DIY carp fishing bait

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What gets the fish biting at your local water? Chances are, you’ll have developed your own particular carp fishing tackle set-up – a unique combination that works for you.

But what about baits? From boilies to groundbaits, from floating, to sinking, there’s a plethora of commercial bait options out there. But nothing satisfies like making a great catch on a bait you’ve concocted yourself.  

Something of a dark art, making your own baits is fun and can save you money, and most, if not all the ingredients are available at your local supermarket. All you need to do is experiment until you hit the jackpot!

What carp want

Carp DIY carp fishing bait

Image source: The Session
Appeal to carp cravings for best results.

Think like a fish – appeal to its appetites and you’ll hook a beauty. The best baits attract because they’re tasty and nutritious; we’re talking bait ingredients that are energy rich and protein packed:

• Proteins
• Carbohydrates and starch
• Fats and oils
• Milk constituents
• White sugar
• Malt sugars and grains

Add colour and flavour and mix to a consistency that’ll either hold together well enough to hook, or that’ll disintegrate, providing a nutrient-rich soup to fish over.

Supermarket goodies

Cat food DIY carp fishing bait

Image source: Cats&Co
Cats and carp must have similar tastebuds!

For a floating feed that works wonders, use your catapult to ping dog biscuits into a small area of water; little and often is best as it provides a concentrated source of food the fish will congregate to compete over.

From the confectionary aisle, a marshmallow makes a great floating hook bait. Bobbing amongst the dog food, although a slightly different colour, the sweet, carb-loaded temptation is approximately the same shape and size, so it’s more likely to be wolfed down by an unsuspecting carp.

Alternatively, supermarket bread lasts well and it’s super cheap. Try a smear of marmite – just like humans, the fish will either love it or hate it!

A not so secret, secret weapon, cat food works a treat. Simply mash it up and pop it in the water before you drop in your meat bait. The soupy cloud of meaty mush is likely to prove irresistible to carp. Your hookbait could be a single hunk of cat food, a cube of luncheon meat or for added punch, why not try a piece of pepperoni?

Health food haven

Health food shop DIY carp fishing bait

Image source: Food Navigator
For health conscious carp!

Beans and pulses are the staple diet of students, hippies and new age travellers, but did you know carp love them too? For a homemade particle bait, soak chickpeas, kidney beans, maize, wheat, black eyed beans – whatever you like – in water for a day or two. Add a birdseed mix from your local pet shop and soak some more.

Cook for 30mins to make sure your mixture is nice and soft – and to ensure any kidney beans are safe for fish to eat – then blend half the mixture into a sticky paste. Mix it all together and you have a killer bait you can make in bulk and that won’t cost a fortune.

DIY boilies

DIY boilies DIY carp fishing bait

Image source: French Carp and Cats
Boil up your own tempting treats.

Flour, semolina and eggs are the bedrock from which to make your own unique boilies. Sports supplements like whey protein powder and casein will make your boilie mix super nutritious, help ingredients to bind, and add attractive smells to the water. When you’ve mixed all your ingredients into a stiff paste, simple roll into balls and boil!

To make your boilies a taste sensation irresistible to the biggest, wiliest carp in the lake, you need an attractant that’s different to the run of the mill flavours out there. How you decide on your final concoction is up to you, but while you’re stirring your carp equivalent of ‘love potion number nine’, consider adding any or all of the following ingredients:

• Liver powder, paste, or pate
• Anchovies
• Beef or yeast extract
• Garlic
• Cheese
• Fruit juice
• Honey or sugar

We’d love to hear what you add to your homemade baits, so if you’ve got a recipe you’d like to share, do get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter!

TF Gear DVD Big Carp Tactics with Dave Lane

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Join Dave Lane on the banks of one of the most famous carp lakes in history, the prestigious Yateley Pads lake. Dave attempts to lure the elusive Pad lakes monsters, learn how to successfully target the largest carp in the lake on methods which are no so widely used. Joined by Total Carp editor Marc Coulson who gives a master class in chod rig fishing and shows you everything you need to know about this devastating presentation.

