GAIA - Game Angling Instructors Association


Arthur Ogleseby enlisted his co founders Esmond Drury and Captain Tommy Edwards,Jack Martin,Jim Hardy and Barry Welham game angling celebrities of their day to establish a qualification in 'Game Angling' based on a formal syllabus and examination.

By 1970 three areas were available, Salmon Casting (and fishing), Trout Casting (and fishing) and Flydressing. Candidates were required to demonstrate high standards of skills and a thorough knowledge of that particular area of their sport. Candidates were also required to identify and rectify faults and show a high standard in teaching the various methods.

In those early years Donald Downs, Ken Smith ,Peter Mackenzie Philps , Ron Holloway were among the qualifiers for APGAI , Donald Downs today is President of GAIA.

The syllabuses were refined and improved to enshrine new techniques and developments as the Association were keen to promote sound and efficient practices.

With the turn of the century came also changes in structure of the Association and invitation to holders of recognized qualifications to join their respective organizations under the 'Umbrella' body of the 'Game Angling Instructors Association'. The organisation of this transition was initially festooned but as with all good organisations the hiccups have now given way and shown light at the end of the tunnel.

(S.T.A.N.I.C) 'Salmon and Trout Association National Instructor Certificate' although recognised as a qualification has passed on to (Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Angling) and under the auspices of the Salmon and Trout Association an equal partner of the (Joint Angling Development Board) and Sports Coach UK, brings the 'Coaching' of our Game Angling into line with structured methods across the breadth of all of 'Sports Coaching' within the British Isles.

(G.A.I.C) 'Game Angling Instructor Certificate' can be realised by external self preparation followed by an internal examination and assessment. This will enable qualification in Salmon, Trout, Flydressing or all, which leads to full membership, this bridges the gap left by the demise of (S.T.A.N.I.C)

(S.G.A.I.C) 'Scottish Game Angling Instructor Certificate' can be realised by external self preparation followed by an internal examination and assessment. This will enable qualification In Salmon, Trout, Flydressing or all, which leads to full membership.

(A.P.G.A.I) 'Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructor' can be realised by any potential Instructor holding any of the recognised qualifications, by assessment normally held once in each calendar year in Salmon, Trout , Flydressing or all.


The Game Angling Instructors Association formerly the 'Association of Professional Game Angling Instructors (A.P.G.A.I) was created in 1967 to establish and maintain standards of excellence in the field of 'Game Angling Instruction'. Initially this was limited to the fileds of salmon and trout angling, however, since that time fishing, especially fly fishing for sea fish and other species throughout the world.

In 1997 the association changed its name to the 'Game Angling Instructors Association' retaining the letters (A.P.G.A.I) as 'Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructor'.

In 2001 the 'Game Angling Instructors Association' extended their membership criteria by inviting the holders of the (S.T.A.N.I.C) 'Salmon and Trout Association National Instructors Certificate' and (S.G.A.I.C) 'Scottish Game Angling Instructor Certificate' to become full members, this also encompassed qualified members of (R.E.F.F.I.S) 'Register of Experienced Fly-fishing Instructors, Schools and Guides'

The association 'G.A.I.A' now acts as the organising body and trade association for the benefit of its members who include the majority of 'Game Angling Instructors' within the British Isles, and some overseas members, who hold a recognised qualification.

Currently there are around four hundred members holding various qualifications in 'Game Angling'. The pages on this site under ' Directory of members' detail their qualifications and the 'Syllabus' pages detail the structure and criteria of those qualifications.

Mission Statement

The Game Angling Instructors Association (GAIA) will establish and maintain a high standard of technical skill and angling techniques; delivered by professional instructors (coaches) in a safe and secure environment. To promote the development of game-angling to ensure there is best practice available at all times through regular continuing personal and professional development.

This statement is supported by a Corporate Governance and Responsibility structure.

The Association (GAIA) believes that the way in which it conducts its business is an important part of being a successful, modern organisation. It considers social, ethical and environmental factors to be integral in delivering a first class service and these are reflected in its corporate values and standards.

Similarly the same values and standards govern its relationships with the public and in partnership with other organisations.

GAIA aims to recruit and retain members, attract and develop partnerships by providing high quality products and services. To enable it to do so it will;

  • Ensure that all products and services are of a strict quality that accords with and enhances its recognition as a national game angling organisation.
  • Promote Continuing Personal and Professional Development of all members to ensure best practice is followed and a duty of care is provided to those who seek instruction (coaching) in game angling.

Equity and Respect

GAIA is committed to the elimination of all unlawful or unfair discrimination on any grounds including sex and sexual orientation, race, colour, religion, politics, social background and disability, both mental and physical.

GAIA promotes an environment free from victimisation, intimidation, discrimination, bullying or harassment. It encourages mutual respect and dignity between its members and recommends that they observe the same standards in their private practice and working with other organisations.

Health and Safety and Risk Management

GAIA recognises its responsibility to provide a safe environment for instruction and coaching of game angling in its organised events. This includes volunteers and members of the public seeking instruction or as spectators.

It actively encourages and promotes the same responsibility to its members when risk assessing and managing their own events.

The Environment

Today, environmental issues should be high on every organisations agenda. As a leading coaching organisation GAIA recognises that it has a role to play in ensuring it manages its environmental impact and communicating good environmental practice within the pursuit of game angling.

  • Identify and manage environmental issues within its everyday business.
  • Promote the use of technology and reduce the use of paper communications.
  • Promote care of the environment (flora and fauna), in particular all watercourses and the countryside, in its instruction (coaching) of game angling techniques.
  • Promote good behaviour and the safe practice of game angling.

Malpractice, Fraud and Corruption

GAIA will encourage all members and partnership organisations to assist in ensuring that malpractice, fraud and corruption will not be tolerated and that action will be taken against any perpetrators.

Review of this Statement and Equality Impact Assessment
This statement will be annually reviewed by the management committee.