Davy Wotton Biography

For your first 5 years you are learning.
After the first 5 you think you know it all.
After 20 you begin to realize you know NOTHING.
— Davy Wotton

Davy Wotton was born in the United Kingdom and now lives in Wales, a principality renowned for its green valleys, natural lakes and some of the most famous river systems in Europe. The Usk and Wye rivers in particular have long been favorites of fly fishermen. Davy lives ten minutes from the Usk, which is famed for its wild Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon. In the Victorian heydays, this river was a particular favorite of such persons as Kelson and Price-Tannat-Francis.

Throughout his life Davy has been a nature-lover. Even as a small boy (to his mother’s horror) Davy’s bedroom was full of all sorts of birds wings, feathers, beetles or whatever else he fancied to collect. In the late 1950’s, a Scottish schoolmaster first introduced young Davy to flyfishing and fly-tying. Davy began selling his first flys in 1968, and made fly tying a full-time profession. At that time, much that is known today by modern standards did not exist. Davy founded a very thorough knowledge of the old ways and styles of flys and patterns. Davy soon expanded his mail-order fly business to supply high grade quality tying materials and was producing some 60,000 flys a year.

Interestingly, during the 70’s and 80’s, along with flytying and fishing Davy also worked internationally as a professional bluegrass banjo picker. One of his prize possessions is a 1935 Gibson Mastertone 5 string banjo.

Then came the innovation that brought Davy international recognition in the fly fishing community. “With the demise of natural seal’s fur some six years ago, I set about producing a synthetic fibre structure to replace it. SLF [Synthetic Living Fiber] eventually became a world-established product. It has far more life than natural seal fur, and from the original Standard SLF I developed a complete range of dubbing products, with more to come.”

With SLF and Davy’s vast experience, he has developed many new concepts, techniques and a whole new generation of fishing flys.

In the UK and Europe where competitive fishing with the fly is widely practiced,the level of competition is tough and severe. One of Davy’s dreams was always to fishInternationally for his country. He qualified and did so on his first attempt, and for many years after.

In the UK where there are very high standards for Game Angling (Fly FishingInstructors), Davy became the first to qualify as a National Anglers CouncilInstructor in 1978. He is also a Grade 1 Advanced with S.T.A.N.I.C., whichcovers all aspects of Trout & Salmon, Casting, Fishing, Entomology, FlyTying, etc..

Davy’s work in professional capacity has taken him all over the world teachingseminars on every aspect of fly fishing. He teaches his own schools of fly fishing in the UK and now in America.

Davy runs and manages his own International Fly Fishing Company in Wales, whichproduces SLF, and is a consultant to a number of other companies including Partridge and Fly & Field. His long term aim is to set up his own schools of fly fishing in America, and also a system of nationally acknowledged classifications of ability such as exists here in the UK. “Also,” says Davy, “To have a number of locations such as Belize, Chile, Europe and various other places, to which I will take my clients for their fishing holidays and learn more about this wonderful sport all over the world.”

For the past 20 years Davy has contributed a vast literature to many publications, both fishing and hunting, including American Angler, Trout & Salmon, Trout Fisherman, Salmon-Trout & Seatrout, Shooting Times, Sea Angler, International Flyfisher,Practical Gamefishing,Fly Dressers Guild,Fly Fishing & Fly Tying, Sporting Gun, and others.

Davy is a regular columnist for the British magazine, Fly Fishing and Fly Tying. He has also made many contributions to published books. Despite countless requests, he has yet to pen his own. According to Davy, “Time is simply the governing factor.”

Fly & Field is thrilled and honored to have a master of Davy’s stature involved in the development of this web site.

To email Davy, click here.
“It is not what is on the water. It is how the fish sees it.”
— Davy Wotton