Get an exclusive first look at the exciting new carp fishing tackle Dave has been developing for TF Gear over the past 12 months. Highlights include Laney’s new long distance carp rods and watch in amazement as he erects his new Force 8 Shelter, the fastest shelter in the world, in under 10 seconds.

He reveals the new Hardcore Brolly System with its unrivalled luxury, versatility and stability – this is surely the ultimate all season brolly system. Including many other TF Gear products which are all available from Fishtec.

Look out for part two, three and four over the next week.

 

12 Fun fishing themed weddings

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Tying the knot? Will that be a blood knot, a stopper knot or are you simply getting ‘hitched’?

We know how much you love your fishing, but when you’ve fallen for someone, hook line and sinker, just how far do you go to make their special day that bit more memorable?

A fishing themed wedding? Here are some happy couples for whom the special day wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of a fishing rod, reel and line!

1. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Flickr
It’s offishal!

2. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Wedding Bee
Hooked on one another!

3. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Kunelius
Anyone for catch of the day?

4. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Sweet Violet Bride
These two were meant for each other.

6. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Green Wedding Shoes
A very fishy affair!

7. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Today’s Bride
Top marks for the cake topper!

8. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Pinterest
He hooked a good’n.

9. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Team Bekki
“Come on, you’ll love it really!”

10. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Blommade
Gone fishin’.

11. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Fowlefoto
“We really should get back to the guests…”

12. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Procopio Blog
She’s got her something blue sorted!

13. Fishing wedding 12 Fun fishing themed weddings

Image source: Rutheh
He fell for her hook, line and sinker!



New Anglers Buffs at Fishtec!

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insect repelant New Anglers Buffs at Fishtec!

What’s the worst possible way to put you off staying out fishing? Many anglers will say nothing, but those who fish high in the mountains on a warm summer evening will undoubtedly say midges! The invisible menace can often spoil a great evenings fishing where many of the jungle formulas and insect repellents simply don’t work.

Buff have introduced a new and exciting UV Insect Shield Buff which is based on High UV protection Buff® which offers at least 93% protection from harmful UV rays, this new Buff also features ‘Insect Shield’ technology; It’s been impregnated with a special long lasting, effective, odourless and convenient form of insect repellent.

The treatment is effective for at least 50 washes against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, fleas, chiggers and even Scottish midges. Insect Shield technology is a man-made version of the active ingredient found in some chrysanthemums – an additive which only the bugs will know is there!

The UV Insect Shield Buff features everything you would expected from Buff, it’s seamless design which offers unrivaled protection in hot weather activities is made with Coolmax Extreme which wicks moisture away from your skin whilst offering a bug repellent buff.

Buy the UV Insect Shield Buff at Fishtec!

We’ve also introduced more designs to our range of Anglers Buffs and Original buffs here at Fishtec, these include the new Bonefish, Tarpon, Trevally and the Original Chalk Buff Logo.

newanglersbuffs New Anglers Buffs at Fishtec!

 

 

6 Fun fishing games

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Don’t seem to be able to find the time to go fishing? When family, work or other commitments make an escape to the riverbank, lake or shore impossible, why not cast from your couch instead?

We’re talking computer games.

Fishing games have been around since the 1980s, and today they’re more popular than ever. Here are six of our favourite fishing video games…

1. Gone Fishing: Trophy Catch (2012)

Gone Fishing Trophy Catch 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Tech Tabloids
Over 14 million downloads in a few years!

The figure of 14 million downloads speaks for itself. As a fishing game app,Gone Fishing might lack the excitement and drama of other fishing games but it’s obviously a hit with casual ‘screen-prodders’.

Purists who enjoy the slower pace of real-life fishing might baulk at the speed with which fish bite onto the virtual lures here. But if a fraction of the gamers who’ve downloaded Gone Fishing are inspired to pick upreal fly fishing reels and rods, then what an advert for the sport we love.

Available for Android or iOS – why not give it a try?

2. Ninja Fishing (2011)

Ninja Fishing 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Viva
Silly, fun and utterly addictive.

