A MAN with a passion for fishing has been able to make his hobby a full time job after the coaching business he ran in his spare time was snapped up by a regional country pursuits company.

Olly Shepherd, 31, from Felixkirk, near Thirsk, has always been a keen fisherman and had set up Fly Fishing Yorkshire four years ago after training to coach fishing properly following requests from friends.

He said: “I had never wanted to teach people to fish without getting qualifications because I didn’t want to give them any bad habits I might have picked up.

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“It was getting to the point where I was struggling with the amount of bookings I was getting while still working full time as a green keeper for a golf course.”

Mr Shepherd said when he was approached by Mount St John Sporting, one of the top game shooting businesses in the region, he was delighted.

“This meant I could follow my dream to go full time as a fly fishing instructor. It is not an easy position to get to – there must only be around ten full time fly fishing instructors in the UK,” he said.

Mr Shepherd said he can take out people of any ability, but he really enjoys teaching complete beginners and introducing new people to the sport.

He said: “I recently took out a young teenager and his mum and he managed to catch a 12 pound trout at Leighton Reservoir, near Masham.

“I was so excited for him because fish of that size don’t come up very often. He said the experience was better than playing on his iPhone so I was pleased with that.”

For more information or to book a group or individual lesson, contact Mr Shepherd on 07850-506870 or olly@mountstjohnsporting.co.uk.