Derek Manson – In the Beginning…
I have always had a passion for fly-fishing. It all began when my step-father introduced me to the sport back in 1986. Those early days were spent mostly in Dullstroom, fishing the many lakes and rivers in the area.
Racking up Experience – Globally
After completing my national service, I worked for Fly Fishing Adventures. There, I learnt to build fly rods and outfit clients who were traveling, and fishing, abroad. In 1996, I was given the opportunity to travel to the UK and work at Farlows of Pall Mall, a fly shop that was established in 1870. This was the real starting point of my career in the fly-fishing industry. Whilst working at Farlows, I obtained my fly casting teaching certificate (STANIC), giving me the tools to teach both single- and double-handed casting. Soon after, I was invited to join the Cain Rod Company in Wiltshire. Here I honed my rod-making skills: learning to build split-cane rods. I was also introduced to guiding fishing tours and successfully worked the Wyle, Test and Itchen Rivers. Having discovered a love of guiding, I then joined Nervous Waters and travelled to Río Gallegos, Argentina in search of sea-run brown trout. Later that same year, I was offered a job guiding on the famed Ponoi River in Russia. I went on to become the head guide of the lodge. After six back-to-back seasons in Russia and Argentina, I decided to return home to South Africa.
I am now Flyz Inc.’s sales manager and look forward to many exciting adventures with the company, its staff and its customers.