Fly fishing, complete novice looking for advice.

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I am sure some of you on here fish, I am looking for some tips on how best to get started.

Living in the Highlands with quite a few remote lochs where no one ever fishes so I thought I might give it a go.

Only ever caught fish out of a small lake a handfull of times on the other side of the world so effectively zero experience.

Was told that fly fishing is a good place to start as you can fish burns (streams) rivers and lochs.

What should I be looking to get started with equipment wise? Any good ways to practise?

Thank you!
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Try a few rods first as depending on your ability a fast or tip action rod won't suit you. But best of all try places that offer casting lessons and have rods to go try. You could end up buying kit that is entirely unsuitable elsewise. I've four rods 7' 6" #4, 9' 0" #6, 10' 0" #7 and a 10' 6" #7. The all around is the nine footer but for traditional loch fishing you'd be better served with a ten or ten and a half footer IMHO. All my rods are Hardy Marquis which was and is an easy to cast middle action rod. A feature of such middle action rods is that they are usually the least expensive and if you need it you can roll cast with them. But there's even more ways to spend money with fly fishing gear that even with reloading!
 
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Fair Hill

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I am sure some of you on here fish, I am looking for some tips on how best to get started.

Living in the Highlands with quite a few remote lochs where no one ever fishes so I thought I might give it a go.

Only ever caught fish out of a small lake a handfull of times on the other side of the world so effectively zero experience.

Was told that fly fishing is a good place to start as you can fish burns (streams) rivers and lochs.

What should I be looking to get started with equipment wise? Any good ways to practise?

Thank you!
No matter what bait you use just remember that fish always face upstream so the best way to catch them is stay well behind them and cast upstream.
Let the lure pass them as if it was natural.
Takes a bit of practice, but if you have the patience there is nothing to compare once you get the hang of it.
 

Mud Stuffin

Well-Known Member
For what it’s worth I’d recommend a 9ft or 9ft 6 rod weighted #6 or #7 and a suitable weight forward floating fly line as a nice rod to get to grips with on lakes and lochs. With the reel I would look for one with easy to change spools as you will most likely end up buying different fly lines (Intermediate, sinking etc...) and it tends to be cheaper than buying new reels. In terms of practice, when I was learning over 25 years ago and couldn’t get to the water I’d find a nice field or park and tie a bit of wool onto a leader around the same length as your rod (if not a bit longer) and just practice casting until the timing becomes natural. You can spend a fortune on equipment but it doesn’t make you a better fisherman and although I have some equipment made by Hardy my favourite rod and reel set up is the one I learnt with and the whole set up rod, reel and line cost less than £50 back then and has caught me hundreds of trout.
 

Uncle Norm

Well-Known Member
The highlands of Scotland, remote lochs and those wonderful wild brownies.... heaven :thumb:.

Light-weight tackle for bank fishing. On a boat, a longer rod, with a team of three flies cast ahead on the drift..... bliss :thumb:

Those little beauties have tails like paddles and fight like hell. I remember the first one I ever caught, thought it must be at least a two pounder but it was only about half a pound. No comparison with reservoir rainbows.

Learning to cast a fly-line is not easy, so as others have said, get some instruction, then practice. Like riding a bike, once learned, never forgotten.

Remember that lots of fishing tackle will catch more fishermen than fish, so don't be too quick to get your wallet out.

Enjoy.:tiphat:
 

dartmoordog

Well-Known Member
I agree with the net theory.

I made a living and now have a nice pension, out of hunting and catching people using a net! ;)

The one person I would take real notice of is Richard, Devon Deer Stalker. He knows his stuff, good luck.

Just remember, most fishing tackle is out there to catch fishermen, not fish.
 

Fair Hill

Well-Known Member
For fishing streams and small rivers I'd recommend a pair of waders, a short light rod, a light spinning reel, 4lb line, no.6 hook , BB weights, some dendrobena worms and a wicker basket.

Get into the middle of the stream, face upwards and first cast to the left, then the center and then the right. Have just enough weights on so that the worm bobbles along the bed of the stream and slowly reel in any slack as the worm goes with the flow. Always know where the worm is, always pick a spot where you want it to land when casting.

Once you have covered every square foot of the bed of the stream in front of you, wade upstream a few yards and repeat. When you feel a bite, resist the temptation to strike until he runs upstream a little with the worm. Strike hard and fast then.

Fish after a flood or heavy rain when the water level is dropping. Always fish upstream. the trout are always facing upstream and are always on the lookout for food coming downstream.

Take your time but keep working upstream until you find them, then keep going until you find more. Be warned, it's a highly addictive sport.

Be safe and tight lines.
 

JockStalk

Well-Known Member
If you are anywhere near Aberdeenshire, I'll happily show you how not to catch fish on the fly :tiphat:

'Get casting lesson' is a great idea, but why should you have to avoid the frustrations of teaching yourself? YouTube has all you need, how hard can it be. (casting lesson a pretty good idea, or a mate who can show you how). You can easily learn to cast on a bit of lawn with a rod/ reel/ fly line (no hook or leader required - Leader is the thin fishing line connecting the fly line to the fly). THat way you get to stay dry whilst you learn how to take knots you've managed to create out of your fly line. Seriously, a lawn is a great place to start practicing.

Don't buy expensive gear. These days you get the kind of carbon blanks I could only dream of as a kid for not very much cash. I have many big names, but I bought myself a £35 Shakespeare Sigma Supra 9'6" four piece #7 line weight rod for a trip to assynt last year and I'll be taking it again this May. Casts like a dream, unbelievable value. You can buy these with an inexpensive reel and line from many of the big online suppliers (angling direct/ Glasgow angling centre etc).

