Tuned up. All Tuned up ... the original fly fishing tune up. Saturday, May 9th, 2015.
Each season hundreds of fly fishermen gleefully head out to their local waters only to receive an aquatic butt-kicking of epic proportions by the fish they are pursuing. The hurt, anguish, despair and feelings of inadequacy are devastating, they are real, they are crushing and they are haunting, but luckily there is hope. We all know that hope springs eternal except for the folk living in Vancouver who just can't find a decent latte, a waterproof jacket or a trendy set of Birkenstocks, for them all is lost, but not so for the fly fisherman.

Each season many fly fisherman place their angling hopes and dreams on the broad shoulders, some would say the big boned shoulders, of Ian Colin James and each year those anglers are not disappointed. Well maybe just that one chap but he has never been seen since he wandered, slipped, fell or was pushed into the Black Hole Pool, so we'll not talk about him until the investigations have been completed.

Failure, frustration and getting flustered are becoming all too common on the riverbank, but it doesn't have to be like that. There is hope. And it all starts with a tune up. Ask anyone involved in law enforcement about the value of giving someone a good tune up.

Don't be fooled
Now before we go any further, don't be fooled by copycat tune ups. Sure they may look the same, and they may claim to offer the same sort of help and results as an Ian Colin James tune up, but this is the original fly fishing tune up; developed, created and tweaked to perfection by the guide who put the first one together. So-called "tune ups" began sprouting up one or two years after my original tune up was promoted on this website, and they often do more harm than good.

You may need a tune up if ...
You falsecast your way into a nose bleed.
You miss the takes.
You never get a take.
You hear "Whooshing" noises when you cast.
You slap the water on your backcast with your fly line.
You snap off flies on your backcast.
You are known as "The Demon Doublehauler."
You hook yourself more than you hook fish.

Here's how it works
On the day you have a 45-minute time slot which starts on the hour. For one-on-one instruction, 45 minutes is a very long time, and you will learn a ton of stuff. First of all I will get your casting sorted out, you will learn how to cast accurately and safely with the minimum amount of false casting and faffing about. Secondly I will give you some fish-catching tips and we will work on your fishing techniques. Lastly, I will point out which flies you may want to use and at the end of the 45 minutes you will wander off with 6 very productive flies.

Tune up location
All the tune ups will take place near Fergus, Ontario, on the Grand River. The exact location will be sent to you when you register as I don't want a bunch of folk showing up to gawk and spectate on the riverbank. The tune ups will take place rain or shine, unless there shards of lightening cracking the sky, so be prepared for inclement weather. In other words, bring a rain jacket, if you don't have a rain jacket, bring a big plastic garbage bag and we can cut out some arm holes and a hole for your head in it.

Tune up date for 2015
Saturday, May 9th.

First time slot: 9:00 a.m.
Last time slot: 5:00 p.m.
(First-come, first-served basis.)

Here is how to sign up
1. Pick an on-the-hour start time.
2. Send me an e-mail with the info from #1.
3. I will confirm your registration.
4. Send in your $70 fee.
5. Show up at the right time in the right place.
6. I'll tune you up and you will see an instant improvement in your skills.
7. You wander off with 6 very productive flies.
Some of the patterns were used by the Les Chiens d'Eau team to win the silver medal at the 2006 Canadian Fly Fishing Championships held on the Grand River.

I need tuned up:
E-mail Registration: Tune Me Up.

Fine tune your tune up
When you register, please don't be shy on letting me know what you would like to work on. As in, "Dear Ian. I would like the 9:00 a.m. time slot on Saturday, May 18th. I am addicted to dry fly fishing, so I would like to learn more about fishing dry flies." You could even go with something like, "Ian, my casting is just brutal. I need help and only you can talk me down from the ledge. Please fit me in at 5:00 p.m."

A perfect gift
Yes, a tune up makes a perfect gift. Giving someone a tune up as a gift is a good idea. In fact, it's a great idea because it's the gift that keeps giving. You'll be putting a smile on the face of that special fly fisherman in your life, not just when they are getting tuned up, but each time they hook a fish or they make a flawless cast using the tips and pointers they picked up during the tune up.

Don't worry, like all the folk who take instruction from me, no one will ever know you did it. You will still be able to brag about how you are self-taught, how you tied your first fly while still in the womb and how you were raised by a school of wild brown trout and carp.








Will a Tune-up help you?
Absolutely. Yes it will. I do not normally put testimonials on my website, but this one just had to be posted. Leonard Bulmer took my steelhead tune-up and here is what he had to say. Take a look at the fish he caught on the Elk River in Pennsylvania. view fish...

... "Ian, here is the proof that your tune up can pay off. Play the slide show and see how much fun I had over three days. I used many flies that you gave me. Caught so many fish that we stopped counting and photographing. Lost 20 flies from breakoffs, missed setting the hook on a dozen more."...
...........................................Leonard Bulmer, Toronto, Ontario

Take a look
Take a look at the picture above. If you have any doubts about how you would fish this section of water, you may need a tune up. You should be able to identify at least 10 things in the picture which will give you clues on how to successfully fish this section of water, the most obvious of which is that the angler who took the picture is standing in the wrong place for catching fish.

... "Ian Colin James is the best pro fishing guide in Canada, bar none. He is a born riverman, with an intuitive feel for where fish hold, and the communication skills to teach you how to catch them. He can fix your cast in 3 sentences, and is a fishing oracle - listen closely to what he says, I've never known him be wrong. I find it unfortunate he is Scottish, but you can't have everything, and his accent is relatively intelligible. Oh, and all his flies work - buy them." ...
...........................................Dr Galina Hayes PhD DACVECC,
...........................................Senior Resident Small Animal Surgery
...........................................Ontario Veterinary College, Canada