Fishing is a hugely popular sport in the UK with estimates putting it at more than 3 million anglers. Fishing is a great hobby, but you have to start somewhere. If you want to start right, here are our fly fishing tips for beginners.
Decide how you are going to learn
You can’t just pick up a rod and fly fish. You have to learn some fly fishing knots and how to bait the rod and cast. You have options here. You could learn from a book or watch tutorials online and YouTube. Online tutorials can introduce the whole process or focus on just one aspect such as how to cast. You can take fishing lessons – check your local tackle shop, or if you have a friendly fisherman mate, ask them to teach you.
Get your kit
You are probably going to be completely bamboozled by the range of equipment available for fly fishing. The sheer quantity of rods, reels, lines and flies is immense. It really is best to get some advice on this. Again, your local tackle shop will help.
They will probably suggest a nine-foot, five-weight rod as these are considered the best rods for beginners. They will also be able to advise you on the best fly fishing reels for beginners. You might also think about a starter kit which will give you everything you need.
If you are able, hire your equipment to give you a chance to decide if you want to take up fly fishing before you invest in your own kit.
Learn about leaders and tippets (and get some)
Tippets and leaders are essentials items in your tackle box. The leader connects your fly to your line to enable your fly to land where you want it to. It varies in size and is thin and translucent. The tippet is basically, an extension to the tippet. The best advice for you here is to use the same brand of tippet and leader.
Buy some flies
You can’t fly fish without flies! This is an area that you’ll grow more familiar with as you become a seasoned fisherman. Part of the attraction of fly fishing is the flies. They can be incredibly beautiful, and you can learn to tie flies as a side hobby to your fishing.
Do some research into which flies are best for the area you want to fish and the fish you hope to catch. You’ll need to learn the difference between streamers, nymphs and dry flies. You can find selection boxes that are good for beginners.
Learn a few different casts
You can learn how to cast from YouTube or a guide and you need to practice the basic one. One cast however will not be enough. The overhead cast is the most often used but you might learn the roll cast or the back cast.
You can practice in any wide, open outdoor space, trying until you can successfully land your line in the same area (it’s a good idea to give yourself a marked target).
Learn to tie a couple of knots
Get the rest of your tackle
There is no need to splash out on every bit of fly fishing equipment. You only need the basic items to get started because you don’t want the expense if you don’t take to the sport. Your basic kit should include the tools you need when you get your first catch. This means a net and scissor clamps.
The best nets are those with a rubber mesh pocket as these don’t damage the fish scales – an important factor if you’re fishing in a catch and release area.
Decide where you are going to fish
The most important thing to know is if the area you’re considering allows fishing. You also need a licence for freshwater fly fishing in England and Wales (check local government sites for rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland). Licences are inexpensive but essential as you can be fined up to £2.500 for fishing without one.
All that remains now is for you to get out on the water and cast your line. We hope you enjoyed this article and are inspired enough to take up fly fishing. Please show your appreciation by sharing this article or leave us a comment. Happy fishing!