Skip to content


Wading in with confidence at the fourth annual Beginners Saltwater Weekend

It’s not often that you see a fully grown man skipping down a beach, clad in waders and clutching a rod (you know who you are!), but when you do you know it’s been a very good day. This is the kind of result that we aim for at the Beginners Saltwater Weekend, where anglers arrive with varying degrees of confidence and an air of nervousness which is quickly quashed by a warm welcome and the realisation that everyone is there to learn and support each other. This year, we are pleased to report that 80 anglers left Hayling Island with new knowledge, skills, friends, and some even...with a skip in their step. 

Day one, Saturday 8th June, was a hive of activity. On arrival, anglers heard an introductory talk from one of our brilliant guides, Joe Walker, who covered all things saltwater fly-fishing; from tactics, to locations, species and so much more. They then tried their hand at some cricket-pitch-casting with GAIA Game Angling, and took to the salt later in the afternoon. With the support of our team of Orvis guides, namely Michael Rescorle, Philip Spratt, Paul Bettley, Andy Miller, Steve Smith, Hamish Hiddleston, and Jerome, we saw lots of brilliant casting – despite the wind - smiling faces, and a few fish caught. We even managed to organise an impressive private display from the Red Arrows from Portsmouth for the anglers... 

A day’s fishing is always well-rounded when it ends with a beer and a chat. Returning to the hotel after a long day of fishing, everyone came together to share their experiences, and meet more people. We had a surprise auction led by guide Shane Davies in support of Spencer’s Walk – a fundraising initiative to encourage more disadvantaged youths to go fishing, and the chance to prepare for day two – a day for everyone to put what they had learnt to the test.

While the weekend is certainly not a competitive one, Orvis prizes for “Catch of the Day”, “Most Enthusiastic”, “Most Improved” and “Most Sporting” were awarded to members in each group who stood out in these categories. Congratulations to young George Bence, Ben Cook, James Dury, Glynn Pirie, Ashley Ursell, Zoe Dupuy and Sally Barton for their overwhelming efforts which were unanimously recognized by the guides.

Speaking about the event, one of our attendees and prize winners, James Dury, said “Thank you to the whole team at Orvis for such a great weekend. I had no experience of saltwater fly fishing, so the knowledge gained from each and every one of the coaches I spoke to was invaluable. Their input on casting and equipment was greatly appreciated. The overall organisation of the event made the experience easy and very enjoyable; I would definitely recommend this event and will be looking to book a guided experience day very soon.” 

Another attendee who is new to saltwater fly-fishing, Zoe Dupuy, said “The expanse of coastline available to me living on the south coast of England is one of the reasons I am picking up saltwater fly fishing, but this also makes it somewhat intimidating when faced with a harbour or long beach and knowing where to start. So where better to learn than the Orvis Beginners Saltwater Weekend on Hayling Island? Starting with a thorough casting session in the park and a fascinating talk on bass behaviour, to then putting new skills into practice on the beach with the support of some highly knowledgeable guides. Sad that the weekend is now over, but delighted to be leaving with lots of newfound knowledge, friends, and a ticket to compete in the Orvis Saltwater Festival later this year!” 

If you’re interested in joining us at the Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival 2024 in September, tickets are still available so book now! And if you're considering attending one of our saltwater events in future, take a look at our Beginners Saltwater Weekend 2024 Gallery to get a flavour of what goes on!


Photography: Solent News & Photo Agency

Older Post
Newer Post
Close (esc)


Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Added to cart