The weather is (finally) warming up, spring is bursting onto the scene and at Vale House Kitchen, we’re looking forward to a fantastic summer season filled with wonderful food. One of our favourite ways to celebrate the good weather is to get out in the beautiful British countryside for a little fishing, and whether you’re an expert angler or a complete beginner, we’ve got something for you with our brilliant Fly Fishing Courses.
Fly fishing involves using an artificial ‘fly’ which is cast on a line, and often has a bit of a reputation as a tricky skill to acquire – which is why all of our courses take place under the expert guidance of our tutor Neil Keep, who has forty years’ experience fishing all over the UK and plenty of tips & tricks to share. Even if you’re new to the sport, in the course of our one-day Beginners Fly Fishing Course Neil will have you casting like a pro and landing a few trout on our local lakes. And if you fancy getting in a little deeper, on our two day Fly Fishing Experience you’ll spend the second day learning exactly how to make the most of your wonderfully fresh catch in our cookery school kitchen, covering everything from filleting, cleaning and scaling to delicious quick recipes, smoking and curing. It’s the ultimate lake to plate experience!
We’re big fans of the field to fork (or lake to plate) approach at Vale House because sustainability in food is hugely important to us. With concerns growing all the time about the mass-market seafood industry, it can be tough to buy fish in your local supermarket that you know is properly sustainable – so fishing locally for your own can be a fantastic solution. Line-caught fish in general tend to be more sustainable, whether you’re doing the fishing yourself or simply making a conscious choice when you buy fish, as it’s a much more targeted approach (whereas mass-market fishing, using nets and other methods, can mean a lot of extra unwanted ‘bycatch’ in amongst the fish they’re actually after). Not only that, but switching your eating habits to focus more on UK fish like trout, rather than the most popular commercial choices like tuna and cod, can also be more sustainable in the long run. And if you’re trying to make more sustainable choices with your shopping, why not check out more of the UK’s great seafood? The UK farms some fantastic mussels, for example, that have widespread benefits for water quality as well as being a delicious and relatively cheap option.
Learning to fish – or even just learning a little more about fishing and how to make the most of seafood in the kitchen – is worth it for the environmental benefits alone, but of course it doesn’t stop there. Fly fishing is a great excuse to get outdoors in some of the most beautiful parts of the UK, and can be an excellent way to introduce a little healthy mindfulness into your life – as an activity that requires plenty of quiet patience in order to be successful, fly fishing is a wonderfully contemplative sport that gives you no choice but to slow down and be still for a while. Then, of course, there are the many and varied health benefits of eating wonderful fresh fish – something you’ll learn more about on our two-day Fly Fishing Experience, or check out our Fish Cookery Days too if you’d like to skip straight to the part about getting stuck in in the kitchen.
Tempted? Whether you’re totally new to the sport or fancy brushing up your skills with a little expert help, we’d love to see you on one of our fly fishing courses. They’re always popular so don’t delay – there’s still some availability on our courses in June and September, either to sign up just for the one-day course or to join us for the full two-day experience. Click here for more info!