Imagine catching 30 fish on one line, flinging them into the air and then slicing them into sushi before they hit the floor. That’s Ninja Fishing; the smash hit, genre-bending fishing game of 2011.

Ninja Fishing is available as an app for either iOS or Android. If you’re an angler who loves nothing more than quiet hours on the riverbank with a box of hand-tied flies and a thermos of coffee, then this is NOT the game for you.

It is, however, extremely addictive. Be warned.

3. Go Fishing (2011)

Go Fishing 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Go Fishing
Features real life fishing locations.

Racking up over a million Facebook ‘Likes’ since its release in 2011, Go Fishing is a Facebook integrated fishing game app available for PC and iPad.

Gamers compete in challenges and tournaments against their Facebook friends. Complete a challenge to win ‘coins’ and ‘pearls’ which can be traded for better fishing tackle and bait. All the fishing spots in the game are modelled on real life locations, like Lake Michigan, Florida, or Loch Ness.

4. Bass Pro Shops: The Strike (2009)

Bass Pro Shops The Strike 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: XXL Gaming
Fish in 10 real North American lakes.

Bass Pro Shops: The Strike promises to ‘bring the lake to your living room’. Gamers have 10 North American lakes to choose from, each containing the same fish species found there in real life.

The aim of the game is to catch big fish. But to land real whoppers, you’ll need the best equipment. Gamers earn money to ‘buy’ tackle and bait by competing in tournaments and challenges.

On its release for Xbox 360 in 2009, The Strike was heralded as the best fishing game for many a year.

5. Sega Bass Fishing (1999)

Sega Bass Fishing 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Neko Rnadom
Based on a 90s arcade game.

Arguably the best fishing video game of all time, and based on a real arcade game launched in 1997, Sega Bass Fishing was released for Dreamcast in 1999 to massive critical acclaim.

Its unique ‘rod and reel’ controller, meant gamers could battle big bass from their bedrooms, with an all new degree of reality. Anglers and non-anglers alike were hooked on this classic, now adapted for Wii, XBox 360, PS3 and PC.

6. The Black Bass (1989)

The Black Bass2 6 Fun fishing games

Image source: Giant Bomb
Ultra retro!

Step back in time to an age before 3D graphics and sophisticated storylines in computer games and you’ll find The Black Bass from 1989. The 8-bit mono internal speaker sound and 64-colour display are prehistoric by today’s standards, but the game is the foundation of modern fishing video games.

You’re a hat wearing character with a fishing rod, and your task is to catch big fish – the eponymous black bass. Land lots of these fish, and virtual anglers can climb from 200th place to 1st in the ‘Wranglers Tournament’.

Fans of retro video games will have to scour ebay or vintage game stores to find this one – but what a classic.

Best beach fishing holiday spots

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Planning a summer holiday? The family are certain to want some quality beach time – but at the back of your mind is the need for some serious beach fishing time!

But how do you tick all the boxes?  How can you spend time with the husband or wife and kids, and get to fish some of the best coastal waters in the world?

It’s time to pack your shorts, suntan cream and beachcaster. Here’s our guide to just a few of the world’s top beach fishing destinations – fun in the sun that keeps everyone happy!

France

France fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: French Bass
Anyone for garlic sea bass?

It’s close, boasts fantastic beaches, great campsites and whether you’re eating out or self catering, the food is to die for. France offers some superb beach fishing opportunities. From the craggy cliffs and rocks of Brittany, to the ruler straight sands of La Cote d’Argent, and on to the Basque country and the Med, there’s ample opportunity to build sand castles and wet a line.

Family friendly and with plenty of picturesque vineyards and villages to visit, you’ll also have chance to hook bass, sole, and skate. And who knows, if you get time off for good behaviour – a boat fishing trip in the Med or Atlantic South West might even see you get into some tuna.

New Zealand

New Zealand fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: Surf Caster
Head down under and catch some beauts.

About as far away as it’s possible to get from the gloom of the British winter, New Zealand offers superb coastal fishing. In the North Island, you’re talking snapper, tarakihi, kingfish and kahawai. Head south for blue cod, trumpeter and grouper.

