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Fishing lessons should not be thought of as just for complete beginners. I have been fishing since I was a boy. Over the years, I have greatly benefitted from the occasional lesson in casting and practical fishing. However, other interests and commitments have made me more of an occasional angler than I would have liked. In the last two or three seasons, I have felt that my catch rate (and so my enjoyment) was declining. Something had gone missing from my technique. A couple of sessions with an instructor were clearly indicated. Mr Milne quickly spotted a minor fault in my casting and, among several other issues, a major flaw in the way I set up my leaders. Our sessions together were great fun (as good teaching should be) and I even managed to catch some fish under his supervision. 
In the next few years, as retirement approaches, I hope to be able to go fishing more often. Mr Milne’s input and advice have helped restore my confidence and will, I have no doubt, make my hours on the bank more rewarding. I would recommend his classes to anyone. And I will certainly be back if I feel I need a refresher course. 
Professor Malcolm Nicolson

Can you teach old dog new tricks? Yes, if you are John Milne. 
I took up fly fishing only in retirement. A lifetime in a very technically exacting branch of surgery had left demanding, self critical standards for performance- so it was hard to take the tangled lines, collapsing in a concertina pattern, the hooks catching trees or the back of the neck and all the other trials that frustrate and demoralise the incompetent novice. 
Then John took me in hand. His no nonsense approach, relaxed but with a rigorous focus on a simple, standard action, gave much needed clarity. Progress came through patient, encouraging and motivating guidance. From the start the emphasis was on practical actions, and not just casting but catching, rekindling a sense of purpose and fun. When fish began to be brought to the net John’s pleasure and excitement matched any sense of triumph on my part. 
John’s enthusiasm is infectious, he wants everyone to enjoy fishing- both the act and outcome. He’s a stimulating, wise, supportive friend and mentor. I bet he would have been good at training surgeons. As it is, instead of looking back to the operating room, I now eagerly look to forward to continuing to learn about life at the loch-side, on river bank
or in drifting boat.
Thanks John
Sir Graham Teasdale, Emeritus Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Glasgow

Dear John

Sorry I didn't do this straight away, I have been swamped with other things going on. 

I wanted to write to say a huge thank you on behalf of myself, Caroline and Jason for the superb fly-casting and fishing session we had with you at Carbeth Fishery on Sunday 16th April.  Although we had all fished a little before, we were all very rusty and in need of some proper guidance!

The equipment which you loaned us was top notch and it took no time at all for you to set us all up and get us casting.  You were incredibly patient and kind while the three of us got to work on sorting out our techniques.  It wasn't long before we started catching fish with your help and the excitement of playing and landing trout was fantastic.  With nine fish between us in a 3-hour session we all went home extremely happy.  

Thanks again from all of us. 

Best wishes


Just attended a 3 hour fly fishing lesson with my future son-in-law under the instruction of John Milne at Lawfield Fishery. John's qualifications are impressive, his casting technique even more so but his strongest quality is his teaching style. He is easy going and relaxed in approach but focused on working through the basics of rod, line, leader and flies set up giving out many simple but invaluable tips along the way. On casting, it was kept to the fundamentals to ensure that the student gets to sense what a real cast should feel like ... regularly pointing out those basics while patiently highlighting the 'bad habits' that the student (me that is!) keeps trying to re-introduce. My casting really improved, line straight, turning over ... with a bit more distance too.

I strongly recommend John Milne as a fly casting instructor to anyone wishing to learn how to fly fish or improve their technique. I have a long way to go to get to casting a fly in the way I would like to so will be visiting John from time to time to keep those bad habits in check and continue to improve my own casting abilities. Thanks John 
Ian Morrison & Ewan Donald

I had been "fishing" for over 20 years with not very much success at all. The "blank" days far outweighed any days where i actually caught fish. With frustration and total dejection becoming more and more i decided to do something about it. I started to look into professional casting lessons to hopefully improve my fishing experience. It was after searching on the internet i spotted John at an angling event where i managed to stop him for a chat. This was without a doubt the best thing I have ever done regarding improving my fishing,better than any new rod,reel or line. From the first chat John made me feel totally at ease and relaxed. I have now had several lessons with John and felt real improvement every lesson, but more importantly, a lot more enjoyment. John will give you good, honest advice on all aspects of your fishing and have you catching lots more fish in no time. I can't praise John's teaching abilities enough. In the short space of time i have been receiving lessons i have seen both my casting and overall fishing skills improve dramatically. A new personal best, fish of a lifetime 6lb brown trout is testament to this. I can't thank John enough for all his help,advice and being a really nice guy into the bargain.
Thanks for everything John
Kind Regards
Jim Rattray

Thanks again for my first formal introduction to fly fishing and what a great couple of hours I had. Your patience, clear instruction, knowledge and obvious love of the sport made my time with you a joy. I will be in touch soon for further lessons. The fly you gave me will stimulate stories I'm soon to make up, thanks again.

