Beginners guide to float fishing – waggler floats

bream caught on waggler

A nice small water bream to a very simple waggler rig.

The sight of a dipping float is something that sums up the excitement of coarse fishing. Learn to fish the waggler, and you’ll have a method that will work on countless waters for all manner of species, and bring you that excitement wherever you fish.

Fishing For Dummies and Canal Fishing author Dominic Garnett provides an easy-to-follow guide to waggler float fishing.

What is a waggler?

There are various types of float used in coarse fishing, but the waggler is perhaps the most popular these days. They’re easy to set up, and allow for a stable, relatively tangle-free presentation that works with all kinds of baits on all kinds of fisheries. So what exactly is a waggler?

In simple terms, wagglers are floats that are attached by the bottom end only. This makes them easy to rig, because you can simply pinch them in place on your main line with split shot. This type of float also gives good stability, with the angler able to sink the line into the water, beating surface tow and debris.

Which waggler to choose?

types of waggler

There’s a wide selection of wagglers

Walk into any tackle shop and you’ll see various waggler floats to cater for different fishing scenarios. It’s well worth buying a variety of wagglers to suit various uses. You might be fishing right at your feet one session and casting well out into a stiff wind the next, with each scenario requiring quite a different float. There are several kinds of waggler to look out for:

canal wagglers

Canal and mini wagglers

A: Canal & Mini Wagglers are for fishing sensitively, usually at close range. They are often tapered and have a fairly fine tip. These are great for fishing on natural stillwaters and canals, where species such as roach, skimmers and crucians can be shy biting. Short versions like those shown also make sense for shallow water, where you don’t want a long or heavy float crashing down each cast.

insert wagglers

Insert wagglers

B: Insert Wagglers: Come in many sizes, but have a noticeably finer tip section or “insert”. This aids sensitivity for spotting gentle bites, although larger models can still be cast quite a distance.

Straight wagglers

Straight wagglers

C: Straight Wagglers: As the name sounds, these floats are straight, and have a thicker tip than insert models. These are sensible floats to use when you need extra stability; for example, when wind or tow will pull a skinny tip under and give false bites. The longer, larger floats can handle blustery conditions and be cast a fair distance. Some also have little “bodies” or thicker sections to offer even more casting weight and stability.

loaded and pellet wagglers

Loaded and pellet wagglers

D: Loaded and Pellet Wagglers: Some wagglers are weighted or “loaded” at the bottom, or come in much chunkier dimensions to allow longer casts made. These are excellent for aiming at distant features such as islands, and are often used for carp with slow sinking baits.

Typical Waggler Fishing Tackle

pellett waggler

Image source: UK Match Angler
A pellett waggler, hard at work!

The best rods for waggler fishing are float or match rods, although you will also get away with a light spinning rod for fishing close to the bank. However, ideally a float rod will be 12 or 13 feet long and suited to use with lines of 4-8lb breaking strain.

Many quite powerful “Carp match” or “power match” rods exist these days, and are ideal for commercial fisheries stocked with hard-fighting carp. Lighter rods that are ideal for natural venues and species such as roach and rudd are less commonly available, but a lighter rod is a lovely tool to use on canals and rivers.

It’s best to combine the rod with a small to mid sized reel, loaded with quality line (avoid cheap mono at all costs!). 5-6lbs main line would be typical where species such as carp and tench are the staple, or 3-4 lbs strength for silver fish and bream, where the odd bonus might show up.

Last but not least, it is always worth using a hook length (a foot or so of finer, more sensitive line to which the hook is tied). Not only will this give you better presentation (fish are less able to detect thinner line), but means that should you snag up, you will only lose a hook, not your whole rig. You can tie these yourself, but they also come ready-tied for convenience.

Tackle and typical waggler rigs

fishing tackle


Setting up a waggler rig isn’t rocket science, but the way you do this can be crucial to success. While not essential, it’s very helpful to use a float adaptor. This is a little silicone sleeve which accepts any waggler float.

The adaptor allows you to change your float at a moment’s notice without starting all over again. For example, you might decide to switch to a larger float to combat wind, or to make longer casts.

First, attach your waggler by trapping it onto your main reel line with split shot. Most floats will tell you how many shot are required by the numbers and letters written on the side (for example “3BB” or “5AA”).

A good general rule is to trap the float in place with at least two thirds of the required shot. This is because having most of the weight in one place helps with casting; lots of shot scattered down the line tend to cause tangles.

