Meetings generally take place at St Lawrence Church Hall 

Browns Lane, Effingham, Leatherhead KT24 5NL

on the Second Monday of each month during Autumn, Spring & Winter 
The doors will open at 7.30 pm for an 8.00 pm start.

2022 Talks

9th May

Ian Mackenzie, has again offered to give us another talk; this time demonstrating “Mayflies and More”. Yippee, he’s great value as an educator and chatting talker.

This will be the last of our Spring talks. So until we re turn in the Autumn, this is your last chance to meet with everyone. Fingers crossed we finish the Spring sessions with an excellent turn out.

All are welcome, even if it would be your first time. IF So please contact a committee member beforehand.

11th April

We plan to welcome Peter Waterhouse from Scottie Products, (I’ve bought from him twice before, and his Customer Service is excellent along with everything I’ve bought) [ed]. So we should be in for a grand evening.

All are welcome, even if it would be your first time. IF So please contact a committee member beforehand.

14th March

By all accounts Ben Bangham’s talk was very well received and the subject matter was considered to be “fascinating”. About 20 people met and enjoyed the evening, with the raffle prizes as usual drawn and presented at the end. Refreshments including soft drinks and sweets were available and consumed by some. Old faces were able to catch up, as this was the first actual meeting to happen in person as it were. The previous Zoom sessions went well, but it’s always nice to see friends and make friends in person.

14th February

We gave a warm welcome to Stuart Hardy who gave a very interesting a talk on the Kelson Collection and the story surrounding its discovery, demise…and ultimate repatriation. For those of you who’ve not come across Stuart before, he’s a passionate conservator of the legacy of Kelson, one of the first widely published classic salmon tiers (‘The Salmon Fly: How to dress it and how to use it’, published in 1895). Stuart was responsible for identifying the components of Kelson’s personal fly tying equipment and materials and bringing them together to preserve them for posterity.

Stuart Hardy

The talk took place on Zoom, given quite a few of us had gone to the BFFI and we didn’t want to be spreading COVID ….

We had a grand turn out. For those that missed it or would like to see the recording, please use the menu to the BLOG page and upon entering the password you should be able to navigate to the Surrey Directory / Folder and then watch the video. Please remember this is for Surrey & Wet Vally Branch Members only.

10th January


Replaced with Zoom meeting, due to COVID. Two new Branch Officers elected, minutes of last meeting adopted, all items on agenda agreed. Chair & Secretary thanked.

2021 Talks

13th December

Unfortunately, this meeting was cancelled due to the strong surge of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus circulating around the UK. The ‘Committee’ decided to cancel the event rather than risk holding a meeting where limited members could attend.

8th November

Alan Middleton Winging Ways

Alan Middleton (APGAI), a long-time member of the FDG and former Chairman, is returning to the Surrey Branch for this month’s presentation.

He will be demonstrating different winging patterns. As a professional fly-tier, he regularly ties approximately 5000 flies in the winter to stock up a well-known fishing company. The expectation is that he knows several methods to add wings to a fly. Last time Alan visited us (October 2019), he was demonstrating what tools not to use.

Presumably he will be using his fingers to demonstrate how to add wings to hooks!

11th October

Ian Mckenzie on still-water flies

For most of you, Ian Mckenzie needs little introduction. He is a long standing member of The Fly Dressers’ Guild and the Surrey Branch. He worked for 18 years as technical manager at Fulling Mill and there is very little he doesn’t know about practical fly design. He is able to tie a wide range of patterns and, following last month’s meeting when Lindsay Simpson focused on river flies, at our October meeting Ian will be demonstrating a number of successful dry fly patterns for still waters large and small. 

13th September

Favourite Flies for Rivers with Lindsay Simpson

Lindsay is ex- army and a keen competition angler. Since retiring he has started a popular you tube channel with video instruction on flies for still waters and rivers. He will be discussing and tying some of his favourite river flies.