With so much to see and do in New Zealand, you won’t want to spend all your time at the beach, but the joy of Aotearoa, the ‘land of the long white cloud’, is that wherever you go you’re never too far from the sea. In fact, Cromwell at 119 km from the coast is almost the same distance from sea fishing as Church Flatts Farm in Derbyshire which lies 113 miles from the brine. Can you see our thinking?

If you’ve been on a beach holiday that doubled as a fishing adventure, do let us know. We’d love to share your story.

Spain and Portugal

Spain and Portgular fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: Luz Info
Easy to get to with plenty of top spots.

Get yourself organised and a beach holiday to Spain or Portugal could yield some fine sea fishing opportunities. But you will need to plan ahead. That’s because in either country, to cast a line into the blue, you need a fishing license. A quick internet search could hook you up with a fishing guide who can organise the necessary paperwork for you and guide you to the best spots.

Perch atop some of Portugal’s most dramatic cliffs to fish for bass in the boiling sea hundreds of feet below. As for Spain – much of the Mediterranean has been ravaged by overfishing, so unless you fancy scuba and snorkeling at a marine reserve, it’s perhaps best to keep to the Atlantic, where you can bang a line out from any of the dozens golden sand beaches.

Cuba

Cuba fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: Cfye
Follow the locals for the best spots.

For fishing, music and cigars, there’s nowhere better in the world than Cuba. With bonefish, cowfish, snook, tarpon, mangrove snapper & cuda, all on the target list, you might have to get up early to avoid the tourists but the rewards make it well worth the effort.

Unless you’re on a specialist guided fishing holiday, it’s probably a good idea to pack a telescopic rod and a cheap reel in your holiday luggage. Speak to staff at your hotel – or to the hotel chef – who could perhaps provide you with some bait and point you in the right direction. Fish where the locals fish – and when you’re done, make a discrete gift of your fishing equipment to someone who has helped you.

South Africa

South african fishing holiday Best beach fishing holiday spots

Image source: Gane and Marshall
Fish the surf in South Africa

Big waves, big rods, big baits – the coasts of South Africa boast serious beachcasting for serious fish. A winter sun holiday to the cool waters of the Atlantic off Cape Town, or to the surf beaches of the Indian Ocean will be a definite hit with the family – and a fishing paradise for you.

You’ll need a powerful 13 or 14 foot beachcaster to deliver your bait beyond the surfline – but the rewards are well worth the effort. Rock cod, grunter, and kingfish are just three of a host of saltwater species that swim in the seas off South Africa. And who knows, if the gods are smiling on you, perhaps you’ll hook a giant trevally. Now wouldn’t that make a good holiday snap!

Biggest Ever British Shore Caught Fish

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Every now and again the British shore throws up something out of the ordinary. Just earlier this week we learned that Lego pieces are still being washed ashore some 17 years after being lost at sea. But now, something a little more fishing related has occurred – The capture of the biggest fish ever caught on Britain’s shores – A whopping 208lb Skate!

The 88 inch Skate which weighed 208lbs was brought to shore by 26 year old Daniel Bennett from Whitby whilst he was fishing off the Isle of Skye, beating the current record (another skate) by over 40lbs. These anglers must have been using some seriously powerful sea fishing tackle to haul such catches from the shore!

 

skateimage Biggest Ever British Shore Caught Fish

image: whitbyseaanglers/swns.com

Mr Bennett, who works in a fishing supplies shop said: ‘ My partner is not really that interested, but she’s proud of me nonetheless. I think people outside the angling world find it harder to see how much of a feat this is’.

‘West Scotland is known for skate fishing but not Skye. We were the first to catch one there for at least 30 or 40 years. There was another chap in our group who caught one and it was about 120lb. We thought we’d never find one any bigger – then we did an hour later.’

The magnificent fish which measured 88.25 inches long and 66.75 inches wide has now been confirmed by the British Record Fish Commitee as the largest fish caught on it’s current list. Although the fish was not weighed at the scene, as the anglers didn’t have any scales, the weighed was worked out bu The Shark Trust, a UK conservation charity, based on the measurements of the fish.

