Tackle up for Early Season River Fly Fishing

The 2016 river trout fishing season is soon to be upon us! Here in Wales it begins on March the 3rd, with the rest of the country soon to follow suit. We simply cannot wait to get out on our local rivers and start fishing again.

But first make sure you tackle up! For your larger freestone river fishing, you need the appropriate fly fishing gear in order to make the most of harsh early spring conditions. Here we have picked out six essential tackle items for your early season trout fishing forays, and explain why you need them.

An Early season wild brown from the river Ebbw.

An Early season wild brown from the river Ebbw.

1. Thermal underwear suit. In early March the water temperatures will still be extremely cold, and wading for more than an hour or two will leave you chilled to the bone. We recommend Investing in a decent set of thermals for the start of your season.

The new thermolite body suit from Airflo is absolutely perfect for the job. Worn as part of a layering system this body suit is guaranteed to keep you warm and comfortable. Another benefit is getting your waders on and off. This becomes a much easier job due to this suits smooth, soft, friction free surface. Simply ensure you wear in the correct way (i.e over your other clothing) and you will reap the benefits.

Airflo's thermolite suit.

Airflo’s thermolite suit.

2. Get a decent net. There several excellent nets on the market designed purposely for the river angler, such as the Airflo streamtec pan net. At a sale price of just £14.99 these nets are a true bargain – so why not invest in a new one for your seasons start?

These great nets are very lightweight, with an a ergonomic rubber handle and are sized ‘just right’. There is nothing worse than struggling to unhook a fish twisted up in overly deep net meshing, and the depth here is just perfect. The mesh itself is extremely fine, just like that of a coarse fishing match net head, making them extremely fish friendly and a lot harder to end up with your your fly entangled within it. Attach with a magnetic net-release to the D-ring on your vest and you are good to go!

Wild Trout in Airflo pan net

A 14 inch wild river Taff brown – Safe and sound in the Airflo Streamtec pan net.

3. Waterproof phone case. At the start of the season river flows will be very strong from the constant winter rain, so a careless wade could easily result in a dip. To save you getting a new phone, we recommend you invest in an overboard phone case.

These cases really are an indispensable piece of kit for the river angler – I’m sure plenty of us have ruined a phone whilst river fishing, we certainly have!

Overboard phone cases

Overboard phone cases – how much is your phone worth?

Wear securely round your neck, or in your wader pocket safe in the knowledge if you do ship some water or stumble on the rocks your phone will be saved. Unlike a lot of cheap ebay imitations (which often split apart after just days!) the overboard cases are designed for ease of entry and are very durable – guaranteed to keep your phone safe and dry for many years.

4. Warm headgear. It’s a well known fact that body heat is lost most rapidly through the head. We stock a wide section of warm head gear, but our favourite has to be the Simms trout visor beanie. A great bit of kit which unlike some others has a visor peak so is ideal for blocking out low angle light glare.

Simms trout visor beanie in action

The Simms trout visor beanie in action.
Image: Simms Fly Fishing

5.Thermolite hoody. These awesome jackets by Airflo have got it all – functionality, smart appearance, and cold weather performance to match. These jackets are simply great value, and are a firm staff favourite at Fishtec. Ideal for early season on the river, and the pub afterwards.

warm gear East sleep fish

Warm Gear: Airflo Thermolite hoody with polar Buff.
Image: Eat Sleep fish

6. Polar Buff neck wear. Keeps wind and cold out of the neck and face area. An essential for early season angling. The polar version features a continuous double layer of polyester microfibre and fleece, making ideal for autumn and winter fishing escapades. Wear it with the fleece inside or out to keep warmth and comfort to a maximum. The possibilities are almost endless, rather like the product!

Why not let us know how you got on at the start of your river season? Visit our Facebook page and share your early season catches with us.