishing the Annan at the end of November, along with some education and learning. River Annan Salmon schools receive excellent feedback. For early bookings discounts are available.
The ghillies gathering is mainly an opportunity for those involved in salmon fishing to relax and fish a bit on their own at the end of a hard season. Most rivers in Scotland have closed by November so the Annan is ideally suited to attract ghillies from the Spey, Tay, Dee etc but any professional is welcome. Everyone learns from everyone else which is important when you are at the expert level but Glyn Freeman AAPGAI is available on some days to give casting demos and brush up casting techniques if needed. There are relevant talks each evening.
Glyn is also the main casting instructor at the Salmon Schools. He has years of experience at teaching spey casting and its variations. However these are fishing schools not just casting schools. They are held at prime times of the year so that there’s always a good chance of catching.
The food is mostly from the farm at Kirkwood – beef and lamb. Obviously the aim is to put salmon on the menu for the last night! Mark and Anthony usually guide participants along the river while Glyn concentrates on casting instruction. Each evening there are talks, fly tying demos or Q&A sessions.
Sue MacNiven AAPGAI joins the team for the Ladies only School, and there are some ancillary events at this school such as a trip to a local smokehouse, and a demo of gutting, filleting etc salmon. As one participant put it: “what’s special about these schools is that they are NOT in a hotel or conference centre but in comfortable cottages with delicious home made cooking”. The feedback from participants over the years is very highly scored indeed. Ring Anthony Steel on 01576 510200 or check out the websites for further details.