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Thread: ghillie job

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    kirkintilloch
    Posts
    83

    Default ghillie job

    hey there i am lookkng to become a fishing ghillie has anyone got any info or any jobs going i am 23 years of age and have fished for salmon all my life

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi Jamie,
    You may be lucky but it is very rare to see jobs like that advertised. They are normally filled on a word of mouth basis. If you are really serious then your best way of getting an entry into that life is to find an estate/estates near you and offer your services on a short notice basis of filling in for the resident ghillie at times of sickness or holidays. Sometimes they do get a bit desperate if they are really busy, but to be honest, most ghillies and estates already have a pool of 'volunteeers' to fill in these jobs.
    Best of Luck anyway.
    Last edited by Wee-Eck; 05-06-2017 at 04:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Hi, Jamie,

    Wee-Eck's quite right in all he says. Also, most estates will already have their staff sorted for this season so occasional work rather than full time or seasonal might be your only option.

    Keep an eye on Greycoat Lumleys and Rural Recruits, something might turn up.

    What I recommend (and I am a seasonal gillie myself) is that you use the internet to find the Factor, Estate Manager or Head Gillie from suitable estates, send them a C.V. and ask them to keep you on file and to bear you in mind in the future. If it's feasible, you might offer to visit them for an informal chat. As Wee Eck says, so much is word of mouth so you need to get your face known to get your foot in the door, so to speak. You might even get a cast out of it if you're lucky.
    Follow that up with another letter/email next Jan/Feb and hope for the best.

    If you do get an invitation to visit, do your homework. Learn a little about the history of the place, who owns it, the last decade's catch returns, if possible, search the forums for guests' comments and if you find a beat map, learn the pool's names. Stuff like that will let the estate know you're serious and want the job.

    Be prepared to do other work than gillieing. On some estates River Staff is River Staff but on others you might be expected to help the Field, Garden or House Staff out when required. I've always expected to have strim and trim the bankside, mend potholes, drive guests around. It's part of the job.

    It is worth considering what kind of water the estate has and what waters you know how to fish. I've found enormous differences in style and method - and salmon behaviour - between the Hebs and the East Coast.
    Are you game for 6 hours rowing a 150 year-old clinker-built boat with 150 years of paint on it and 36 stone of 'gentlemen' in it in a 15 mph breeze six days a week? Some lochs are over an hour's walk away, then you start rowing - and will carry any kill back over the mountain at the end of play ..... Try Lewis & Harris.
    Other estates have the water by the road, the banks strimmed short, the grass mowed and you could fish in slippers. Then there's spate rivers, big rivers, slow rivers, etc., etc. To begin with, it might be better to look for estates with water similar to what you know - but don't limit yourself. There are too few positions available to do that and you'll never stop learning in this sport anyway, it is so diverse. But, forgive me. You may be adept in all methods already, I don't mean to say otherwise.

    Be prepared for sub-par accommodation, low wages, physical labour and a lot of laughs. You'll get some great guests and some you'll be glad to see go. Some will tip generously, others not so much, some the same regardless of how much you help them, others appreciate the extra effort. You never know until 'the handshake' on Saturday!
    Finally, don't expect to get that much fishing yourself - that varies from place to place.

    Good luck with it!
    James.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis.Chessman View Post
    Hi, Jamie,

    Wee-Eck's quite right in all he says. Also, most estates will already have their staff sorted for this season so occasional work rather than full time or seasonal might be your only option.

    Keep an eye on Greycoat Lumleys and Rural Recruits, something might turn up.

    What I recommend (and I am a seasonal gillie myself) is that you use the internet to find the Factor, Estate Manager or Head Gillie from suitable estates, send them a C.V. and ask them to keep you on file and to bear you in mind in the future. If it's feasible, you might offer to visit them for an informal chat. As Wee Eck says, so much is word of mouth so you need to get your face known to get your foot in the door, so to speak. You might even get a cast out of it if you're lucky.
    Follow that up with another letter/email next Jan/Feb and hope for the best.

    If you do get an invitation to visit, do your homework. Learn a little about the history of the place, who owns it, the last decade's catch returns, if possible, search the forums for guests' comments and if you find a beat map, learn the pool's names. Stuff like that will let the estate know you're serious and want the job.

    Be prepared to do other work than gillieing. On some estates River Staff is River Staff but on others you might be expected to help the Field, Garden or House Staff out when required. I've always expected to have strim and trim the bankside, mend potholes, drive guests around. It's part of the job.