Lindsay last visited us in May 2019, when he demonstrated some stillwater patterns.

10th MAY

Gordon van der Spuy – The Feather Mechanic

The last meeting of the Spring season was a talk by Gordon van der Spuy on his approach to designing and tying fly patterns. The tenet ‘Form follows Function’ is Gordon’s approach to designing fly patterns. Basically, you need to ask yourself what the fly is designed to do and how must it be presented.

Gordon showed his dressing of a skinny damsel in the various stages, including a detailed description of how materials are tied in and why. One innovative aspect that this author has not seen before, is the marking on the thread wraps of where the stages of the body is tied in, e.g. where the thorax is added on a nymph.

Gordon is particularly fond of adding CdC (Cul de Canard) to his patterns to give added mobility to his flies.

Gordon’s book (The Feather Mechanic – 2020 Tandym Print) describes Gordon’s philosophy and has several well known and new patterns.

Gordon writes in an easy style with stories of his fishing prior to the fly patterns. Drawings showing the aspects of the tying procedure give a clear view of what is to be tied and how it is done. This is a very readable book and a useful addition to the tyers’ library.


Paul Proctor

“A look at upwinged flies and their imitations”

Paul is a regular contributor to fishing magazines and is Vice President of the Wild Trout Trust and Salmon and Trout Conservation.

Paul focussed on various upwinged flies and their imitations. He described the likely upwinged flies that you can expect to see on UK still-and running-waters, including Olives, March Browns, Duns, Mayfly and other upwinged Patterns.

Paul seems to posses an encyclopaedic memory, being able to give the dressing details of various patterns and what the same pattern will represent in various sizes of fly, e.g. Size 16 of a generic pattern will resemble a Medium olive or a Blue Winged olive; the same pattern in a size 12 represents an Olive Upright.

He showed slides of many of the flies describing the characteristics of each in recognition and differentiation of each. He suggested it was better to have a general fly than an exact copy (this fact was carried on in the May presentation) . Paul is also an advocate of simple flies and uses CdC (Cul de Canard) in many patterns.

The photographs and descriptions of the patterns were circulated to the attendees of the meeting. Unfortunately, they cannot be shown on this page, due to copyright reasons.


Peter Gathercole (FDG Chairman)

“Bugs through the lens”

Peter is a well known and respected Angling journalist, an excellent photographer and is the current Chair of the Fly Dresser’s Guild.

Peter gave an interesting description of the various insects that Trout eat with clear photographs of each insect. Peter is an excellent photographer and his photos have been included in many various Fishing magazines over several years. He described many different aspects to tying the patterns and showed each pattern with a detailed photo of the natural fly.

The Damsel Fly Nymph was one particular pattern that was described in detail. The natural insect swims just under the surface, so imitations should follow the same action. Too often DFNs incrporate a metal bead at the head and sink much lower than naturals (but they catch fish!). So an unweighted pattern could use foam in the thorax, or no extra addition at all. If you want the fly to fish lower in the water, add weight (lead wire or metal bead). Similarly foam can be used to keep shrimps higher up near the surface, or better still corixa when they come up for air, and snails when they sit just under the surface.

One particular pattern took this author’s interest, the emerging mayfly pattern. Peter’s version uses a cream fibre (or seal’s fur) body with deer hair and CdC (Cul de Canard – duck’s preen feathers) as a wing.


Steve Silverio

The Development of the dry fly for Atlantic Salmon

We had our first “Zoom” meeting. Steve Silverio, from Philadelphia USA gave a talk on the history of dry fly fishing for Salmon. Steve is a fantastic fly tyer and regularly fished the Gaspe and Bonaventure rivers for salmon specialising in dry fly fishing. He will cover the evolution of the dry fly for salmon, from its origin in the UK to the development of Buck Bugs and Bombers. Steve has attended BFFI shows and also contributed to the FLYDRESSER.