Some feat for a 26 year old angler!

 

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary August 2014

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Alan Yates plaice on bling Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary August 2014

Plaice caught using a blinged up rig

This month can be slow for shore anglers in some regions with the sultry, balmy weather and clear water keeping the fish well away from the shore in daylight. But in darkness and in regions of coloured water, like the major estuaries, things can be a lot different and it really is a case of a change of venue or tactics to continue catching.

One species that show at this time of year are the sole and lots of venues around the country offer the chance of this unusual flatfish. For most the sole is considered nocturnal, but the facts are that on clear water venues they do mostly feed at night, especially near dawn, whilst in muddy water they are more common in daylight.

Tactics are simply enough once you have found a venue and its worth pointing out that sole do not show everywhere and sole venues are precise in many regions – Just a matter of miles from a shoreline that produces sole will be a venue that does not. So first look for a venue that produces sole regularly, the species seems to like shell grit and muddy sea beds and catching them once on the right venue is not that difficult. Fishing light with small size 2 or 4 hooks is essential, whilst baits include lugworm and ragworm. One top tactic is to fish short because the species are not shy of the shallows or the low tide gutter on many venues. Lots of anglers use two rods for this reason with one cast short and one cast further our which covers the options.

Talking about fishing light, there is a growing trend in sea angling to fish “Continental style” with lighter rods, thinner lines and small hooks. Much of it is to do with a reduction in the average size of fish and dwindling stocks as we fight to keep our sport interesting. However, it is also the case that anglers have realised that the fish do shy away from heavy gear and that lightening down can bring more bites and action. Check out YouTube where anglers have lowered Go Pro cameras alongside the pier wall and you can see clearly fish do shy away from heavy sea fishing gear etc. The biggest plus thought of going light is that small fish are allowed to fight, especially using micro braid lines and sea fishing is no longer hit and haul or playing cranes.

UK sea anglers have used over heavy tackle for years and that is much to do with manufacturers offering a limited range based around ancient designs and techniques. Swivels and hooks for instance, a few years back most would not look out of place on a crane, or for use with the largest fish species, but modern improvements in materials like carbon steel, design and construction have increased their strength and allowed a reduction of size down from the giant weed collecting swivels or hooks that could tow a bus! It’s similar with rods, reels and line, the distance casting revolution of recent years did much to improve rod and reel design, quality, strength and performance promoting lighter tackle which is more responsive to fishing enjoyment and sport. Check out the TF Gear range for the new TF Gear Force 8 Continental model or the Delta Slik Tip and the quiver tip favourite the Delta All rounder. All great for another option – fishing light!

The toughness and knot strength of monofilaments, copolymers and fluorocarbons is also particularly improved, so much so, that you can now go to a lighter breaking strain line with less risk of failure, whilst using the modern lower diameter micro braid lines is proving a practical advantage when fishing fine.

In general sea angling around the UK has had no need to go to the lengths of finesse that coarse anglers do. Sea fish are not always returned and so do not learn about line and hooks like their freshwater relatives, mullet and a few other clear water species being the only exceptions. Meanwhile the sea is often a hostile whirlpool of deep and chocolate brown water that hides tackle anyway.

The first problem fishing light tackle in the sea is dealing with the wind, tide and the rugged seabed, that’s the reason why tackle has always been tough and strong in the first place. You need to get a bait out to a decent distance, punch it through a headwind, so that its stays put in very strong tide. After that you sometimes need to retrieve it through a maze of kelp and rocks. Then there is the safety factor of casting that involves swinging the lead in power casting styles like the pendulum, the big distances they produce comes at a price with tackle beefed up for safety’s sake. But, the need to use an 80lb shock leaders may be more to do with an angler’s casting ego than practical thought about presentation. In terms of casting safety any move to fishing light can only involve the use of the fixed spool reel and an overhead casting style. This combination is far safer than the multiplier and pendulum cast.

