Having been a coarse fishing fan throughout my life I have only recently caught the fly fishing bug
Fly fishing has always been something that held a certain unattainable charm, particularly fly fishing on rivers, but the opportunity to go with friends hadn’t arrived until recently. This is partly due to limited opportunities in my home county of Norfolk which is a coarse fishing paradise but not so well catered for the fly fisherman.
Fishing is a particularly friendly sport and I find it is usually necessary to have somebody to exchange ideas with before attempting a new discipline of fishing, thankfully that opportunity came along and I have now been on a few successful Salmon fishing trips in the Highlands on the river Oykel where I have so far managed to catch five Salmon and two Brown Trout, along with less successful trips to the Tweed in the Scottish Borders where I’m sad to say I have as yet only drawn blank days.
My appetite for fly fishing has been tempered somewhat by my casting technique which was quite frankly in need of some professional help. Fortunately again this opportunity was presented to me by Orvis who invited me as a guest to their recent fly fishing 101 event ‘fun on the fly’ on Green Park. The event was designed as an introduction to their rather generous free beginners fly fishing courses and their company that has been making rods in the same factory in Vermont since 1856.
As you can see from the link above there are some wonderful opportunities for Londoner’s to learn fly fishing either for free or for a very reasonable fee throughout the year including courses such as: Free Beginners Course, Beginner’s Schools, Chalk Stream Schools, Stillwater Schools, On-the-Water Course and Adventures Abroad. There is a huge range of tackle, flies, gadgets and outdoor clothing at their flagship store on Regent St which I was pleasantly surprised to find offers a huge range of items for simply being outdoors not only fishing.
My suggestion to anybody in my position who has desired to go fly fishing but not quite made the jump would be to pop into the Orvis store and talk to one of their knowledgeable staff who will be able to advise you, rather than wait for an opportunity to arrive like I had.
Since attending the ‘fun on the fly’ event with Orvis I have purchased a copy of John Bailey’s ‘Where to Fly Fish In Britain and Ireland‘ and found a great place to test my new improved casting skills. This being the grounds of Syon Park, the Duke of Northumberlands London residence where there is a fishing stillwater shaped like a small stretch of river that was originally created by ‘England’s Greatest Gardener’ Capability Brown in the 1760’s, unbelievably this is only seven miles and a 30 minute journey from my doorstep so I really have no excuses now.
Having relied on borrowed tackle until now the next step for me is to get tackled up and start giving it a go. I shall be putting together an informative article with expert recommendations on that soon.