    It is worth considering what kind of water the estate has and what waters you know how to fish. I've found enormous differences in style and method - and salmon behaviour - between the Hebs and the East Coast.
    Are you game for 6 hours rowing a 150 year-old clinker-built boat with 150 years of paint on it and 36 stone of 'gentlemen' in it in a 15 mph breeze six days a week? Some lochs are over an hour's walk away, then you start rowing - and will carry any kill back over the mountain at the end of play ..... Try Lewis & Harris.
    Other estates have the water by the road, the banks strimmed short, the grass mowed and you could fish in slippers. Then there's spate rivers, big rivers, slow rivers, etc., etc. To begin with, it might be better to look for estates with water similar to what you know - but don't limit yourself. There are too few positions available to do that and you'll never stop learning in this sport anyway, it is so diverse. But, forgive me. You may be adept in all methods already, I don't mean to say otherwise.

    Be prepared for sub-par accommodation, low wages, physical labour and a lot of laughs. You'll get some great guests and some you'll be glad to see go. Some will tip generously, others not so much, some the same regardless of how much you help them, others appreciate the extra effort. You never know until 'the handshake' on Saturday!
    Finally, don't expect to get that much fishing yourself - that varies from place to place.

    Good luck with it!
    James.
    Superb advice well done

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at
    Posts
    7,860

    Default

    PM Sent
    "What do they know of fishing who know only one fish and one way to fish for him?"

    Jack Hargreaves OBE (31 December 191115 March 1994)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    53

    Default

    P.S.
    Jamie - I lived in Lenzie from '69 to '77 ..... Are Ghiloni's chips and ice cream still excellent?
    Last edited by Lewis.Chessman; 06-06-2017 at 01:11 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    I can confirm Ghilonis ice cream still magnificent.

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Cirencester
    Posts
    2,400

    Default

    Jamie,

    Like a lot on this forum I'm sure, if I had my time again I would look to do exactly what you are thinking of!

    There is some great advice already in this thread, but if I had my time again (and I've mulled this over a lot in the long off seasons!) I would be looking at doing the following:

    - Be prepared, at least initially, to go and work for nothing but bed and board;
    - Learn a skill, whether it's cooking, cleaning, painting, fly tying, so you have something additional to offer;
    - As has been said, do your research on the fishery/estate and its history;
    - Be persistent, as there are probably lots of folk out these who fancy this sort of thing;
    - Be open to doing prety much anyhting to get your foot in the door.

    There was a chap on the forum last year - I think his name was Finlay - who was about your age I think and who went up to the Hebrides to be a ghillie. He seemed to do well last season, and managed their online presence with Facebook updates, etc. which is definitely a skill that you should flaunt if you have it. He is definitely worth an e-mal/message as I;'m sure he will have some advuice, if not some contacts.

    Good luck with it and let us know how it gets on.

    Oscar.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    53

    Default

    All good points from Oscar, especially 'do anything to get in the door'. 'Watching' is a good 'in' as it's not the easiest or most popular job - tough hours in all weathers often in a basic bothy out in the wilds. Many young 'uns can't hack it but if you've a passion for the salmon it could well suit you to a T. The Heb estates can struggle to find and keep fishing/watching staff as it's so remote. It's worth contacting the Lewis/Harris estates now as the season isn't yet fully underway and, who knows, somebody might already have dropped out.

    I think Finlay was at Uig Lodge in Lewis for a season.
    Off the back of that I heard that he'd been offered a seasonal job at Tulchan on the Spey - but turned it down in favour of a job on the Tay! Drop him a line - he is FinlayT here, I think?

    It just goes to show, once you've made a start other doors may open. My first 'appointment' was as 'Caretaker' on an 18,000 acre estate on Lewis. Just me, three separate salmon systems and countless trout lochs all to myself for much of the season. I got a house for 1 per year and 50 per month 'wage', gillied a bit, fished a lot, fixed lost roof tiles and burst pipes, trapped mink & shot bunnies & crows, loved the place and became good friends with the owner and his family. After I left they invited me back on the Family Week every year until they sold after his death.
    I was lucky and had a few grand in the bank to live on that year so, as Oscar says, a back-up trade is worth developing to supplement a low income while you're starting out.

    Edit: PM sent.
    Last edited by Lewis.Chessman; 06-06-2017 at 05:14 PM.

  10. #10

    Default

    This has just come up on my Facebook feed.

    Might be worth a look. Good an opportunity as any I reckon.

    River Dee
    Mark

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