History of the Fly Dressers’ Guild in Hampshire

The Fly Dressers Guild is over a half-century old and today, it counts a membership of over 1200 around the world. In 1967, the Fly Dressers Guild was but a distant aspiration—a twinkle in the eye—of the founding Members of Wessex Branch. This spurred a group of Hampshire Fly Dressers led by Don Haynes to meet on a regular basis at the Anglers Inn, at Bishopstoke in Hampshire. With over 50 years of continuous heritage, the Wessex Branch remains at the heart of the Guild that has grown out of our humble beginnings.

Club events throughout the year

At our regular Tuesday meetings, we generally tie two, sometimes three, patterns chosen by the Instructor member leading that evening’s tying. These make good ‘taster’ evenings for those starting out in fly tying, as all materials are provided. All you need to have are your own tools and threads—if you don’t have these, let us know and we can always make some available for you to borrow for the evening.

If you’re a newcomer, we help you find your way through the basics and will soon have you joining in the normal evening, tying real flies to catch fish with. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, come along and join us as we share our experience (or lack of it!) with each other.

In addition to the 30-plus tying evenings, we have a number of Guest Evenings (usually on the second Tuesday of each month). This year we are planning to invite around eight guest speakers—often well-known individuals in the fly dressing or fly fishing community. Each speaker brings their perspective on new developments, techniques, or other tidbits that make the craft of fly dressing so interesting.

We also have a couple of social evenings—with a bit of food, a bit of reflection, and some planning for the next sessions. Check out the list of our activities here.

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