Attach your shot snugly to the line, but avoid squeezing them on so tightly that they’re fixed. You should be able to move them along the line to adjust the depth.

waggler on line

A balanced waggler outfit, ready for action


With your float secured in place, you will also need to attach some shot down the line, to help sink the bait and indicate bites. A few smaller weights (typically sizes 4, 6 and 8) will be much better for this than one or two larger samples. If you want the bait to get down quickly, try a little “bulk” of shot clustered together a foot to eighteen inches from the hook.

If you want a slower sinking bait, for example when you can see fish such as rudd or roach swimming higher in the water, try spacing the shot out evenly (see drawn illustration below).

Last but not least, you’ll also notice that we always set up with a final, small shot just 2-3 inches from the hook (usually a size 8,9 or 10 shot). It might be the least visible, but this little shot (often called the “tell tale shot”) is so, so important.

Why, exactly? Because when a fish takes the bait, this little shot also moves and gives you an early indication that you have a bite; without it, you will spot bites late, leading to more missed and deep-hooked fish.

waggler rigs plumbing depth

Try a “bulk” of shot to get down quickly; or space evenly for a slower fall of the bait.

Basic Waggler fishing skills

Many new and inexperienced anglers just want to cast their float as far as possible. However, the best advice on most popular day ticket lakes would be to start much closer in, because there will often be many more fish right by the bank and close to marginal features.

Sometimes you might fish off the bottom when fish are cruising in midwater, or even fish “overdepth” with a little line on the bottom if it is too windy to keep the bait still. Most of the time, however, it is best to start with the bait just about touching the bottom. This ensures that any bites you get will quickly be transmitted to the float tip.

Plumbing the depths

Sussing out the depth of your chosen spot is a vital skill. Too many anglers either don’t bother, rush the job, or get it wrong. Do take your time, because there is a huge difference between having the depth spot on and “about right.”

The easiest way to test the depth with a waggler is to carefully pinch a larger shot, such as an AA, onto the final inch of line right next to the hook before casting out and observing what happens. If the float plunges down and out of sight, you are set too shallow and should move the float away from the hook.

If the opposite happens,and the float sits up too high or even lies flat, you have too much line between float and hook and must narrow the gap. Adjust this length carefully, until just the very tip of the float shows and you have the right depth.

Be warned though, you must give a little slack line when testing the depth. This avoids creating a diagonal angle between hook and float and getting an inaccurate reading.

You’ll find it much easier to get the exact depth closer in – and it’s also worth spending a few minutes trying different spots around your swim and seeing how the depth changes. This can give you some handy answers to important questions. How deep is the water right by the bank? How deep is it two or three rod lengths out? Does the depth drop away suddenly or gradually? Answer these kinds of questions, and you will be able to catch more fish!

Where to begin

A good starting point for your waggler fishing session is often to try just down the “shelf”, where the margin drops away into slightly deeper water, often between one and two rod lengths out. In warm weather, fish like carp might come right under your feet; in the winter, you may fare better by fishing deeper water.

Once you’re happy with where you want to fish, it’s time to add some bait. Start with a small handful of samples, but be prepared to keep adding a small amount to this at regular intervals.

Spotting Bites and Striking

action on the waggler

The author plays a good fish on the waggler; in this case a tench, hooked in deep water with a long bodied float

Bites can vary a lot between different fish species. The classic movement will be the float just pulling straight under – for fish like carp and tench it’s best to ignore the tiny movements, and wait for this to happen before striking.

Other bites can be cagier, however, with the float “taking a walk” but not submerging. Sometimes the float can even lift slightly. Experience and practise will tell you when to strike, but with shy-biting fish like roach and skimmers, you might have to hit these indications early!

Above all, pay close attention to that float, observing how it settles as the bait and shot fall through the water. If the float stops or behaves suspiciously, this can quite often be a fish taking “on the drop” as the bait falls. Strike!

