What’s it about?
Fishing, whether active or passive, has been a means for us to secure food for thousands of years. Our hunter gatherer ancestors in the British Isles would have been very familiar with this technology, taking advantage of streams, rivers, coastal areas and lakes. In fact some studies have concluded that up to 60% of a hunter gatherer’s diet was made up of fish.
People living inland regularly ate perch, pike and burbot, whilst people living on the coast mainly ate cod, but also herring, pollock, haddock, dogfish and plaice.
What will I do on this primitive fishing kit course?
During this one day primitive fishing kit course, led by Billy Souter, you will look at various types of fishing hook, including lures, and how to create these beautiful things from what we can find in nature.
You will make a ‘tracer’ from horse hair as well as some fishing weights from various types of stone.
By the end of the day you should be going home with a lovely set of hooks and weights.
You could make a weekend of it and book a place on our Bone Tools Workshop too!
You can view our full course schedule here.
Location: Westwell, Kent
Duration: 1 day
Course size: Maximum of 8
Catering: We’ll provide tea & coffee, you’ll need to bring a packed lunch
Note: There’s a short walk from the meeting point to the camp.
You might also find these Frequently Asked Questions useful.
What our customers say
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Once again an excellent and enlightening workshop facilitated by Jack Raven
Having completed the bone tools course in March 2022, I wanted to look at this workshop to see how the skills meshed together. Let me state from the start, as Ben in the previous review, I am not a fisherman. But you don’t have to be a fisherman to get value out of this workshop. For me the day was about learning new techniques and applying primitive skills to achieve a goal. In this case producing some usable fishing tackle. Neither is the bone tools workshop a requirement to throughly enjoy this day. It is a stand alone course. You will have all the skills you needed patiently explained to you by Billy the tutor, who is a master at teaching this subject.
I walked away at the end of the day with hooks, a sinker, line and some lures. All handmade using only primitive tools and natural materials.
The course is hands on, there was a large handling collection of primitive fishing tackle to examine. A full range of primitive tools were also provided to make items to catch fish. Billy had brought along some excellent teaching aids as well, to help master complex techniques, such as the bindings needed to make the hooks. Everybody in the group produced fishing tackle at the end of the day.
I came away, as I did from the previous workshop with an appreciation of the skill required by our ancestors to make their own everyday implements. Take something as simple as fishing line. When you have to produce line from scratch, using natural materials, you will understand what I mean. Think of all the things cordage used to fish needs to be. Strong, water resistant, feather light and invisible to a fish.
I would recommend this course if you are looking for something slightly different in Bushcraft knowledge or are curious about experimental archeology.
A very different way to spend a rainy Sunday but, as ever, well looked after at the Jack Raven site, with shelter to keep us dry & enable us to look at building a primitive fishing kit to catch fish (in theory anyway!).
You don’t have to be a fisherman to get value out of this course, indeed I don’t believe any of my fellow attendees were. Rather it’s an education as to what natural resources there are around us to put together hook, line and ‘sinkers’ (weights) to be able to go fishing if you wanted to. You get to think about the potential in some everyday items that may not ordinarily be given a second thought and apply them to the goal subject, in this case, fishing. The methods & materials used to construct the equipment can be applied to other subject matter though – as experienced by the attendees that went to the other related new course the previous day, making bone tools.
Billy is a patient and very knowledgeable tutor and his enthusiasm was clear to see. It was great to learn how the tools used on this course were created and see demonstrations of other bone tools at the end that weren’t needed today.