A big plus for sea anglers that change to the fixed spool is that the modern reels are designed for long range casting, some with a carp fishing pedigree, are far superior to the models of the past. Long profiled /coned spools, stronger gears, ball bearings all make modern reels more efficient for sea angling and casting.

Crucial to the use of lighter tackle is the line diameter and lines as low as 6lb and up to 15lb are used with the lighter rods and fixed spool reels making this possible. The major problem when lightening down tackle is that terminal rigs must also be balanced to the rod action and line strength. It is pointless using a lighter rod with heavy line as it is using ultra thin lines with standard 8oz beach casting rod. However, a move to far lighter rigs involves thinner lines and a major problem with. multi hook rigs in very light line are prone to tangle easily. On the Continent really long snoods are commonly used and there the anglers say that the longer the snoods the less they tangle, although they must NOT be able to overlap.

The big advantages of increasing rod lengths to 15ft and above is that a longer rod allows the use of a longer rig length and this allows hook snoods to be placed farther apart so that they can be fished over a wide area as well as up in the water and do not overlap or tangle.

Longer lighter snoods also allow the hook bait to react naturally in tide and this is an important consideration when fishing either up or in clear water. The addition of floating or pop up beads also enhances bait presentation and allows baits to be raised to the levels the fish are.

Lots of shore anglers fishing light in summer use small hooks, which are essential to the more delicate bait presentation for some of the smaller species. However, there is every chance that you may hook a large smoothhound or a bass and so it’s a good idea to opt for the strongest patterns.

For many this and next month are last chance saloon for catching mackerel as the large shoals move south and it’s a case of making the most of the conditions whilst the fish are around, especially if you want to keep a few for the freezer for the winter whiting. On that note don’t forget the garfish – they are a very underrated tipping bait for lots of the autumn and winter species – bag them in the freezer as well.

Tight lines,

Alan Yates

 

 

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 13/07/14

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Untitled 11 Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 13/07/14

What a difficult week! Anglers have found it nigh on impossible to even tempt the rainbows in the increased water temperature, with Sally-Ann Iles being one of the few to find modest success. Sal took one on a midge tip line and a size 14 mini cat off the main island, with a very slow retrieve and lost another that snapped her line. Dean Griffiths took one on a black buzzer and a floating line, Ken Bowring took two and Mike James took one on a daddy long legs.

I am mildly cheered by reports that conditions are equally difficult in most other fisheries. Those who go fishing just to get away from it all will have a good time. Tea, bonhomie and ice cream available at the lodge. If your day will be ruined if you don’t even get a knock, then stay home and do the garden or all the other DIY jobs you’ve been promising to do on your days off!

TAPP Open day free fly fishing coaching

There has been considerable interest in the open day being organised by Torfaen Angling Participation Project at Cwm Hedd on August 2nd. Free fly fishing coaching for anglers of all ages and abilities will be available on an informal basis. To register your interest please contact Bob Mayers on bmayers@grouse.plus.com so that he can ensure that a sufficient number of coaches are available.

Poppy fish: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014. We can all look forward to good fishing weather for the November competition: £30 entry fee plus sponsorship.   Over a third of the places have already been taken, so early entry is advised. Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms available at Cwm Hedd lodge or download at   http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/wales/events

www.cwmhedd.co.uk | https://www.facebook.com/cwmheddlakes

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 7 am -9.45 pm: last admission 6pm (ring if you definitely want to come but can’t make it by 6). Tel 07813 143 034 anytime, or lodge: 01633 896854 during fly fishing opening hours.

Beginners guide to fly fishing

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learn fly fishing  Beginners guide to fly fishing

Image source: Flickr
Passing on the wisdom

New to fly fishing? Not sure what equipment you need to buy? Or how to get started? This guide is for you.

Here we cover the very basics of fly fishing. We don’t pretend this is all you need to know to capture a record fish – but it is just enough to get you fly fishing. The rest takes a lifetime of practise – enjoy!

Get a rod licence

new rod licence Beginners guide to fly fishing

Image source: Bath Angling
Don’t forget your rod license

Next time you nip out for a paper, pick up a rod licence too. You need one to fish any inland waterway in the UK – anywhere but the sea. You can get one from your local Post Office.