Waggler Fishing Tips

waggler caught tench

A margin caught tench, caught on the waggler

    • One of the best tips for all float fishing is to hold the rod at all times. Don’t be lazy and put the rod down in a rest! Much of the time you will have missed the fish by the time you pick the rod up. Instead, be ready to strike with a nice positive lift.
    • As with the casting and feeding, the strike takes practice. It should be decisive but not violent – find a happy medium! Strike too softly and you won’t set the hook Strike brutally and you’ll “bump” fish off, or risk breaking the line on a big one.
    • One of the most common mistakes when fishing the waggler is to have too much float showing above the water. If you give the fish too much tip to pull under, many of them will simply get suspicious and drop the bait. Aim to have just the brightly coloured tip showing – or just the final 2-3mm if conditions are calm.
    • For most waggler fishing, a floating reel line is sensible. However, in windy conditions, you can also sink the line to avoid tow. Do this by dipping the rod tip under the water and giving a couple of pulls after casting out.
    • As with most types of general float fishing, you will usually catch a lot more by loose feeding. Try doing this “little and often” by throwing or catapulting in just a few samples of bait every three or so minutes. If you keep casting to the exact same spot and keep your feed accurate, this will help concentrate the fish.
    • Try Stotz rather than dust shot for your smaller weights. They tend to stay on the line much better than tiny traditional shot in sizes 8,9 and 10.
    • Don’t just sit there when you waggler fish. Quite often the fish will bite just as the float settles, because they have spotted the bait sinking to the bottom. Try recasting to get extra bites – or search different areas of your swim. For example, if you’re catching a lot of fish in your main feed area, you might find that the fish start to back off or go a little further out.

Further Info:

You can find more of Dominic’s fishing tips, tales and photography at

His book “Fishing For Dummies” is excellent for beginners and those returning to the sport, while Canal Fishing: A Practical Guide provides the lowdown on a wide range of methods, species and locations across the UK.


All images courtesy of Dominic Garnett unless otherwise stated

UK Upwing Flies – Match the Hatch Guide

Fishtec fly fishing upwings header
Our illustrative guides are designed to help you ‘match the hatch’ and catch more trout and grayling on British rivers.

This upwing fly chart will help you identify the most common Ephemeroptera species on UK rivers, and recommend a tried and tested imitation – as used by the Fishtec team.

All recommended fly patterns are based on the new range of Caledonia single flies, available from Fishtec here.

Remember to check out our other river fly fishing guides, including sedges and terrestrials.

Fly fishing infographic upwing flies uk

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Simply copy and paste the code below:

Image credits and references
Header background. Rocksweeper. Source: Shutterstock
Baetis rhodani. Cull, Tom. Source: Flickr
Rhithrogena germanica. Bartz, Richard. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Ecdyonurus torrentis. Lewis, Gareth. Source: Gareth Lewis Fly Fishing
Heptagenia Sulphurea. Source: Trout Purgatory
Ephemera danica. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
Baetis niger. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
Baetis fuscatus. Mogliotti, Andrea. Source: Euro Fly Angler
Caenis macrura. Storey, Malcolm. Source: Encyclopedia Of Life
Serratella ignita. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
Baetis vermus. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
All imitation fly images. Source: Fishtec

UK Sedge Flies – Match the Hatch Guide

Fishtec fly fishing sedges header
Our illustrative guides are designed to help you ‘match the hatch’ and catch more game fish on our rivers.

This fly fishing chart will help you identify the most common UK sedge and caddis flies, then recommend a tried and tested artificial imitation.

All recommended fly patterns are based on the new range of Caledonia single flies, available from Fishtec here.

Remember to check out our upwing fly chart, and the terrestrial and other insects guide too.

uk sedge and caddis fly fishing infographic

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Simply copy and paste the code below:

Image credits and references
Header background. Rocksweeper. Source: Shutterstock
Brachycentrus subnubilus. Mogliotti, Andrea. Source: Euro Fly Angler
Limnephilus lunatus. Mogliotti, Andrea. Source: Euro Fly Angler
Sericostoma personatum. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
Goera pilosa. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
Athripsodes cinereus. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
Hydropsyche siltalai. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
Anabolia nervosa. Mogliotti, Andrea. Source: Euro Fly Angler
All imitation fly images. Source: Fishtec

UK Terrestrial and Other Insects – Match the Hatch Guide

Fishtec fly fishing terrestrials header
Our illustrative guides are designed to help you ‘match the hatch’ and catch more game fish on British rivers.

When trout are rising to insects blown onto the water, or the fish are taking something small or unusual, our terrestrial & other insects chart will be able to help you identify a suitable fly to use.

All recommended fly patterns are based on the new range of Caledonia single flies, available from Fishtec here.

In case you missed them, check out our upwing fly and sedge chart for the complete collection of our UK river fly guides.

