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Ian Gordon Hosted Salmon Trips – My Final Year

After a Life-times Work in the Salmon Fishing business, lots of travel and the most amazing fun life working in the fly-fishing business, be it tackle design, guiding and hosting fishing, it is time to begin enjoying fishing a bit more myself. However, there was always going to be a final project. One that I am proud to put my name to.

Big Salmon Alta River
A standard Alta Salmon - An Alta Normal

Over the past 3 years I have been involved with my old friend from my Pure Fishing and Partridge days, James Robbins, and used 60 years of combined knowledge of the business to produce a range of rods, reels and lines, the tools I will enjoy using until the end of career. For me, this is very much my swan song with regard Tackle.

Big River Wye Salmon
James Robbins with a 30lb Wye salmon in 2022

My rods are the lightest (great for when I am getting older) and have a wonderful action to both cast and play fish with. Without a doubt the best I have ever done. The range of blanks are made with the best materials, by the best manufacturers known to us. My concept of offering the customer the exact rod action matching their casting and fishing technique is 100% unique in the marketplace. This bespoke range of rods can be bought as standard or built to your own personal specification by the best rod makers in the UK.

Fishing Rod Bending
14'6" Ian Gordon Rod in action on the River Spey

My reels are made to my personal specification, by the best craftsmen in the UK. At 58 years of age, since the age of 16, our Reel-maker has done nothing but make reels. The only person I know who has spent a whole lifetime making reels and nothing else. A genuine Bonafide “Reel-maker”! Our Bespoke reels come packaged in a lovely leather case, again, made by Craftsmen right at the top of their game here in the UK. Whether its interiors for Aston Martin, Bridals for the UK's top stables or reel and rod cases for Ian Gordon. We work with nothing but the best.

Leather Reel Case
Leather Case for Cadence Ian Gordon Bespoke Reels

Bespoke Fly Fishing Reel
Cadence Ian Gordon Click and Pawl Reel.

My range of lines are the culmination of 50 years of casting and a complete understanding of the physics, cutting, splicing, testing, and fishing with prototype lines manufactured by the best people in the business here in the UK. Everything I will use in my twilight years of personal fishing; I know is perfect for my personal requirements. No stone has been left unturned when it comes to matching lines to my rod actions and fishing. Ian Gordon, Cadence products blend top level, design, artisanship, and manufacturing with a lifetime of experience, providing a top-level product at a genuine

Colour Coded Ian Gordon Cadence Fly Lines
Colour Coded Cadence Ian Gordon Fly Lines

After 25 years of full time Ghillying/guiding, the last 15 years has seen me combining tackle design with organising and hosting high end Salmon and Sea Trout fishing holidays and casting instruction. Over this time, I have helped various lodges and fishing operations become successful by putting them on the salmon fishing map. Irrespective of what anyone says, success in salmon fishing is measured in how many or how big! Of course company, food, ease of travel, personal comfort etc is important, but when it comes to success in salmon fishing, the single most important thing is– Right place, right time. I’ve spent a lifetime working on this for my clients, so now, in the company of those many fishing clients, now friends, in my 60th year, it is time for me to enjoy some of those myself too.

Nicky Henderson Horse Trainer
Fishing with Friends at Knockando

But really, Is this any different to what I have been doing? The answer to this is very much yes. All my life, whilst working with clients and fishing friends, I have have prided myself on never lifting the rod myself. My ex employer, Sir David Wills, taught me, as a host, we always place our guests in the best places, offering the best chance and providing them with the best experience. This I have done all my life. However, it is now time to do a little fishing. This in mind, 2023 will be my year of change, the final year of hosting. From 2024 I plan to fish along with the groups I take to those wonderful destinations, be it in Scotland, Iceland, Norway, or Canada. From 2024 I will also look to work with others in the travel business, hosting groups for them too.

Aurora Northern Lights
Amazing Aurora on the Ponoi River In Russia

Over the years I have acquired some lovely weeks fishing in some genuinely great rivers. During those Spring weeks on Easter Elchies, Macallan and Tulchan, My casting courses have always three days, this will stay the same. However, instead of having two courses in the week, I will have only one. The other 3 days I will fish with customers and friends. The same will be the case for the lovely weeks I have during May and June. Half the week will be business and half pleasure where I will have one of the rods.

Netting a Salmon
Glenda Powell With Her First Spey Salmon

Foreign trips will be the same. I will arrange the groups as normal, however, I will be fishing as part of the group too. Some of this will be exploratory too. Having taken clients to the Gaula, Orkla, Verdal and Namsen, I’ve never fished a single day on any of those. I plan for this to change in 2024.

Atlantic Salmon Swimming
Releasing a nice salmon In Norway

Over the past 30 or more years I’ve developed the finest Fishing Rods, Reels and Lines. Help put salmon fisheries on the map. Introduced so many people to the sport. Led from the front whether it be hosting, finding fishing or casting instruction. I’ve loved every minute and helped people become better anglers and teachers.

One year ago, aged 70, I lost my cousin Joe. One of my closest fishing pals, a little like myself, Joe lived life to the max. In his final days I asked if he had any regrets. Even having lived the fullest of lives, “yes” was the answer. He said he wished he had retired and moved to The Gambia at 60 instead of 65!

Last Salmon Ever
My Cousin and Fishing Buddy with his Final Spey Fish

Having managed my time and life very well suddenly I’m here in my 60th year and although I won’t retire, having had a winter to think and observe, I know it’s time to regroup and finally go fishing again, something I’ve not done since I began Ghillying 40 years ago. During covid circumstance meant I could fish down a pool without thinking of anyone else. Other than the amazing trips I had to Alta with my friend Andy Majerus, this was genuinely the only time I fished a pool with no level of guilt.

Huge Atlantic Salmon
Great Memories of watching my Friend Catch a 43 Pound Salmon

For all my friends, colleagues and customers who want to share this next stage of the journey with me, just drop me a brief note or lift the phone, I will make sure we all have a fun time on the best rivers in the future and of course I'll be helping. However, I'll be fishing too!! Tel 07786120436

“Our time is our only true currency”!

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Walter Elliot
Walter Elliot
Jan 25, 2023

When you come to fish in Norway, you give me a shout and we'll get a dram together!


Best wishes for your retirement, Ian, time to start catching! Hope to see you on the river bank.


Smart move. Enjoy. We are all a long time dead. Make the most of your health and time in the later years.


yes agreed, Sadly had too many people dying around me too close to my age so that was why I was in Aus doing a tour. However I am keeping my hand in with Semperfli and enjoying moving these awesome materials across the world and talking to some lovely people - so Noo so Baad!


Jan 25, 2023

And . . . relax!

I know what attention to detail, hard work, frustration (COVID) and enthusiasm you've had for your latest project with James - and I've experienced the results with the fantastic Cadence rod I bought last season. Tight lines and I hope to see you on the river for years to come Ian.

Ian Gordon
Ian Gordon
Jan 25, 2023
Replying to

Aye, the covid thing started the problems with both tackle and trips, although I have to say, the partners I have were brilliant during this time.

Relax!? Isnt that something you do when your dead!?

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