Fly Fishing

Published on November 16th, 2015 | by tidecaster


Frequent Flyers – Simon Gawesworth

For this month’s frequent flyer article I had the great pleasure of interviewing Simon Gawesworth. Simon is the Marketing Manager and fly line designer at RIO Products. Simon comes from a fly fishing background and is well known and respected in the spey casting community. Simon is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on spey casting and he has wrote 3 books on the subject. He has also been a professional fly casting instructor for over 35 years. If you would like to learn a little more about Simon and the world of all things spey visit his site at

How long have you been fly-fishing?

I started when I was 8 years old. So that would be about 43 years now.

How did you get started in fly-fishing?

My father owned a fly fishing school in Kent England. He fly fished, and taught fly fishing, and like a lot of kids I wanted to do what my dad did. When I was 16 and old enough to leave school I started working at the fly fishing school with him. We were lucky as there was a small lake in our garden stocked with trout, that I could practice casting in and fish as much as I wanted to.

Who has influenced you or was your mentor in fly-fishing?

My father was obviously my main big influence, I also was influenced by tournament caster’s Howard Tonkin of England and Guido Vink from Belgium.

Do you tie your own flies? What is your favorite fly to tie? If you do not tie do you have a favorite fly?

I do tie my own flies and it used to be a passion of mine for a long time. When I worked for my dad I commercially tied flies for my his fishing school and shop during the fishing season. For many years I tied thousands of flies like any commercial tyer, but it kind of took the passion out of it for me. I still tie a few special flies that I think I need for some of my trips.

What is your favorite fish to target? Why?

I don’t have a particular favorite fish to target as long as I am fly fishing. I actually just enjoy the act of casting. Just being on the water is perfect for me. The fish are just an added bonus.

What is your favorite location to fish and why?

It varies upon the season, as I kind of love hitting the tropical flats during Jan/Feb or March, but if I had to pick a single location, I would be equally torn between the Dean in BC and the Spey in Scotland. The Dean for the scenery and the magnificent fish there, and the Spey for the scenery, the single malts and the heritage!

What fish and location is on your bucket list?

New Zealand is high on my bucket list for trout of course, I have never been to Alaska, I would also like to go to Cuba. The Seychelles for Grand Trevally, Mexico for Roosterfish. I also have a list of places that I would love to go back to, like Russia for Atlantic Salmon, Tierra del fuego for sea-run brown trout, British Columbia on the Dean River for Steelhead. It’s an extensive bucket list actually now that I think of it.

What is your biggest accomplishment in fly-fishing?

Without doubt it is that I have made fly fishing my work and income provider. I am very lucky to have a life in the sport I enjoy, and that the work takes me all around the world demonstrating, talking and fishing so many varied locations.

Have you fly fished from a Kayak or a Sup? If yes could you share your thoughts on them as a fly fishing platform?

I have not, but this is something very high on my bucket list. I have always thought that they are excellent platforms for fly fishing.

What advice would you give to those that are new to fly fishing or thinking of getting into fly-fishing?

People will get into fly fishing for their own reasons. I think that most anglers have an evolution in fly fishing. It seems that initially people want to just catch a fish, then they want the biggest fish, and then the most fish, and then the hardest fish. People naturally evolve so my advice is to just enjoy every aspect of fly fishing. Whether it’s the casting side which I love, or targeting tricky fish, or saltwater fishing but find that level you are happy with.

Why do you fly fish? What does it mean to you?

It’s all I do really. I also fly fish to get out away from things, forget work and to enjoy the challenge of casting. I fly fish because I enjoy being out in the natural world. It takes you places that you would not normally get to visit. I have a thousand reasons that I go fly fishing and most of them stem from the fact that it’s my release. This is my soul being pacified from the everyday working environment.

Why should people get into fly-fishing?

I think people will get into it for different reasons, some people start to get to the outdoors and into a natural environment. Fly fishing is a different path of angling which some people find is a little more difficult and I some people enjoy that challenge. I think it boils down to the internal you, you might be someone who enjoys learning a more complex skill. Fly fishing is a bit more technical oriented and difficult to get good at, so naturally people who enjoy the learning process may get more enjoyment out of fly fishing.

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