Pickering Click thumbnail for larger image
With 50 years
of fly fishing experience (more than twenty of those
living in the Goulburn Valley) David is a streamcraft
expert with an intimate understanding of the rivers
of the region.
David moved to Thornton in 1989 and has been a fixture on
all local rivers ever since. David
is 'fish-mad' and every spare moment, dollar and
thought is devoted to fly fishing for trout. A
passion that has never waned and frequently annoys
his business partners!
Valley Fly Fishing Centre in 1994 with Geoff Hall
was the beginning of a new life. Since then David
has taught thousands of people to fish with a
fly rod or simply guided them down the Goulburn
or Swampy Plain Rivers on a raft trip.
For the past 15 years
he has been the head New Zealand guide, leading week long trips in search
of trout on New Zealand's South Island as well
as producing several instructional/feature DVDs
on the sport. He spends at least 12 weeks each summer guiding in NZ and spends the winter chasing bonefish and trout in far off and exotic destinations..
David is an extremely patient
and affable guide who is always out
on a river; either with a client, his lovely partner Annella or on his own. He is an extremely talented
and experienced fly fisher whose lack of an identifiable ego make him a favourite amoungst our clientele. He also has that special quality of being able to impart
his knowledge to others without coming off as arrogant and therefore
of the PFIGA
Swiftwater Rescue Technician 1
Boliancu Click thumbnail for larger image
Antony moved to Thornton and bought into the business all the way back in 1996 (as a 24 year old) and has been here ever since.
While initially doing a lot of teaching, guiding and drift boat trips, in more recent years he has been spending the bulk of his time in and around the shop taking care of the admin side of things and other shop/office duties. He is the person running the websites, taking the bookings and generally making sure that things run smoothly. Chances are when you phone us or drop by he will be your first point of contact.
Antony regularly organises all of our overseas trips and leads groups to Montana each year. He is also involved in our New Zealand's trips being the main organiser and also as a guide for up to five weeks each year.
Antony is a qualified
drift boat guide with many thousands of hours
on the oars on the Goulburn, Swampy and rivers of Montana/Idaho. His specialties are sight fishing both here and in NZ, technical fishing to fussy fish during hatches and drift boat fly fishing on all types of water. He has fished for trout extensively in Victoria, Tasmania, the Snowy Mountains, USA and New Zealand's South Island.
These days he only guides when specifically requested by clients.
of the PFIGA
Cameron Parker Click thumbnail for larger image
Cameron originally lived in Thornton (back in 90's) and worked with us for a number of years until employment opportunities in Mebourne beckoned and he decided to make the switch.
As such he now does session work as required and also does 4-8 weeks with us in NZ each summer courtesy of an employer that lets him take double the amount of annual leave at half pay!
Cameron is an excellent guide that inspires his clients with an exuberance for fly fishing that is not often matched. Gaining a reputuation for being able to physically keep up with even the fittest and most addicted of our clients, he has acquired the nicknames 'Major Pain' and 'Corporal Punishment'. Yes Cameron has a military background so the names are within a context!
Cameron is a valued member of our staff and has a keen following among our NZ clientele. Long term could see Cameron up here on a more permanent basis..
of the PFIGA
Werner Birkner Click thumbnail for larger image
Werner is a nut. He just loves fly fishing and his recent move to the valley has allowed him to intimately explore the rivers that he has frequented since he was a teenager.
Moving from the suburbs to Howqua a couple of years ago was the catalyst for a shift of focus and a life as a trout guide. Werner has never looked back.
Having guided many people to their largest Australian trout on the rivers above Mansfield, it didn't take Werner long to realise that the real action was here at Thornton where the good fishing lasts most of the year as opposed to 2-3 months. This led to a move to Alexandra in the summer of 2012 and he has been a regular fixture in our shop ever since.
Werner has an interesting background having worked on the stand up comedy circuit and raced greyhounds. He is never short of a word and a day with him often involves equal parts fly fishing and humour. There is never a dull moment one might say.
Werner's specialty is teaching beginners and doing streamcraft sessions. He is also an excellent backwater fisherman, stalking the wary browns of the Goulburn from November to March with either a fly rod in his hands or a client at his side.
Werner has a loyal following among our clientele, particularly the younger guys and will no doubt be around for many years to come.
(Soon to be member of the PFIGA)
James Galloway Click thumbnail for larger image
James is the youngest guide on our books but don't let that fool you. Over the past few seasons he has matured into a top guide and a real favorite of those going to New Zealand. While we have groomed him for a several years, he is a natural when it comes to working with people and his guiding skills are up there with the best of them.
James recently left university and is pursuing his fly fishing full time. He does several months a year guiding seven day's a week in New Zealand. He has acquired a veterans understanding of the sport and the methods involved. Many clients return each summer on the understanding that they will be guided by James each season.
While fly fishing for trout is his favorite type of fishing, he also does quite a bit of bream and bass fishing, as well as chasing murray cod and yellowbelly. He
is a talented angler, skilled in all major sports fishing methods and has a huge future in this industry. He is the forerunner of his generation in the Australian fly fishing scene and we are indeed lucky to have him as part of our team.
of the PFIGA
Hall (Retired November 2012) Click thumbnail for larger image
Geoff has been a fly fisher all of his life. He has extensive experience across Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and New Zealand and has been a full time trout guide since forming the business with David Pickering in 1994.
Geoff spent much of his youth growing up and fishing around Alexandra, where his father was the bank manager and moved to Thornton in the mid-seventies.
He is a highly experienced rafting guide having down countless hours on the Goulburn and Swampy Plains rivers. He and David Pickering were the first to run a fly fishing drift boat down the Goulburn river and are directly responsible for developing and refining many techniques which are now considered mandatory for fishing this river.
Geoff's professional background in education makes him a first class instructor. He is a people person that rarely seems to switch off and has now been teaching fly fishing in one form or another for over forty years.
Geoff contributes widely to the fishing industry's social, economic and political agenda. He was a member of the Fisheries Co-management Council and also enjoyed a short tenure as president of the Australian Trout Foundation. He has worked closely with VR Fish over the years and has gone to bat for trout on numerous occasions.
He jointly owns Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre, Victoria's only destination Fly Shop and guiding service, with David Pickering and Antony Boliancu.
of the PFIGA
Rescue Technician 1