Fishtec uk terrestrial fly fishing infographic

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Simply copy and paste the code below:

Image credits and references
Header background. Rocksweeper. Source: Shutterstock
Chironomiidae sp. Mogliotti, Andrea. Source: Euro Fly Angler
Dinocras cephalotes. Lupton, Ben. Source: Flickr
Sialis. Mogliotti, Andrea. Source: Euro Fly Angler
Bibio Johannis. Sersen, Jozef. Source: Biolib
Bibio marci. Mogliotti, Andrea. Source: Euro Fly Angler
Tipula sp. Mogliotti, Andrea. Source: Euro Fly Angler
Myrmica rubra. Xpixel. Source: Shutterstock
Bibio Pomonae. Styko. Source: Wikimedia Commons
All imitation fly images. Source: Fishtec

World’s Weirdest Fish


Image source: shutterstock
Who needs to stay underwater?

Who’s up for some freaky fish with superpowers? Here we bring you fish that fly, walk, skip and even climb trees. You’d need pretty impressive fishing gear to catch any of these creatures –  not that you’d want to – they’d be far more fun to watch.

1. Batfish

red lipped batfish

Image source: Wikipedia
Red-lipped batfish. Superpower: walking

Holy mackerel, Batfish! Like the Caped Crusader, the red-lipped batfish has highly developed pecs (pectoral fins, that is). Unlike Batman, it uses them to walk. And it doesn’t live in a Batcave either, instead spending its time wandering the seabed off the Galapagos.

In fact, can we really be sure the batfish is a force for good after all? On closer inspection, the bright red lips also make the batfish resemble the Joker, which begs the question: Whose side it is on?

2. Icarfish

flying fish

Image source: Theron Trowbridge / Flickr (cropped from original square image)
Flying fish. Superpower: flying

Like Ironman, Superman, or even Wonder Woman in her invisible plane, there are 64 species of fish whose superpower is flight.

But there’s one superfish to beat them all. “Icarfish” is a specific individual flying fish, named by a Japanese television crew who caught it on camera in 2008.

Icarfish spent 45 seconds flying through the air, a world record-breaking flight for a fish. A supper fish as well as a superfish, the flying fish is also the national dish of Barbados.

3. The Blob


Image source: James Joel / Flickr
Blobfish. Superpower: Floating (and being super-ugly)

Here’s a creature to frighten the seahorses. It’s easy to see why the blobfish was named the world’s ugliest animal in 2013.

Adopted as the mascot for the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, the blobfish has the unusual (and frankly rather unimpressive) superpower of floating rather than swimming.

With no muscles, and jelly-like flesh, this fishy Mr Blobby survives by waiting for anything edible to float by. No wonder it looks miserable.

4. Fishzilla

fishzilla snakehead fish

Image source: Larry Oien / Flickr
Snakehead fish. Superpowers: walking, climbing, looking furious

It’s rarely more than 30 inches long, but the snakehead fish, commonly called ‘Fishzilla’, is a fearsome beast. Able to breath air, it can walk on land in search of prey – including birds, snakes and rodents – which it devours whole with its razor-sharp teeth.

Originally from South East Asia, Fishzilla has more recently invaded American and Australian waters. One way to defeat this monstrous creature is with Thai or Vietnamese cuisine: it’s delicious cooked with lime and chilli.

5. Spiderfish

Blind cave fish. Superpower: scaling steep rock faces.

Spiderfish, Spiderfish, does… whatever a Spiderfish does. Recently discovered in Thailand, the blind  cave fish scales vast, vertical rock faces behind waterfalls.

Even more impressive is the fact that, as its name suggests, this eye-less superfish performs its climbing feat without being able to see. Awesome skills.

6. Swamp Thing


Image source: shutterstock
Mudskipper. Superpowers: walking, jumping.

It swims, it runs… If only the mudskipper could cycle it would make the perfect triathlete. Spending 90% of its time on land in estuaries, swamps and marshes, the amphibious mudskipper absorbs oxygen through its skin – keeping itself moist by rolling in mud.

The mudskipper’s other superpower? It also jumps really high. It may not leap tall buildings in a single bound – but two feet is a colossal jump for a little fish.

7. The Incredible Killifish

mangrove killifish

Image source: wikimedia commons
Mangrove killifish. Superpowers: climbing, extreme aggression

You wouldn’t like the mangrove killifish when it’s angry. Extremely aggressive and territorial, it fights to protect its puddles in coastal mangrove forests.

When the puddles dry up, the killifish climbs the trees. In fact, it spends several months of the year living out of the water, hidden away inside rotten branches and trunks.

How? By temporarily altering its biological makeup to breathe air. How’s that for superhero skills?

8. Doctor Octopus

tree octopus

Image source:
Pacific Northwest tree octopus. Superpower: climbing trees.

