Thomas Turner Fly Fishing Antiques can trace its country sports history back to Thomas Turner, gunmaker of Marlborough (Wiltshire) who was born in 1770. When he died he left his gun making tools and stock to his younger son Henry. Henry’s elder son Thomas had already established the firm of Thomas Turner in Reading in 1838. Thomas Turner prospered and his sons followed him into the business. Thomas’s last surviving son also named Thomas died in the 1930’s and the firm was then acquired by one of his apprentices Jack Stratton son of Charles Stratton head keeper of a sporting estate nearby.
Two of Jack’s sons Peter and Michael carried on the tradition with Peter running the gun business and Michael running a fishing tackle business under the name of Thomas Turner and Sons (Reading). In 2001 Michael Stratton sold his tackle business to tackle retailer Sportfish and it was moved to Haywards Farm, Theale where a large barn was converted into a large fly fishing store.
Michael continued to trade in antique fishing tackle and his business flourished under the name of Thomas Turner Fly Fishing Antiques building a reputation for buying and selling quality branded antique tackle mainly from the likes of Hardy, Allcocks, Abu and Farlows on a global basis.
Following the death of Michael Stratton the business and stock was acquired by Fish and Fly Ltd. an online web publisher in June 2016. Principal owner of Fish and Fly Ltd. Richard Hewitt currently operates the business with help from his colleagues at Fish and Fly and his family. Richard has previously held the position of Chairman of Farlows of Pall Mall where he had the honour of being the grantee of the Royal Warrant for fishing tackle from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.