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An Introduction to Fly fishing

Lathams Fishing
- Discount fishing store, Lathams guarantee never to be beaten on price. The range includes equipment for carp fishing, coarse fishing, fly and game fishing and lure and pike, together with sea fishing supplies and fishing themed gift ideas.

Fly fishing - what is it?

It is a method of angling used mainly for trout in the UK, but can also be used for salmon and other fish. In fly fishing, an artificial "fly" is used to entice the trout into biting the hook. It can be made of assorted materials including feathers, beads and fur, to either mimic food that occurs naturally in the habitat, or merely to provoke interest by the trout. Fly fishing rods and the flies themselves are relatively light. The line itself is heavier and provides the casting weight. The line is matched to the rod by weight. A skilled angler can place the fly where he would like it to be in the water without causing a ripple, and so not alarming any nearby fish.

What are "wet" and "dry" fly fishing?

Dry fly fishing uses specially coated flies that float on the top of the water, whereas wet fly fishing, sometimes known as nymph fly fishing, uses one that sits below the surface of the water.

carp rodDry fly fishing is the best known form of this type of angling. The fly is designed to imitate the real thing, sitting on the surface of the water. When it floats over a trout, the hope is that the trout will mistake it for food and take a bite. It is then up to a skilful angler to bring the fish in, and either release it unharmed or kill it quickly if it is to be eaten.

Wet fly fishing uses a pretend nymph, the lava form of an insect, hatched from an egg laid in the river or lake by the adult insect. The nymph sits below the surface of the water.

The main difference between dry and wet is that in the dry version, the angler gets to see more of the action as it takes place at the water's surface, but in the wet version, more of the action takes place out of sight under the water.

How do I get started?

Visit fly fishing at Orvis, a UK online supplier of lines, reels, rods, bags, tying materials, footwear, including waders, landing nets, bags and a range of other accessories. Tackleshop also sell an extremely comprehensive range of tackle for all types of fishing including coarse, pike, game, sea and match.

What sort of rod should I buy?

Fibreglass is a good general purpose material for a rod, as it is lightweight and durable. A beginner should go for a rod with medium flexibility as it will be easier to handle than a slow action or a fast action rod. It should generally be between about 2.4m and 2.7m in length.

UK Legal Requirements

It is a legal requirement in the UK that if you are aged 12 years or more, you must have an Environment Agency rod licence to fish for trout, salmon, freshwater fish and eels in most of England, Wales and Scotland. You can buy a licence from the Post Office, or order one online from the Environment Agency here. Failure to have a licence can result in a fine of up to £2,500. Licences can be bought for one day, eight days or an entire year and cost less for juniors.