Thinking About Trying Fly Fishing?

Thinking about trying fly fishing? So what is fly fishing all about?

Put simply, fly fishing is a particular method of fishing where flies made from fur and feather are used to catch fish. The biggest difference between this and other forms of fishing is that no weight is used at the end of the line to cast out your fly, it is the fly line itself which becomes the weight used to enable the cast. Look at any fly line and you will see it is very thick compared to standard nylon line used in other forms of fishing, it is the thickness and weight of this line which is used to flex the rod and catapult out the very light fly across the water.

Why fly fishing?

Well if you think that fishing is a boring pastime where you just cast out your line and sit on the bank and wait for a fish then you really should take a closer look at fly fishing.

Fly fishing is all about going after a fish rather than waiting for it to come to you. It is a very mobile form of fishing where you tend to carry minimal equipment and keep on the move, having a few casts here and there before moving to the next spot, it’s a really active way of fishing.

It can be perceived as a very exclusive sport, available to only the privileged who wear tweeds and deerstalker hats and fish for salmon and trout…….far from it today, it really is a sport for all whatever your age, sex, ability, or social standing!

Not only do we fly fish for the salmon and trout, but more and more these days other species are becoming more popular targets. Fish such as carp, pike and perch as well as saltwater species like bass, mackerel and mullet and a whole host of other species are now targeted by the fly angler. So no matter where you live or what budget you may have there is always a fly fishing opportunity to suit you.

So what tackle do you need?

As I mentioned before, you don’t need masses of equipment, to start with just a rod reel and line a box with a few flies and maybe a net will get you going which can be purchased for as little as £50 to £80, so it needn’t cost you a fortune to give it a go, then if you find you like it you can then go on to add to your tackle collection.

As far as size of rods and lines goes, you will see that there is quite a selection. As a starter outfit you should look to go for a rod of around 9ft that casts a 5 or 6 weight line. This set up is pretty middle of the road as regards size goes and can be used on a variety of venues for various species.

So why not give fly fishing a go? If you think you wouldn’t like fishing give fly fishing a try and you might just be surprised!


Burton Springs Beginners Day

Saturday saw the arrival of the Burton Springs Beginners day near Bridgwater which I had set up some two months previously thinking that a June date would give us some good weather. It was an early start loading the car with all the equipment ready for the off and when I opened the front door I was met with some really heavy rain……..not what I had wanted to see.

We arrived at the fishery around 8.15 am and proceeded to set up for the days events but still in the pouring rain. Everyone started arriving around 9.30am and was greeted with tea and coffee and the day got started at 9.45 am.

I had hoped to run some of the course outside in the morning but this was just not possible due to the now monsoon type rain we getting!! Luckily Burton Springs has a lodge so we all packed into this for sessions on fly tying, entomology and knots and leaders.

Burton Springs Lodge….a haven from the bad weather!!

The weather broke just before lunch and I took everyone out onto the lake for a talk and demonstration on basic casting mechanics, 5 minutes into the demonstration the heavens opened again and we all made a dash back to the lodge for cover, it was short lived and we were all soon on the bank again to finish this session.

Getting to grips with the casting.

After lunch we were lucky as the weather seemed to get better and we were all able to get out and get into some casting before finishing up with some fishing with a few fish landed on the bank to end a great day.

One of the casting sessions.

The day was made all the better with the great people that had turned up, all of us had a good laugh and a chuckle throughout the day which helped considering the conditions we had to endure. Everyone went home with a smile on their face so I guess it was mission accomplished!!

The smile says it all!!


For everything they done to make the day a success, I would like to say a big thank you to fellow instructors Sally and Tony Pizii, Gilly for laying on all the great food for the day, taking the photos and not forgetting the home made cakes which went down well!! And finally to Adam and Dave down at Burton Springs Fishery for hosting the day and helping us make the day run smoothly.

Father & Son enjoying the fishing.

For those of you that attended the day, I would be grateful for any feedback that you can give me by filling out the message box at the bottom of this page and please feel free to copy any of the photos I have posted here.

Keep an eye out here for similar future events and come and join us on the bank.

Here are some photos of the day, please click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo.

Competitive Dad and Birthday Cake

Last weekend was my birthday so I thought I’d treat myself to a days fishing. The day was topped off with an hilarious episode of Competitive Dad and birthday cake!

After much deliberation I decided on an old haunt of mine……..Sutton Bingham reservoir. I hadn’t fished here for a few years now for one reason or another but still had fond memories of some great days here.