The world’s weirdest fish out of water isn’t a fish at all but a cephalopod. The Pacific Northwest tree octopus has Doc Ock’s uncanny climbing ability. Able to survive on land and in water, it lives in the Olympic National Forest in the USA and its main predator is the Sasquatch.

Hang on – do you smell something fishy? You’re right, the Pacific Northwest tree octopus is an internet hoax created in 1998 by Lyle Zapato. But it had a lot of people going for a while.

What fishy superpowers have you come across? Share your superfish stories on our Facebook page.

Llanelli Angling Association

llanelli club

Situated in the beautiful ‘Swiss valley’ Llanelli AA was founded in 1902 and the club water has been the upper Lliedi Reservoir ever since.

David Gordon (Hon sec)
Use online form
Telephone number:
01554 776001
Day ticket available:
Season permit available:
South West Wales
Social Media:
Yes, Facebook page.

For a break from the usual ‘stockie pond’ fishing this is one of the best fisheries we have found in the area and well worth a visit. The established reservoir is regularly stocked and the fish quickly turn their attention to natural food sources and grow on rapidly, as shown in the picture below.

A quaility rainbow from the Upper Lliw reservoir

A quality rainbow from the Upper Lliedi reservoir.


No flies on them: 19 top fly fishing Twitter accounts

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Follow @FishtecTackle on Twitter!

Want to find the best anglers who are just as into fly fishing as you? Twitter is the place to go, with all the latest updates from the folk who love imitating fly hatches, fishing for wild fish in wild places, and spending hours at the vice.

We’ve put together a list of 18 of the best accounts to inspire and entertain you. Like what you see? Hit that follow button!

Pete Tyjas

Pete Tyjas loves fly fishing in and around Dartmoor in Devon. He has a long association with Devon School of fly fishing and says that he never tires of “seeing the beauty of a wild brown trout”. He’s keen to spread the word about the joys of fly fishing; as this photo of a lesson on casting before they hit the river shows:

Pete really knows how to inspire the people he’s teaching, and loves to “see spark ignite” with a fly fishing beginner! Pete also runs the awesome Eat Sleep Fish E-zine @ESFezine  – one of our favourite online fly fishing reads!

Nick Hart

Nick’s been lucky enough to turn his passion for angling into a career, as the owner of Nick Hart fly fishing. He posts about gear, fishing politics and camera-shy catches!

In the last few days he’s taken out a first time fly fisher, Rob, and has shown off the results of their day’s labour on the lake.

Dave Wiltshire

Fancy some tips from an AAPGAI fly fishing instructor based in the Chew Valley? Look no further than Dave Wiltshire. He gives regular updates from his fly fishing trips, keeping his followers up to date on the hatch times of LDO’s and March Browns on the rivers.

On a recent trip to the Avon, Dave tweeted to say he was surprised to get several decent flurries of olives in spite of the cold weather and rain. He also shows off the importance of pre-hatch coffee in such conditions too!

Charles Jardine

Charles is an avid supporter of Fishing 4 Schools and says: “If there is one single thing that has both re-energised this fifty-something and given life for me and my fishing a boost; it has been this initiative”.

Always keen to encourage youngsters in the art of fly fishing, he recently spent time teaching trout fishing to the England youth football team

On another kind of art, Charles loves to paint too (like his artist angler father, Alex, who once designed fishing stamps). He’s raising money for Fishing 4 Schools by selling copies of his intricately painted grayling portrait:

Alex Jardine

Continuing the Jardine family angling tradition, Angling Trust ambassador (and son of Charles), Alex Jardine regularly posts pics of his fishing days, whether or not he manages to avoid a blank.

 Alex also recently tweeted about showing off the new Guideline rods, and has been sharing his experiences of the first few days of the new Trout season, which, for him was ushered in with an unwelcome blanket of frost on 31st March.

David Johnson

Fly fishing film-maker David Johnson’s Twitter feed is a great source of info about updates on what’s hatching and when. He fishes in and around the Peak District and Yorkshire. This video of him landing a grayling last Autumn is just one of a series of videos David shares

He also proudly shows off the nice wild brownie he caught earlier this month on a trip to Yorkshire:

Neil Keep

Neil Keep’s aim with fly fishing is simple. He just wants to spread the word to the masses about how great it is. He’s an expert teacher who fly fishes in and around Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire.

He takes a highly balanced view of the sport and is honest enough to tell his followers when it doesn’t quite go according to plan. On his recent trip to the river with compadres Jams and Dom, they only got a few fish on nymphs – a tough day on the river. Luckily it’s not all bad news though as this catch of 20 wild brownies recently demonstrates!