John - Many thanks for a great day, can't tell you when I had so much fun. Really pleased to have met you and enjoyed your company, your relaxed way of teaching is superb and makes the day very memorable, cannot wait for the next lesson, have a great birthday!
Donald Henderson

My 12 year old son decided that he'd like to take up fly-fishing, so having bought a few magazines to learn a bit more, I simply ended up completely confused by the jargon.  Through a recommendation, I was put in touch with John and having explained my dliema, totally confused and no equipment, though with a 12 year old happy to mortgage me to buy the first kit he could see, we arranged to meet up for a first casting session. John was able to supply us both with appropriate tackle for the session and we both had a brilliant day, advancing to casting with a fly on, in the session! John's style was very relaxed and informative, in addition to getting us started on the basic casting technique "10 to 1, don't break the wrist", he took time to explain some of the mass of fly fishing jargon and importantly, shared his attention equally between me and my son. My son was really keen for another casting session, itself a measure of the sucess of the day.  We duly arranged another session with John and again enjoyed a relaxed and informative day, moving on successfully to false casting, thereby dispelling another strange term I'd read in the magazines.  For us as complete beginners, we couldn't have asked for a better introduction to fly fishing and would have no hesitation in recommending John to anyone contemplating having a go a fly fishing but thinking it is all too complicated.  As John is a fully qualified casting instructor, I'm sure his skills would be equally appreciated by those more expereinced than me.
Juan and Max Merrill

Decided to try fly fishing a few years ago, and there was so much to learn!
I heard about John Milne from Howwood Fly Fishery.   A few lessons from him were just what I needed.  His vast experience as a teacher, and understanding of mistakes people make were a great help.  I was soon casting away and even caught a trout or two! I doubt if you could find a better teacher, If you want to start or improve your fly fishing technique.
Leonard Esakowitz

Decided to try fly fishing a few years ago, and there was so much to learn!
I heard about John Milne from Howwood Fly Fishery.   A few lessons from him were just what I needed.  His vast experience as a teacher, and understanding of mistakes people make were a great help.  I was soon casting away and even caught a trout or two! I doubt if you could find a better teacher, If you want to start or improve your fly fishing technique.
Leonard Esakowitz

Hi John,
Thought I would drop you a line to let you know how my son Robbie and I have been getting on since we had our two sessions with you.
We are both casting longer and presentation is now great, due to your 1st class tuition, resulting in a lot more fish, especially for Robbie who is catching an amazing amount of fish for an 11 year old. Looking forward to seeing you again soon  to take things a step further.
Neal and Robbie Ewing

I first had the pleasure of meeting John Milne some years ago for a couple of fly casting lessons.
He is an expert teacher who has the necessary patience and personality to give his pupils confidence in their casting techniques even to the extent of actually catching fish!
We have since become firm friends and have enjoyed some great salmon fishing on the River Girvan.
I unreservedly recommend him to beginners and experienced fly fishers alike in the sure knowledge he will improve their fly casting skills!
Douglas Low 

Like many people I tried fly fishing and ended up just thrashing the water getting no where and not enjoying it. I therefore decided that if I was going to continue fly fishing I would have to take the plunge and take some lessons.
I can honestly say the lessons from John were the best investment  I have ever made in fly fishing. I went from hating it to loving it in one lesson.
John has a very pleasant and easy-going manner about him he immediately puts new anglers at ease, but nevertheless he speaks with a quiet authority about fly fishing and his enthusiasm is immediately obvious and infectious.
Within a few lessons I had been taught various casts and techniques. John also taught me when use different lines, different flies and more importantly he got me catching fish.
Even when you stop taking lessons John is available for help and advice
Graham Elrick

Hi John! Had a great day yesterday out fishing. I turned a normal day into a brilliant day by improving my presentation and changing things slightly. Taking into account the cloud cover and ripple! Noticed a massive difference and could really tell your advice has helped me loads! Previously I would ignore a rising fish but by targeting rises it really paid off. I took 14 fish in 4 hours but was getting interest almost every cast while most people struggled! Also keeping on the move and covering fresh fish was a key to the day. I can't thank you enough for the day out we had. Restored my believe that I can do well in the comp scene
Gregor Hannen

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