I pulled up at the fishing lodge about 8.00am to be greeted with a howling blustery wind and bright sunshine, not conducive for a great days sport but I was willing to give it a bash anyway, so I got my permit, had a quick chat with the ranger on hot spots and I was off.

It was one of those days when I had wished I had tied up some tapered leaders at home instead of trying to make them up on the bank in a strong wind. In fact the wind got so strong that white horses were appearing across the water, the casting was certainly going to be interesting!

White horses starting to appear!

The reservoir is relatively shallow over its expanse and hosts a wide variety of insect life, with this in mind I opted with a three fly set up with the usual suspects of Buzzers, Diawl Bachs and Crunchers. I positioned a heavy Buzzer on the point to try and get the flies down and stabilise the set up, then just cast it out across the wind and just kept in touch with the flies with a slow figure of eight retrieve as the wind fished the set up around for me.

Ten minutes in and the line tightened and I lifted into the first fish of the day, a stock fish of around a couple of pounds. Maybe it wasn’t going to be such a tough day after all? The next hour passed with a few half hearted taps at the flies but no hook ups.

A near “fin perfect” rainbow.

I kept moving trying to find some fish, changed tactics, lures on all manner of density of lines and every fly combination you could think of but the fishing was pretty patchy to say the least but this is what I had expected and I can’t complain as I managed to winkle out three fish by the end of the session.

The highlight of the day came when two sailing boats appeared in front of me while I was having a coffee. Does anyone remember a character called “Competitive Dad”? I think he was from “The Fast Show” with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. Well here he was in front of me in a boat with his two kids in a smaller boat!!

“Competitive Dad” with the kids.

He spent twenty minutes shouting instructions to his kids and getting frustrated when they totally ignored him and carried on doing their own thing and having fun. Then the dad said to them “we will have a race back to the sailing club house”, with this the kids made a few adjustments, spun the boat around and were off, seeing this “competitive dad” tried to make the same manouver and proceeded to capsize his craft, then followed loud shouts from the water of “come back, we haven’t started yet!” Needless to say the children just carried on leaving the dad stranded in the water and shouting at the top of his voice!! I think I concealed my joy of the situation very well!

The day was rounded of nicely when I got home to a very special birthday cake, well you won’t all agree on that one but I am a true blue supporter!

If Carlsberg made birthday cakes……….

Fly Fishing and the National

Last Saturday I had to make a trip to Burton Springs fishery to drop off some posters for the Beginners day I’m running in June.

I arrived about 2.00pm in blazing sunshine and was greeted by Adam who runs the fishery along with his father. These guys are really friendly and switched on when it comes to running a venue, always on hand with useful advice and a smile…………what a refreshing change compared to some of the places I have been to in the past. If you get a chance to visit, don’t hesitate, you’re sure to have a great day. They have even just added a pleasure lake where you can fly fish for carp, a great alternative in the summer when the days get too hot for the trout.

High Sun at Burton Springs

After putting up the posters in the ticket room and the lodge, I thought long and hard for all of thirty seconds before deciding I just had to wet a line!! Probably not the best conditions with a big sun high in the sky but I couldnt resist having a go anyway.

After wandering around the lake to my chosen spot and sat on a bench to tackle up whilst keeping one eye on the water. No sign of any fish for the ten minutes or so while I was sat there…….no surprise there given the conditions. I decided to fish a black buzzer deep under an indicator as there were a few midge coming off the water, not everyones cup of tea I know but needs must sometimes.

I fished this method for an hour or so varying the depth, fishing the buzzer static and with a retrieve without even a sniff off a fish. Time to change, so I then tied on a bead head Damsel, fished that through the depths and with different retrieves but still no joy. At this point I realised it was time for a different plan of attack so I decided to retire to the lodge for a cup of coffee until the sun had dropped in the sky a bit.

Who stole my seat!!

On arriving at the lodge I discoverd Adam and his father glued to the t.v. as the Grand National was on, I’d totally forgotton about this and usually have an unsucessful flutter on the race myself. Adam on the otherhand had a bet on. The race started and so did all the shouting and cheering with it, any anglers in earshot must have wondered what was going on!

Some rod bending action
…….followed by a Rainbow at the net

Race over I returned to the lake to find a few fish moving so I changed my set up to a black Harry Potter dry with a black buzzer suspended a couple of feet underneath it New Zealand style with the result being the first fish in the net after five minutes. The action really got going as the evening progressed with fish coming to both the dry and the buzzer, all in all a great session after a very slow start. Sometimes its just good to take a break if the fish aren’t playing ball, sit back and realx and enjoy the surroundings and wildlife………or go horse racing!!