River Days is the unique year round river fishing and guiding service run by Steve Roberts, an Angling Trust qualified fishing coach and associate member of the Game Angling Instructors Association.
Based in West Berkshire life long river angler Steve Roberts has developed a series of angling packages for those wishing to have a great day out on the river, whether it’s using vintage tackle, learning how to cast a fly or float, or just plain catching fish!
Covering a wide range of fishing locations and species Steve will provide you with a dedicated and inclusive service, and always strives to give his clients the very best of times out and about by, or on, the river.
Steve owns two boats from which to explore the delightful river Thames from vantage points that simply cannot be accessed from the bank, and can also take you to private weirpools and quiet reaches of famous rivers such as the Kennet, Loddon, Stour and Wye.
Providing fishing throughout the entire year Steve will share his life long passion for coarse fish such as barbel, chub, pike, perch and roach, or have you casting a fly for trout or salmon, all in delightful locations. Such varied aspects of the art of angling require particular tackle and techniques, and Steve’s speciality is to not only provide top class tackle with which to fish for them, but also to instruct all levels from complete beginners onwards in the ways to find success and enjoyment doing so.
If you want to use a delicate silk line for trout, cast a long and beautiful line for salmon, trot a quill float down the stream for red finned roach, or feel a barbel take the line from your fingertips in the dark Steve will coach you from the basic theory to a fish in the net!
And no River Day would be complete without a jolly good lunch, freshly made with produce from his organic kitchen garden. On the Thames this can be enjoyed on a private island, or under the willows in the fishing punt, but imagine a sumptuous hamper on the banks of a chalkstream or the majestic river Wye... Steve’s access to the Kennet includes pleasant private lawns, or more remote riverside picnics are in store in the quieter reaches he’ll take you to.
Travel overseas and you will often have a choice of guides to take you fishing. In some parts of the world it’s quite normal, the way things are done, and as a consequence the visitor catches fish. But here in the UK guidance beyond the tackle shop counter is much rarer. We might think of the old fashioned gillie who would point out a fresh salmon to the wealthy gentleman, or maybe nowadays see a guide that will take a client trout fishing, but guidance for more widespread coarse fishing is far less usual.
So what are the advantages of “guided fishing”? Firstly it’s local knowledge. Your guide will know the water well through fishing it himself. He will know where the fish are likely to be, what they feed on and when the best times are to catch them are, and it is this essential knowledge that he willingly passes on so that the newcomer has an easy and successful day.
The service that Steve Roberts provides is unique in that his River Days guide experienced anglers, and newcomers alike, to success in the three disciplines of freshwater fishing : trout, salmon and coarse fishing, the latter including fishing from a boat and fishing after dark.
Alone that help is simply not there, and in the case of the traditional Thames punt fishing in the weir pools that sport would be utterly out of reach, even with the longest cast!
Steve Roberts knows the value of fishing tuition, both as a result of not having it when he started salmon fishing (it took him a long time to catch his first one!), and in seeing clients progress quickly, especially youngsters, with the undoubted benefit of it.
Qualified as an Angling Coach with the Angling Trust (see Links) Steve is able to prepare a course of instruction taking into account the many hidden aspects and precautions that a client would not be aware of. His membership as a Coach also brings with it insurances and a wealth of advice from the Trust.
Fly fishing tuition is well established (again it’s the “trout and salmon” fraternity that take this), but learning about coarse fishing can be hard without anyone to show you! Steve has been fishing for over 40 years and so can help in this often overlooked area.
Regarding fly casting tuition for trout and salmon fishing Steve is an associate member of the Game Angling Instructors Association, a body of expert casters and coaches who specialise in getting their knowledge and abilities across to their pupils. Fishing for trout utilises a single handed rod, whilst salmon fishing mostly uses a double hander. With these variations are different casting styles that you can learn with your tutor by your side.
Beyond all this “mainstream” angling lies the world of the Traditional Angler, the “old school” advocate who is happy using the rods and reels, baits and techniques that worked perfectly well years ago! Using tackle dating back maybe 100 years Steve will get you casting a silk line for a trout or unravelling the mysteries of Wallis casting from a centrepin reel. There is no qualification for these old world skills, just experience and Steve’s ability to impart his knowledge.