Considered by many to be one of the top fly-fishing guides and fly-tying instructors in North America, Ian is famous for his razor-sharp Scottish wit and his down-to-earth fly-fishing methods. Well-known for his “no bull” approach to fly fishing, for 25 years Ian has shown folks how to cast, how to find fish and how to catch the fish they find. Ian calls a spade a spade, and a strike indicator a bobber.
Ian caught his first fish on a fly, a Grayling, when he was 6 years old, from the River Clyde near the town of Motherwell, Scotland. Forty years of fly fishing have taught him a few tricks, which he painlessly passes on to his clients and students. For Ian a fish, is a fish, is a fish and all fish are created equally. Although he was the first guide in North America to specifically target Carp, Quillback, Gar Pike and Redhorse, he is just as comfortable taking clients out for, or talking about, Smallmouth Bass, Steelhead, Salmon and Brown Trout. He is constantly pushing the fly fishing envelope and many of the techniques he pioneered and developed, which were cutting-edge at the time, are now considered as “standards” in the sport.
In other words, over some 40-years of fly fishing Ian has picked up a whole bunch of fish catching information on a whole bunch of fish species, which makes him a shoe-in if you are looking at hiring someone to lecture or present a seminar at your fly fishing event. More than once, Ian has been billed as “Fly Fishing Comic Relief,” but his talks also provide the audience with practical and useable information. Plus it’s presented in a clear and concise manner.
Across North America, Ian is also known as “The Carpfather” – the man who made fly fishing for carp popular on this side of the Atlantic, and for his best-selling book Fumbling with a Flyrod.
At the recently completed 2006 Canadian Fly Fishing Championships he coached the Les Chiens d’Eau team to a silver medal. His experience with competitive fly fishing also includes being part of the Canadian Fly Fishing Team in 1995 at the 15th World Fly Fishing Championships in Galway, Ireland. That same year, at the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships on Loch Leven, Scotland, a fly he created took the largest fish of the event for his teammate, Tom Murray.
An accomplished professional fly tier, Ian’s flies are sold worldwide. He is the only fly tier to receive a Design Award from the Ontario Arts Council. Ian was the first guide on the Grand River in southern Ontario and many of the patterns he developed there in the 1980s, like the Muncher Nymph, are now considered “go-to” flies across North America. Recently, Ian became the resident fly-tying expert on the TV show “The New Fly Fisher.”
Website: Visit Ian atwww.ianjames.info and don’t forget to read the hilarious Ask Ian pages and his Conservation Corner.
Mail: Ian Colin James, P.O.Box 48034, Pond Mills, London, Ontario, Canada, N6M 1K5.
“Ian looks more like a line backer than a fly fishing guide. He is one of Canada’s National treasures.”
City and Country Homes Magazine.
“The six-foot, 295-pound Scotsman is one of Canada’s premier guides.”
Gigi Suhanic, The National Post.
“Ian presented a lifetime of information in the course of an hour and a half. Our audience at the Mid-South Fly Fishers were frantically taking notes – they had never done that before – to ensure nothing escaped their memory. His presentation was nothing short of outstanding!”
Mid-South Fly Fishers, Memphis, Tennessee.
“All our guests look forward to coming back to Hooked on a Cure so they can see Ian again! He’s never met a stranger, is always so gracious and funny. And his knowledge of fly fishing is only surpassed by his untiring willingness to share his time, talents and humor for a good cause. Our event just wouldn’t be the same without him!”
April Conrad, Hooked on a Cure, Arkansas.