Here are the current rod licence prices:

Rod licence pricing UK 2014
Rod licence Type

Non-Migratory Trout & Coarse

Full annual £27
Senior/Disabled concession £18
Junior concession (U16) £5
Children under 12 FREE
8-day £10
1-day £3.75

Salmon & Sea Trout

Full annual £72
Senior/Disabled concession £48
Junior concession (U16) £5
Children under 12 FREE
8-day £23
1-day £8

Choosing a rod

shakespeare fly rods Beginners guide to fly fishing

Image source: Shakespeare
A fine selection of fly rods and flies

Next up you need a fly fishing rod. Here your choice depends to a large extent on where you’re hoping to fish, what species you’re most interested in catching, and whether or not you’re likely to be travelling with your fishing rod.

Fly rod selection is a tough subject, so check out our guide to choosing the right fly fishing rod for more tips and advice.

Prices for a new fly rod range from around the £50 mark to £300 and upwards, but to get you started, you won’t go too far wrong with one of these little beauties – an Airflo elite fly fishing kit – a four piece rod, reel and quality fly line in a cordura tube, starting from just £129.99.

Here’s what the guys here at Fishtec thought of it when it was launched:

Which fly reel?

Die cast or machine cut? Large arbor? Click drag or disc drag? When it comes to choosing the right fly reel for you, the most important question is, what type of fish are you trying to catch?

For smaller fish like trout, a good and inexpensive choice is this Airflo Sniper Fly Reel – incredible value for money and even better – it comes with a free fly line.

If it’s larger freshwater species or saltwater varieties you intend to target, you’ll be looking for something heavier duty and with a great drag system, like the Airflo Xceed, as recommended by Trout and Salmon Magazine as one of their top reels of 2014.

For more information on reel selection, read our fly reel buying guide.

Fly line and leader

fly line Beginners guide to fly fishing

Image source: Trek Earth
Flaming fly lines

Now for your first fly line. For beginners we recommend a floating line because you’ll be able to use it for fishing both dry flies on the surface, and wet flies just under the water. The weight of your line or AFTM rating should match the rod you fish with, so make sure you look for the information written just above the handle of your rod.

Taper is an important factor to consider as it affects the distance you can cast, and the presentation of the fly. Then there’s the backing – usually braided, it’s the line you tie your specialist fly line to.

With so many factors to consider, what you really need is a guide to fly lines and backing. Luckily we prepared one earlier…and just in case you need a quick recap, check out this brief guide from Fishtec’s Tim Rajeff:

The fly

Will it be a Greenwell’s Glory, a Woodcock and Yellow, or a Red Palmer? The choice of fly patterns is endless.

Some fly fishermen fish just one pattern in different sizes, others have an armoury of tufted hooks at their disposal. The best advice here is to ask around to find out what works in your local water – and be prepared to experiment.

A top tip is to take more than you think you’ll need. You can expect to lose a few – especially to begin with.

Fly fishing clothing

scottish fishing clothing Beginners guide to fly fishing

Image source: Unaccomplished Angler Traditional fly fishing clothing

A set of neoprene chest waders, a Harris tweed jacket and hat with a feather in it – that’s all you need to keep you warm and dry isn’t it? Well, sort of.

Fly fishing clothing needs to do three things: wick moisture away from your skin; hold warm, dry air close to your body; and keep the elements out. Layers are the answer, the more you have, the more clothes you can take off as it gets warmer, or put on as the temperature drops.

Here’s a guide to carp fishing clothing – don’t worry – it works just as well for fly fishermen. Layer up and get out there!

Putting it all together

We could try to show you how to cast – but diagrams, video tutorials and written instructions won’t get you very far. To learn to cast, you need lessons from an expert, and you’re in luck because here at Fishtec, we have our very own directory of fly fishing instructors.

The good news is, you can pick up the basics in a day. But then you’ll need to perfect your technique which will take you…a lifetime! What are you waiting for?