“What an incredible day! I'll be back.”
I’ve had few guides through the years, but Charley May was a special character who guided me in the Yarra Ranges.
Three things stood out:
1. Wonderful personality – which means one thing in certain circumstances, but for my guide it is essential. She offered pleasant suggestions when I realized in hindsight a more firm rebuff might have been appropriate. She adjusted pace to keep me happy. She has a wonderful and rich life experience that she is not hesitant to share. And she is comfortable with silence just when it is desired.
2. Excellent understanding of the way a river runs – the river was lower than normal conditions, but Charley continuously pointed to the runs, the pools, the counterintuitive posts that were taken up by the trout in the stream.
3. Good bug & fly sense – without exaggeration, there were 5 distinct moments when Charley had me change flies over runs we were actively fishing that resulted in hookups within 2 casts. Trust her.
There is plenty more. I’ll be back.
— Richard Wolf. New Jersey, USA.
"Charley has grace, unbelievable patience, a world of knowledge, and a great sense of humour."
I met Charley May before I became interested in fly fishing. We were pursuing another passion which is horses. While I’d vaguely considered trying fly fishing it was Charley who inspired me to take a lesson. She has grace, unbelievable patience, a world of knowledge and experience, a great sense of humour, an understanding that we have different learning abilities, and a smile that will knock your socks off. So far I’ve only had one lesson but planning on taking more in the future. It is so worth it! A super fun, learning and rewarding experience … and she packs a delicious lunch!
— Carrie Aronson, Anglers Rest, Victoria.
“A dreamlike experience.”
After a few seasons off, Charley taught me to cast again and reminded me why fly fishing is so peaceful. Watching her cast is hypnotic.
— Alec, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“I can’t wait until next summer!”
I've always wanted to try fly fishing and never knew where to start. Charley was a great teacher, I was chuffed to have a hang of the basics after a day. Can't wait to get on the water again next season. And she also packs a mean picnic.
— Adam, London, UK.
"Charley helped my daughter catch her first three wild trout."
I wanted to provide an all in fly fishing experience for my daughter Hannah, so contacted Charley. We met at the legendary Marysville Bakery, a short drive led to the “spot on the river”. Charley’s snake charm removal spell worked really well, not one was seen.
Despite the weather turning to crap, Charleys enthusiasm didn’t wane during the whole day. Her persistence and patience with Hannah paid off, with Hannah catching her first of 3 wild trout. I watched from the bank as she worked with Hannah, adjusting a cast, pointing out the spot to cast and being a great mentor during a hard day.
As a slightly more experienced fly fisher even I benefitted from some of Charley’s words and direction.
Overall the day was hard, but as we chatted on the drive home, both Hannah and I agreed it was a great experience. As a dad, it was all I could have wished for my daughter.
— John Motyka, Melbourne, Victoria.
“Patient teacher .”
I've been a spinner fisher for awhile and was keen to throw a few fly lines in. Thanks Charley for the lesson, the day went so fast, even though there's so much to remember. You're very calm and patient! Hope to be back for more.
— Christine, Kew, Melbourne.
I'd highly recommend Charley to any local or visitor to the region. She's generous with her knowledge and if you get just a bite of her infectious passion, you'll definitely be hooked.
— Helen, Omeo, Australia.
"Travelling fly fishers; do yourself a favour while in Melbourne, go fishing with Charley May."
From the get-go, I felt at ease because Charley is very knowledgeable and a great communicator, giving tuition and pointers as we went. It was a tough day, drizzling at times, no sunshine and very little insect activity. So, for this old dry fly fisherman new skills had to be learnt on the go. I landed four little native browns, missed another three and got educated on the art of nymphing. It was a great day and the scenery was sensational.
I am looking forward to my next visit to Melbourne and getting back out on the streams with Charley May.
— Brad, Gold Coast, Australia.
Charley's a brilliant guide: she knows the best spots to go, gives clear instruction when its needed and knows how to have a fun. Many an excellent day with Charley guiding on the water, not to mention the memorable end-of-day river bank aperitivos! Thank you.
— Matthew, South Yarra, Melbourne.
"Good value guide who knows what she's doing"
I had the good fortune to guide & fish with Charley May. She’s one of those people who put you at ease instantly. She chooses beautiful locations suited to client’s skill levels and often only accessible through private property because of the respect she’s earned with landowners.
A talented fly fisher, she's skilled at passing on her knowledge to clients — not every guide has this crucial ability. And importantly, she makes fly fishing fun for the young and old codgers like me too!
— Dave Blackman, Wandy Creek Fly Fishing.