Hywel Morgan

World champion caster Hywel Morgan recently took a three day trip to Camp Villmarks where he spent time demoing fly fishing techniques to the crowds there. He couldn’t resist tweeting about one of the best fish tanks he’s ever seen.

As we all know, fly fishing runs strong in Hywel’s family, and is continuing down the generations- as demonstrated in this tweet showing the lovely brownie his daughter Tanya caught with a size 18 dry fly. He also shares a great video from fly fishing buddy Matt Pate on how to tie an egg fly (with some great out-takes at the end!)

Paul Procter

Paul Procter  is a Masters level AAPGAI instructor. He’s based in Cumbria, where he frequently has to battle the weather to snare specimen sized river trout on dry flies. Paul also gets some great shots of river insect life:

Check out the great snap of his first Large Brook Dun of 2016. Paul’s careful to let everyone know that they can be easily confused with March Browns, though they tend to be fewer in number during the course of the season.

Gareth Lewis

Gareth’s just shared the great news that he’s going to be demonstrating at Rheghed at the Fly Fest Lecture theatre in October this year: He’s an International Fly Tyer and has represented Wales in a number of national events including the prestigious British Fly Fair International.

He’s also posted images of his first fish of the season caught on dry flies. Good work for the end of March, in not-so-favourable conditions.

Lee Evans

Lee’s Twitter feed tells his followers about a recent, absorbing day on the Usk in which he got the fish to take with a selection of grannom and MB patterns:

Lee reckons he’s not much of a blogger, but take a look at his  site, Down By The River, which features a stunning pictorial account of his Summer trip to Dry fly fish on the Lower Middle Usk. You can judge for yourself!

Luke Thomas

Proud Welshman, Luke Thomas is passionate about fly fishing in and around Cardiff. For some great close-up shots of Garn Browns, Luke’s your man. On one of his most recent trips to Garnffrwd, he managed to catch 40 in one session:

Luke also passes on his ideas on the perfect use of rubber, like this mix of Pinkys, Olive Apps and Bloodworm.

John Tyzack

John Tyzack’s a professional fly fishing guide and AAPGAI instructor and England International Flyfisher, so he’s a go-to guy for sound advice and expert tips. Recently, he’s been telling his pike fly fishing followers to always take good-sized nets out with them, even if they’re not expecting to get anything, because you just never know what you’ll catch:

In another tweet, he shows off a little video from a recent trip to New Zealand, when he releases his awesome catch back into the water.

Glen Pointon

Ever thought about trying Urban fly fishing? Glen Pointon takes the idea of fishing where you live to the extreme, showing that you can fly fish pretty much anywhere the fancy takes you.

He’s recently had some of his town based fly fishing photography featured on Urban Trout and they’re really stunning images. Urban Trout reckon that Glen’s ability to catch ‘horses’ (big river trout!) from notoriously Dirty Places like the upper Trent is legendary.

He’s a bit of a tying room geek too, as this recent post shows:

Stuart Smitham

A passionate stillwater specialist, Stuart’s a proud Welshman who now lives and works in Shropshire. Recently, he’s been showing off the quality Brown Trout showing at his beloved Ellerdine lakes:

He’s also keen to share the interesting facts and photos other anglers on social media have written about – for example, his tweet highlighting an image Steffan Jones added to Facebook about great characteristics buzzers have

Lewis Rumble

Over at his blog Stokiebasher, Lewis Rumble shares great posts from his fly fishing trips, like last year’s spring trip to Chew Valley Lake which he says yielded “50 fish, including a stonking perch well in excess of 2lb – probably closer to 3 and a brownie on the nymphs was a nice surprise too.”

Young Lewis is firmly on track to become one of the UK’s best competitive anglers, having earned himself several international caps along the way. As his twitter catch images often show, he gets into his fair share of slabs on a regular basis:


Matt Eastham

Lancashire based fly fisher Matt Eastham’s got a great laid back style in terms of fishing and tweeting. His blog North Country Angler is great if you want useful gen on what he reckons were the top flies of 2015.

When he’s got time to spare, he shows off his neat fly tying work ahead of his fishing trips:

Matt also shares his humorous tactics for fishing a beat when Paul Procter’s been around!

Unemployable Fisher

The Unemployable Fisher is sure about one thing, he’s very excited for the start of the fly fishing season. Check out this beautiful view, snapped while chasing Silver on on a favourite beat:

He also shares what he gets up to when the early season weather lets him down – hitting the vice! His blog is a good read too. Check out his  recent post about how a challenge to fish three famous Scottish Salmon Rivers in three days yielded great results -and some interesting weather issues too!