Get yourself some black and red flies (black pennel, peter ross, kee-hee etc) in size 12 as a decent all rounder, some 6-8lb leader line, a wee landing net and you are all set. The lot should give you change out of £100 with ease. Kee-Hee's have always worked well for me but anything black and red, the odd bit of silver for sparkle. Fly's catch fishermen more than fish - no need to buy the shop out.

Now a jam jar and mix in it 1/3 Smidge, 1/3 sunscreen and 1/3 sno-seal. Apply liberally and you are protected no matter what the Scottish summer throws at you.

Maybe a final thought. A book called the 'loch of the green corrie' to keep you going until it warms up.

I've fly fished since I was 9, its a fantastic pursuit.
 
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Finch

Well-Known Member
I was catching cracking brownies in the river Moriston last June. Using spinners though which put the shallows out of bounds. Would have been great to have had a fly rod as well.

Always enjoy the fly casting demonstrations at game fairs and country shows. Like most things that experts make look easy, I suspect it isn't.
 

Rusty Gate

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I am sure some of you on here fish, I am looking for some tips on how best to get started.

Living in the Highlands with quite a few remote lochs where no one ever fishes so I thought I might give it a go.

Only ever caught fish out of a small lake a handfull of times on the other side of the world so effectively zero experience.

Was told that fly fishing is a good place to start as you can fish burns (streams) rivers and lochs.

What should I be looking to get started with equipment wise? Any good ways to practise?

Thank you!
Following your thread.
I pined after a Diawa fly rod when younger that I couldn't afford.
Spotted one on the bay, got it for 20 quid then bought a Leeda reel to match the weight of line the rod was designed for. Leeda reel was a black model & brilliant value for money. Bought line off the bay.
Amazon has handmade flies selection, I looked the guy up, rang him & he sent me same quantity/price but all suited me/this area.
Casting lessons with a friend soon.
Best of luck & make sure safety glasses are first in your list
 

opticron1

Well-Known Member
Don't get hung up on spending a fortune on tackle! I started fishing using a 6' fibre glass rod, line, reel, split shot and worms on the burns years ago and still miss the "simple things". Moved on to fly fishing and practised in the back garden/nearby fields with the casting...… had one lesson from a relative and wish I'd taken more lessons! However I would say I was self taught and can cast a decent line now, but it's taken me 50 odd years to get there, so yep I agree get lessons! Places like Glasgow angling centre and the place near Stirling will kit you out very well at reasonable prices, but any decent fishing shop should be able to help. I've probably got a spare 9ft 6" rod down here (#6-7 weight) if you were anywhere near here (Ayr) you could use and start your journey with that, before you know it you'll end up over run with blo*dy fishing tackle! Hill lochs are a great place to start as there's usually no-one around to watch you making a fool of yourself!:lol:
 

JockStalk

Well-Known Member
If you are anywhere near Aberdeenshire, I'll happily show you how not to catch fish on the fly :tiphat:

'Get casting lesson' is a great idea, but why should you have to avoid the frustrations of teaching yourself? YouTube has all you need, how hard can it be. (casting lesson a pretty good idea, or a mate who can show you how). You can easily learn to cast on a bit of lawn with a rod/ reel/ fly line (no hook or leader required - Leader is the thin fishing line connecting the fly line to the fly). THat way you get to stay dry whilst you learn how to take knots you've managed to create out of your fly line. Seriously, a lawn is a great place to start practicing.

Don't buy expensive gear. These days you get the kind of carbon blanks I could only dream of as a kid for not very much cash. I have many big names, but I bought myself a £35 Shakespeare Sigma Supra 9'6" four piece #7 line weight rod for a trip to assynt last year and I'll be taking it again this May. Casts like a dream, unbelievable value. You can buy these with an inexpensive reel and line from many of the big online suppliers (angling direct/ Glasgow angling centre etc).

Get yourself some black and red flies (black pennel, peter ross, kee-hee etc) in size 12 as a decent all rounder, some 6-8lb leader line, a wee landing net and you are all set. The lot should give you change out of £100 with ease. Kee-Hee's have always worked well for me but anything black and red, the odd bit of silver for sparkle. Fly's catch fishermen more than fish - no need to buy the shop out.

Now a jam jar and mix in it 1/3 Smidge, 1/3 sunscreen and 1/3 sno-seal. Apply liberally and you are protected no matter what the Scottish summer throws at you.

Maybe a final thought. A book called the 'loch of the green corrie' to keep you going until it warms up.

I've fly fished since I was 9, its a fantastic pursuit.
And get a floating fly line.
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies everyone, have duly taken notes and really appreciate the info.

Will be on the mainland soon and may just have a look at things first.

Funny how much of the sound advice for starting out is the same for any sport or activity!
 

Heimdall

Well-Known Member
I have fished for over 40 years but only fly fished for about 7/8, it took a bit of getting used to as its nothing like other forms of fishing except playing a fish. Looking at what has been said my many i would certainly agree, dont spend a fortune. use weight forward floating line. and get casting lessons if you can. I was introduced to it at the royal welsh show, as i had access to all areas and people i spoke to one of the fly fishing instructors who gladly showed me how to go on. at first i was awful but then guy said to me hold this book with your right elbow and try cast without dropping it. worked a treat. Hope you get on well with it as its a great way to spend a day or two. ;)
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
;) remember its tick tock & not flick flop , A 10ft is what i'd start with floating line a 6lb leader and a wallet of mixed fly's ask at the shop or walk onto the bank and ask whats working if you see someone casting a line . oh find a good stick and add a stainless point to it ! you know when it will come in handy :-|
 

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