Exclusive Interview With Jim Curry - AAPGAI Master Instructor and UK & Ireland Guideline Representative

Jim Curry is a renowned AAPGAI master instructor and was a founding partner of Halstead and Bolton Sporting agency. He runs the Yorkshire Fly Fishing School in northern England, offering tuition on the stunning rivers and lakes of Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. http://www.jimcurry.co.uk/tuition.html

As a trout and salmon instructor with 20 years’ experience, a senior assessor of AAPGAI instructors, a writer and rod tester for magazines including Trout and Salmon and having lead countless international trips to destinations across the globe, Jim is widely regarded as one of thebest and most knowledgeable teachers of fly fishing and fly casting in the UK. We have been lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with the fishing legend, asking about everything from his latest products to his earliest fishing memories!

Here’s what happened when Jim encountered all of our questions.

Name: Jim Curry

Age: 44

Location:  Ilkley West Yorkshire

Job Description: UK and Ireland Guideline Representative

Likes: Swinging flies for salmon

Dislikes: Bad etiquette on the riverbank - it drives me nuts!

Describe a typical day for you. Every day is different, but always fishing related. It’s been this way since I started in the industry as a ghillie when I was seventeen years old. There are always emails and calls to make to customers, and I’m still teaching, which I love after all these years. Evenings are spent either catching a brownie on the Wharfe or just relaxing at home with my daughter and listening to music. I love my music, but I think I’m the only one!

What age did you start fishing? I started with the fly at around age nine on the Findhorn. Before that, I was dangling worms for little brownies in a stream on the farm I grew up on.

What is your first fishing memory? Catching a trout on a piece of sweetcorn on a family holiday in Cornwall! My mum still has the picture in her house. I thought it was enormous at the time, but it only looks about a pound on the picture these days.

What do you love most about the sport? The people I’ve met, the places I’ve travelled to and the memories I’ve got – and all because of our amazing sport!

Describe your casting style. Relaxed and chilled out. I try to let the rod do the work.

What is your most memorable fishing experience? On my Dad’s 70th birthday in Norway, I watched him hook and land the most perfect bright silver 26lb salmon on the first cast of the first day. He went on to catch way more than me, as usual!

What piece of kit could you not live without? My polaroid glasses! I feel lost if I forget them on a day’s fishing.

What do you still want to tick off your fishing bucket list? The chance of taking a big salmon on a hitch or a dry. Just the thought of a big sea monster rolling on my fly gives me goosebumps!

Any funny fishing tales you would like to share? I’ve seen so many on my adventures around the world. In fact, I’m writing a book with many of them in, if I ever finish it (which is unlikely with the speed I type)!

What would your perfect day consist of? Spending time on a beautiful river, just dropping off and clearing after a lift of water and a good chance of a fish. But crucially, I would be fishing with a close friend. I much prefer fishing in good company than fishing alone these days.

What are you most proud of/greatest achievement? Becoming a father to my gorgeous little girl.

Who or what inspires you? So many people have and still do. I’ve been fortunate to work with many of them these days. Overall I’d say my Dad - not a long caster but a very canny fisher who always gets a fish when the conditions are super tough.

How did you get a career started in the fishing industry? I started as a Ghillie in Scotland. After that, I followed my passion for the sport and I ignored people who said I’d never make a living from fly fishing. I stuck at it, because I’m stubborn like that!

Any advice for fellow anglers that would like a career in the fishing world? Follow your passion always. If you have a passion for anything in life you are very lucky; many people never find what their passion is. Never give in, work hard at your casting and love your fishing. Never think you know it all - nobody does or ever should.

What is the big thing for your brand this year? There are lots of cool products this year. If I had to choose one I would say the Guideline LXi salmon rods, both four and six piece. I just love these rods so much. The 13ft 9in 9/10 is a perfect fit for me and my fishing. Smooth, crisp and great with a fish on.

Can you give us any advice or useful tips? Get your casting up to speed and go to an AAPGAI instructor. You will enjoy this wonderful sport so much more when you understand casting and you’ll catch more fish, especially when conditions are tough. Keep your eyes open on the river and appreciate what a wonderful place it is. The more aware you are of life on the river bank, the more you’ll get out of this amazing sport.

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