Flyfishing School

featuring Robert Gillespie

World-class instruction at Ireland’s most beautiful fishing lodge

Robert_Gillespie_3At Delphi Lodge we are able to provide world class tuition through our resident instructor, Robert Gillespie. Fly fishing instruction can be as simple as a short visit for half a day or built into a fully tutored course over a few days while staying in the Lodge. Robert Gillespie is one of the worlds most qualified fly casting/fishing instructors and is available for one to one tuition in addition to offering excellent tuition to small groups and families. Robert was the first person to successfully take all three FFF (Federation of Fly Fishers) examinations at the one testing event, doing so in November 2004 on the Beaverkill river at Roscoe, New York State.

Floyd Franke, Past Chairman and spokesperson for the five Certifiers involved said –
…”Robert Gillespie, with his calm quiet, retiring demeanour proved to be the biggest surprise of all. He breezed through the tests with the confidence of the professional he truly is. He deserves the distinction of being the first to pass all three certifications offered by the Federation in a single testing event. I was very pleased to have been a part of this “historic” event”…

A tutored course at Delphi Lodge, with Robert Gillespie, is a wonderful, relaxing and learning experience for anyone who wishes to take their first steps into this rewarding form of fishing. For many fly fishing becomes a true passion.

Information on course dates for 2021 coming soon.

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Profile Robert Gillespie - More Information
Profile Robert Gillespie – More Information:

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Robert was born and raised in Northern Ireland and moved to Co.Mayo in July 1985. He currently lives in Foxford close to the banks of the river Moy with his wife Mary and his two daughters Megan and Anna aged 7 and 14 respectively.

He inherited his game angling and fly fishing passion from his father and used to salmon fish the rivers Mourne and Roe on the Foyle system, the Owenea River in Donegal and fished extensively on the river Moy in Co. Mayo as well as some of the great western lakes such as Loughs Mask, Conn and Cullin for wild brown trout.

Roberts’s first double handed rod was purchased when he was just 16 years of age and he used a traditional style of Spey casting that as used by Hugh Falkus and others generally which was a figure of eight style of Spey casting.

In 1984 Robert saw a well known Irish caster named Brendan Begley casting in a different style with both single and double handed rods. It was a Scottish style taught by well known fly caster Peter Anderson, who was also a multiple world casting distance champion. This style of casting was more efficient and effective and so Robert travelled to the Spey Valley in Scotland for courses with Peter Anderson. Robert also travelled to learn Underhand casting directly from Goran Andersson and attended casting courses run by other casters such as Alastair Gowans, James Chalmers, Al Buhr, Gunther Feuerstein and others to increase his knowledge and teaching base.

Between 1984 and 2015 Robert worked as a guide and instructor at the Mount Falcon Lodge in Ballina and whilst there in 1986 he became a fly casting instructor in both single and double handed fly casting.

In 2016 he moved to Delphi Lodge in Connemara where he is now the resident guide and casting instructor for both single and double handed rods.

Robert Gillespie is one of the world’s most qualified fly casting/fishing instructors and is available for one to one tuition in addition to offering excellent tuition to small groups and families. Robert was the first person to successfully take all three FFF (Federation of Fly Fishers) examinations at the one testing event, doing so in November 2004 on the Beaverkill River at Roscoe, New York State.

Robert holds the following qualifications:

2003 –Association of Professional Game Angling Instructors (APGAI) Ireland for Salmon, Sea trout and Fly dressing

2004 – Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) Certified and Master – single handed rod, and TCHI – double handed rod.

2008 – Game Angling Instructors association (GAIC) UK and APGAI on the same day.

2015 – Double handed mentor for the National Casting and fishing association in Italy

He is currently a member of European Fly Fishing Association (E.F.F.A.)

Robert won the first Irish open single hand distance casting competition setting the official record of 39.08 metres.

 One of Roberts’s main attributes to his fly casting skills is that he is extremely patient and due to his experience is able to identify casting faults immediately and explain how to correct them.
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Beginners Course
Beginner’s Fly-Casting and Fishing Course featuring Robert Gillespie
Course dates for 2019 to be confirmed : 

Sunny day copyThese popular 3-day residential courses, normally run over weekends, provide an all-round introduction to fly-fishing. They are designed both for absolute beginners and for those wishing to improve their knowledge and eliminate troublesome casting faults.

The programme covers:

  • How to fish safely
  • Casting with single-handed rods
  • Correct rod-arm mechanics
  • Casting accuracy
  • Coping with windy conditions
  • Spey-casting and roll-casting
  • Leader making and fishing knots
  • Equipment appraisal; choosing tackle to suit your needs
  • Watercraft and how to read a river
  • Demonstrations of wet-fly, dry-fly and upstream nymph fishing
  • Fly-tying demonstration
  • An opportunity to river fish for trout each day
  • Guided boat fishing on one of Connemara’s premier fisheries
The courses are limited to eight participants.
A 50% deposit is payable on reservation. The balance is payable on departure. For details of Delphi’s cancellation policy, click on
 Reservations. Course dates are subject to change. Participants from overseas should await final confirmation of their course dates before.
Personal Course
Flyfishing School – Personal Tuition

FISHING TUITION (up to 6 persons)
A half day’s tuition @ €180 
A full day’s tuition @ €300 
Robert in RiverBy arrangement, Robert Gillespie is available for personal one-on-one tuition at Delphi. This is probably one of the best investments an aspiring fly-fisher could ever make. Advance reservation essential. Accommodation charges are additional.
All Courses

All the Delphi courses involve maximum individual care and attention from Robert himself. After a course at Delphi, participants are equipped with all the knowledge and skills required for a long and successful fly-fishing life. All courses are residential and include accommodation and all meals. The prices are based on shared rooms – for single rooms a supplement applies (see below). Course participants should bring warm and proper waterproof clothing, including waterproof over-trousers and wellington boots, a hat and sunglasses or other eye protection. All fishing tackle is provided. But, if you have your own tackle, by all means bring it along for assessment by Robert as to its suitability.

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