Flowering trees and shrubs, rhythmic drumming of the woodpecker and newborn lambs playing in the pasture, are all a sure sign that spring has arrived. These natural wonders are also the calling for eager fishermen alike, who await the start of a new trout season (April – September), especially those who are fair-weather hobbyists and have been waiting longer than others. There are a few things that we as anglers can do in the winter months/ early spring to get prepared for the season…
Organising your fishing pack/ essentials pre-day-1 can save a lot of time and hassle, here are most of my essentials I try and have with me when I go fishing:
- Polaroid sunglasses with a reusable lens wipe
- Rubber mesh net (even better if it floats for easy catch and release)
- Tapered leaders
- A range of tippet (fluorocarbon and monofilament)
- Assorted fly boxes (dry, nymph and streamer)
- Strike indicators
- Fly floatant and mud
- Forceps and nippers
- A fly dry patch
- Tippet rings and two tone indicator tippet (for competition nymphing)
- Monomaster – something that every angler should own (see details below)
- Hook sharpener
- Nail knot tool
- Leatherman or knife
- Lightweight waterproof jacket
- Wading staff
- And a fishing pack to put most of the above in – make sure you leave room for snacks!
The Monomaster is a nifty little eco-friendly gadget designed to store waste nylon monofilament and other fishing line. It stores pieces of used line out of harm’s way and thus keeps the environment, your vest pockets and tackle boxes clean and tidy. No more nasty surprises in your washing machine, either! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in purchasing one.
After you’ve collected all your waste line you can send it into the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme or find your nearest ANLRS bins. For more info visit: www.anglers-nlrs.co.uk
- If you are into tying flies then filling a box for the season couldn’t be more satisfying and even better now that Fulling Mill have launched their new range of fly boxes. You can check the array of sizes out here: https://www.fullingmill.co.uk/Products-UK/Fly-Boxes-UK
- Remember that hole in your waders you forgot to get fixed? Diiiiiver Daaaaave, can he fix it, Diver Dave, yes, he can! Visit www.sites.google.com/site/wadersrepairs/
- Give your casting some TLC, even if it’s half an hour a week in the garden or local park, you’ll be surprised at how fast you develop your skills.
For those who are entering into their first ever season
Find a local instructor
Find a local instructor who can take you out for your first time and give you that one-on-one casting tuition – I advise going with a guide not a friend because they can give you their undivided attention, this way your progression will be quicker. A guide will also have all the right equipment for you to trial.
How to find a guide? There are many websites that make this search easy, for example: Orvis UK, The Angling Trust, Fly Fishers International and most fisheries will all have their own instructors and guides they use. You can join one of Orvis UK’s FREE Learn to Fly Fish 101 and 201 sessions, look for your local store on Google and call them to see when the next one will be. How to find a fishery? Use Google Maps or a website like FishPal or The Angling Trust, to see where your local fisheries are in your area.
What is tackle, how does it work? If you’ve never fished before I understand it can be very intimidating.
Let’s start from scratch:
1. Rod – this is the centrepiece of your kit, most modern rods are made from carbon fibre or fibreglass.
2. Reel – This attaches to rod at the cork handle end, it can be a left hand or right hand wind. Personally, I’m right handed and I wind with my left hand.
3. Fly line – Is coiled within the reel and delivers the fly to the targeted fish.
4. Tapered leaders – This is the piece of line that attaches to your fly line. The end that has a larger diameter attaches to your fly line and the smaller diameter end attaches to the tippet or the fly can be tied directly to the tag end.
5. Tippet – is specific fluorocarbon or monofilament line that is attached to the end of the tapered leader, to which you tie the fly.
6. Flies – These are made from fur, feathers, hair or other materials, both natural and synthetic and can replicate real flies, bait fish, fish, eggs, or nothing at all. They can come in different shapes, sizes, hooks and weights.
7. Fly floatant – This can be a wax, liquid or powder that keeps your dry flies floating on the surface.
How to tie a couple of essential basic knots
There are 3 knots that will enable you to go fishing by yourself no problem:
- Blood knot – to tie two pieces of tippet together
- Half blood knot – to tie your fly to your tippet
- Perfection loop – to loop to loop your fly line to your tapered leader
One more thing before I go, don’t forget to buy or update your fishing licence
Whether you are fishing for an hour or a week you need to buy a fishing licence, the booking process is fairly straightforward. Visit: https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences
- Children under 13 do not need a licence
- 13 – 16 years old need a licence but do not need to pay.