We can arrange various levels of ‘messing about on rivers’ : from small children finding minibeasts to adult casting lessons on the lakes (with fish to cook later at your yurt!),  to advanced and solo casting with waders at Adhurst (with our without instruction).  Our fishing is catch and release only but if you’ve booked a session on the lakes with Gilly fish can be caught.

Fishing must be arranged in advance of your stay.  Various levels of instruction with Gilly Bate are available for 12 years and up.  Click to read more about Gilly.

Based in Hampshire on the world famous chalkstreams, Gilly qualified and worked initially as a Guide/Instructor for Orvis before joining Fly Odyssey on the UK side of the business. She has been fishing for over 25 years with 16 years of teaching and guiding on the chalk streams in Hampshire.

Gilly has fished for Salmon in Scotland for the last 20 years on the Spey, Dee and Findhorn. She has fished around the UK
and Iceland for Wild Brown Trout. Overseas has taken her saltwater fishing in Los Roques, Maldives, Seychelles, Mexico, Miami and Cuba. She has also fished for Bass on the South Coast and Cape Cod.


Gilly’s qualifications are with single-handed rods and she is a member of GAIA, AAPGAI and level 2 coaching. Gilly has also demonstrated at Country Fairs, written for the Field Magazine, won the Ladies Distance Casting Competition at the Game Fair and given presentations at various Clubs including the renowned Fly Fishers Club in Mayfair.

  • “I have been booking chalk stream fishing through Gilly and using her guiding services for about 7 years now and everything she does is first-class!! She has a wide variety of beats across all the chalk streams that can be booked for you and she is very open, giving excellent advice in order to make sure your day is tailored to exactly what you are after in terms of type of water, fish, scenery and skill level.”

    Edward Haslem

  • “Having Gilly as you guide is an absolute pleasure! She makes the day really fun and relaxed. You can learn so much from her given the depth of knowledge she brings be it fishing skills, casting techniques, fly life etc. She is a excellent fly caster and a brilliant teacher even someone who has been fishing and casting for years will benefit from a casting lesson with her. I can’t recommend Gilly enough if you are after chalk stream fishing, guiding services or if you want to learn or improve your casting, I would not use anyone else!”

    Rob Holmes

    Richmond, London
  • ” We have been lucky enough over the years to have Gilly Bate teach and guide for us. As a teacher she has seemingly limitless knowledge of casts flies and tactics. This combined with endless good humour, enthusiasm and patience has seen us make great strides forward and Gilly’s patience has been particularly helpful when she has been guiding us as we still have the gift of ‘landing’ vegetation. The fact that Gilly is great company is icing on the cake.”

    Mark & Sally Kirkhouse


If you are a novice (min age 12) it’s best to have private lessons at the nearby lakes in Harting. Gilly can take one to two persons at a time. The lakes are not open to the public (and nor is the river at Adhurst). Fly-fishing lessons are £70 per hour and a half-day experience of casting and fishing (4 hours) for two persons is £250. Each person is allowed to catch two rainbow trout which they can bring back to Adhurst to cook. Casting tuition, all equipment, explanation of tack with entomology and understanding of basic fly selection included in lesson.

All fishermen must have a Environment Agency Fishing licence you may obtain here.

The fishing at Adhurst is amazing but it is very specialised and not for beginners. You do need to be able to wade and have waders. This is because the fish are super spooky and you need to be able to creep up on them, it would be hopeless from the bank. For casting, you get one shot at them, that means you have to have accurate casting and good presentation of the fly. Two hours is £140 and four hours is £200 (for one person) You will be supplied with all equipment but only for the time the instructor is with you. This includes lightweight rods and lines and the specific flies for different times of the year. Catch and Release only. All fishermen must have a Environment Agency Fishing licence you may obtain here.

You will need your fishing licence and ideally waders. We will show you one of two beats by the River Rother. Solo fishing at Adhust is only open to Syndicate members and residential guests at the yurts and cabin. You will be the only person on the beat as syndicate members have the beats on every other day – so if you wish to fish the second beat you will need to wait until the next day. We can provide a telephone number if you require specialist advice on what to expect. Catch and Release only. Must be booked in advance. A day is £50 and during mayfly period ( 15th May to end of June) it is £75.

All fishermen must have a Environment Agency Fishing licence you may obtain here.

We advise short rods such as 7 ft and 1 – 3 weight maximum. Leaders length 9ft . 4 lb breaking strain however if you are using small flies in the size 16 – 20 range then add tippet of 3 lb.

Dry Flies: CDC F Flies in olive and black, size 14 – 18, Greenwells glory size 14, blue winged olive size 16, Black gnat size 16, griffiths gnat size 14, sherry spinners size 16, Cream and black sedge, size 12 – 16, red sedge, size 14.

Nymphs: Pheasant tailed nymph size 14 -18, Gold ribbed hairs ear size 14 – 18, small shrimp patterns size. No gold heads but small tungsten.

During the mayfly period: emerging mayfly and grey wulff size 10 – 12. French partridge.

Just request before arrival a pond dipping kit and we’ll have this and an ID chart in your safari kitchen upon arrival. Spend as long as you like down by the river trawling for mini-beasts and self-learning about the river habitat with the laminated charts provided. There’s also pooh sticks on the bridge and the river swing to enjoy. And if you go down after dark keep an eye out for the otters!