River fly fishing: an Advice for beginners page.


As the blog would suggest its about river fishing for brown Trout and Grayling . I am not an expert and compared to some of my occasional fishing companions just a very average angler.  However I have tried to put a page of information together which will guide newcomers and beginners ,  It is based on when I have either learnt or worked out from bitter experience .  Or from the ( few ) lessons I have had.  

1. Tackle ,  firstly dont spend a lot to start with .  There are some really very good and reasonably priced rods and reels on the market ,  the Shakespeare Sigma sets are great ,  the Chinese Maxcatch get decent reviews   if you want a big name the Orvis clearwater sets are of a high standard,  Personally as a start I would buy cheaper as most folks want to upgrade and experiment a bit with different rod actions and lines.   My strong advice would be to steer away from rods marketed as fast or tip action ,  a middle tip medium action is much kinder for those learning to cast,  reels for fly fishing are not much more than line holders, do not spend a lot on them ,  as for fly lines Maxcatch ones get praised , personally for a budget end line I would look at Barrio on the internet.  The lines are excellent and they are much cheaper than the big names , Also  ignore those who tell you that you need this rod or that rod to cast well.  What you need really is some proper tuition. early in your fly fishing journey some proper casting lessons from a qualified instructor is the best investment you can make.

Where you are going to fish makes a huge difference on the type of rod, line and reel you choose, WF lines are to be recommended I tend to use little else, I can recommend the Maxcatch lines to start with 

In terms of how to allocate your budget ,  the tippet line is very important do not buy cheap and practice your knots , Preston innovations Reflo Power line is coarse fishing line that is cheaper than many fly fishing tippets. It is also better than most.  I use it as a tippet myself . losing your first fish due to a badly tied knot or poor quality tippet is tragic so practice your knots.  I tie flies on with a tucked half blood knot and I join tippet to tapered leader with a three turn water knot those two knots should do you to start with , always wet the knot before slowly  pulling tight, You don`t need hundreds of flies ,  you will probably ignore that advice as I did ,  but after 50 years of river fishing I have a a dozen or so patterns I catch 90% of my fish on ,  I fish these in a range of sizes from 14 to 20.  often i find changing size more effective than changing pattern. Flies.  to start with I would advise pheasant tail nymphs and gold ribbed hairs ears ,  Some with brass beads as well .  Sizes 14 to 18 to start with.  Dry flies the list is possibly endless size wise sizes 14 , 16 and 18.  The selections from such as https://www.barbless-flies.co.uk/ are excellent.  I know Richard at barbless flies he is a good bloke. Fancy reels for trout fishing are generally bottom of your budget,  reels that are large arbour though are good as they allow you to get line on the reel faster. 

Other stuff.  on rivers breathable waders are a godsend . they are worth investing in , as are decent wading boots.  make sure you have a landing net with knotless mesh. If like me you are an older gentleman who wears a belt on your trousers . the ditch it for braces while you wear chesties. trust me you will be a lot more comfortable 

As for carrying it all , Chest  pack or waistcoat is the way to go.  Also wear a hat and sunglasses . Eye protection at all times is essential.  There is a lot of chat about ultralight gear . Personally for river fishing I would advise 4 weight set up to start with.  Its a compromise between a light line but having enough weight to make timing the cast easier ,  if you are looking at bigger rivers then perhaps a 5 weight.  

Lastly if its possible then join a club or syndicate ,  there you will get lots of advice. ( Not all of it good) Contrary to commonly held opinion clubs often have short waiting lists or none at all it is always worth trying .  

Please feel free to email me with questions and will try and help .

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