Theo Pike

Theo Pike is passionate about looking after his local river, the Wandle. Part of the Wandle Trust HitSquad, he and other volunteers have won a prize for their re-wilding project. These before and after shots make it clear why they won:

Angling writer Theo’s also part of the vanguard about non-native invasive species, having written the ‘Pocket guide to Balsam Bashing’. Featuring 40 species, and full of practical advice and what to look out for in British waterways, Theo’s working to ensure these NNIS’s don’t take over and destroy our rivers and lakes.

Get involved!

If all these tweeters have inspired you to find other likeminded fly fishers on Twitter, it’s always worth looking out for some of the many hashtags that are used regularly like #flyfishing #flyfish and even #urbanflyfishing.

Now you’ve seen our top picks of the best fly fishing tweeters out there, you can follow them and join in the conversation. Take a look at our list of the best . Don’t forget to add us, too!

Fishing holiday destinations in Northern UK

fishing lake district

Image source: ElenaChaykinaPhotography /
There are stunning places to fish in Northern Britain

Britain is full to the brim with picturesque places to cast your line. From freshwater fishing to coastal angling spots, the UK holds a wealth of places to fish – and you don’t have to leave the family out!

When we asked what your top fishing holiday destinations were in our Big Fishing Survey, New Zealand, Spain and Norway figured highly. But there are plenty of destinations closer to home that are well worth bringing your fishing tackle to.

The holiday experts at Cottages in Northumberland have found you some of the best fishing spots in the North of Britain – with tips on nearby activities and accommodation options, so that you’ll get some good fishing in, and find great things to do with your family.


River Tyne

Hexham Bridge River Tyne

Image source: shutterstock
Hexham Bridge over the River Tyne

This North Eastern river has been named Britain’s best salmon fishing spot, and you’ll find first-class trout fishing opportunities here too. The Tyne is also one of the most affordable fishing opportunities anywhere in the country, with day passes available and a number of locations where you can fish for free. With 30lb fish regularly caught in this freshwater hotspot, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth!

Regular dam releases from Kielder Water to the North Tyne are a welcome bonus when nearby rivers are low – meaning it’s always salmon fishing season!

When your day of angling in Northumberland is over, cosy accommodation isn’t far away. Bordering Kielder Forest, you’ll find a number of local towns and villages home to unique self-catering Northumberland cottages – a perfect way to spend a relaxing night in the region.

Looking for spectacular night views too? The county’s incredible Dark Skies give you the spectacle of the Milky Way and shooting stars. On darker nights, the sky lights up with astonishing meteor showers – best seen from May to July.

Amble Pier

Fishing off Amble Pier

Image source: Steve Fareham 
Fishing off Amble Pier

Amble is a quaint harbour village nestled in the heart of Northumberland, and a favourite spot for many local fishermen. Start your trip at the nearby Amble’s Angling Centre to stock up on bait and gather some local knowledge before you get started. You’ll find plaice and mackerel in abundance here – and if you fancy going a little further afield, you could always charter a fishing boat from Amble’s marina and try for some cod!

One mile south-east of Amble, you’ll find the famous Coquet Island nature reserve. It’s home to over 35,000 local nesting birds during the summer months, and a 600-strong colony of playful seals! Take a boat trip from Amble harbour to the island to see the wonderful local wildlife up close.

Cosy coastal cottages can be found throughout Amble and in the surrounding towns of Warkworth and Alnmouth. You have plenty of options when it comes to finding self catering seaside accommodation.


Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond – a good variety of coarse fishing here

Loch Lomond is Scotland’s largest freshwater loch. At 24.5 miles in length, it’s home to over 30 unique islands. You need a permit to fish in Loch Lomond’s beautiful freshwater, which is easy to arrange at one of the many outlets found through Trossachs National Park.

Loch Lomond offers the chance to catch salmon, sea trout, brown trout and a variety of coarse fish – but pay close attention to local angling law before embarking on your fishing trip.

With no less than 2628 cubic metres of water in the stunning Loch, this is an ideal spot for white-knuckle watersports. From wakeboarding to speed boat tours, thrill-seekers make their pilgrimage to this Scottish hotspot every year in search of a new adventure.

There are a number of nearby holiday parks and lodges make it easy to find a peaceful way to spend your nights at Loch Lomond – with incredible views of the rugged local scenery.

