Bristol Water fishing tuition

Bristol Water Fisheries would like to encourage everyone to have a go at fly fishing.

About our tuition

This fantastic hobby will get you outdoors where you can meet like-minded people and hopefully succeed in catching some healthy, fresh trout to eat.

Fly fishing has to be one of the most rewarding ways to catch fish. Whether you become obsessed with perfecting your casting technique or tying your own killer fly patterns, there is more to learn about fly fishing than many people realise.

As fly fishing is such a multifaceted past-time we strongly recommend that everyone starting out seeks qualified, expert advice before purchasing equipment and setting off for the lakes. To help you get the best start in your new pursuit, Bristol Water Fisheries organises tuition by fully qualified instructors throughout the year.

Meet our instructors

John Horsey

John is one of our permanent guides who spends countless hours each year on our lakes. Currently ranked third in the world and with 29 years of guiding experience with both beginner and experienced anglers, John is firmly established as a leader in international fly fishing. A day with John will help you improve your game and ultimately get more enjoyment from the wonderful sport of fly fishing.

Martin Cottis

Martin Cottis has been fly fishing the Bristol lakes since 1976 and after retiring as a schoolteacher in 1999, he has been a fly casting instructor and a fly fishing guide. As Bristol Water’s only fully qualified instructor, Martin went about organising the beginners’ day programme until it reached the format that it is now in.

Martin is well-known throughout the country for his dry fly fishing techniques and is regularly asked to deliver talks and demonstrations to clubs. Martin is sponsored by the Orvis Tackle Company and so all those attending the beginners’ courses or taking a day on the lake will be provided with quality Orvis tackle.

For beginners we offer a five-hour course with Martin Cottis, a local guide and instructor with more than 25 years’ experience on our lakes. These lessons will provide casting and fishing tuition, giving a solid platform from which you can progress. All tackle, permits and licences are supplied and we aim to have everyone casting with a fly to an acceptable standard before taking them for a short fishing from bank and boat.

The cost for the five-hour lesson is £80 per adult and £30 for juniors (under 18 years old) with the maximum number of pupils capped at six.

After a lesson with Martin each participant is entitled to two complimentary day bank fishing permits at our waters.


Booking details

Dates for tuition can be found on our online booking page.

All tuition must be booked in advance as availability cannot be guaranteed.

For more advice or to reserve a space, please call the Fisheries Booking Desk on 01275 332339 or email us at