Trossachs National Park

Loch Katrine

Image source: shutterstock
Loch Katrine, in the heart of the Trossachs

The Trossachs National Park gives keen predator anglers a chance to take part in a range of guided pike fishing trips, surrounded by some of Scotland’s most breath-taking scenery.

Guided fishing is available all year round, even on Sundays, for access to some of the country’s most exciting fishing opportunities – with everything from one-day excursions to week-long fishing holidays on offer.

To get the most out of your visit, test your mettle on West Highland Way – a challenging walk which passes through the Trossachs National Park – and when it’s time to rest your head, there are plenty of lovely log cabins nearby to suit all budgets.


Lake District National Park

Lake District National Park

Image source: shutterstock
Stunning views of the Lake District National Park

Freshwater fishing in the Lake District National Park is an unmissable experience. Brown trout, salmon and sea trout are all abundant in many of its rivers, and there are superb pike and coarse fishing opportunities in many of the larger lakes.

Local Angling Associations are your go-to authority when it comes to fishing in this National Park, with daily and weekly permits up for grabs. If you don’t want to get another permit, you can fish for free on Ullswater, Windermere and Coniston Water.

The National Park is packed with fascinating history, and offers access to a number of famous historical sites – including Muncaster Castle, Lowther Castle and Rydal Mount (widely known as Wordsworth’s much-loved family home).

With a huge variety of local wildlife living in and around the park, you’ll find no shortage of extraordinary experiences here. And the wide selection of local inns, barns and B&Bs make finding a place to stay simple – guaranteeing that your Cumbrian fishing trip comes with first-grade accommodation.

St. Bees Head

St Bees Head

Image source: Wikipedia
St Bees Head – great fishing, but watch your step!

St. Bees Head on the Cumbrian Coastal Way is a headland home to mackerel, bass, pollock, and a wide range of other species. There’s some great fishing from St. Bees Head but in wet weather or on dark nights, much caution is advised, as the climb to the better spots becomes treacherous.

It’s helpful to bring someone familiar with the area when you visit this Cumbrian highlight. The fishing can bring dividends, but the cliffs take some careful navigation!

For a taste of days gone by, visit St. Bees Priory Church – founded around 1120 and beautifully preserved, with gorgeous Early English Gothic arches found inside the priory’s nave.

There’s plenty for kids too – in nearby Workington they can immerse themselves in laser tag and tenpin bowling at the Eclipse Leisure Centre, or just a little further on in Maryport, West Coast Karting lets any budding Lewis Hamiltons shine!

You’ll find a diverse range of accommodation options in and around the village of St. Bees Head, from hotels and guest houses to farm lodges and barns – meaning visitors of all tastes and requirements will find their perfect place to stay.

Take your pick!

fish in container

Catch of the day!

Whether you’re a fan of freshwater fishing or prefer a coastal experience, Britain is an angler’s paradise – packed with popular fishing hotspots and more obscure gems.

The key to having a satisfying trip is to do your research in advance – and to make sure you take care of any necessary permits and payments. After that, the UK is your oyster!

Glaslyn Angling Association

Afon Glaslyn Snowdonia

Afon Glaslyn Snowdonia

The Glaslyn is a short but productive sea trout and salmon river situated in the heart of North Wales.

Contact: N/A
Email: Use website contact form here.
Telephone number: N/A
Day ticket available: Yes
Season permit available: Yes
Region: North West Wales
Social Media: NA

The river flows through the heart of the Snowdonia national park in some of the most scenic surroundings you will find anywhere in the world. You will find small native brown trout in the river, as well as salmon later in the season but it is the sea trout that are the main quarry. 25 sea trout (Sewin) have been caught already this year – which is good doing for the start of April! The annual sewin catch is often well over 500.

6lb Glaslyn salmon

6lb Glaslyn salmon.


The Teifi Trout Association

The River Teifi

The River Teifi – Queen of Welsh rivers

The Teifi Trout association control the lower reaches of the Teifi – from just above the tidal reaches for a full 30 miles inland. The fishing for migratory salmonids and brown trout is first class.

Vince Thomas
Email: or
Telephone number:
07875 494365
Day ticket available:
Yes from £30
Season permit available:
Yes from £185
South West Wales
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This stretch of the river has some of the very best fishing, including the legendary Cenarth falls. There is fabulous sport here for fly, spin and worm fishers – in average year over 1000 sea trout and 500 salmon are typically caught.

River Teifi - the Cenarth falls

River Teifi – the Cenarth falls