Top 6 Reservoir Fly Fishing Tips for Beginners
Anglers from Belgium who are looking to start fly fishing on large reservoirs from a drifting boat often ask me for Fly Fishing Tips for Beginners. Starting out on reservoirs can be slightly confusing but the good news for anyone who wants to give it a go is that it’s a friendly and accessible sport.
1) Pick an easy venue to begin;
The UK is renown for it’s reservoirs and Bewl water is one of the easiest places to start. Once you get the feel of things, you can choose a larger reservoirs like Grafham, Rutland, Draycote, Eyebrook, etc. These large waters are very good at positing their fishing reports on social media, they give you an exact view on the weather, techniques, what flies to use, and when they stocked.
2) Choose a reliable fly fishing outfit;
A 10’ – # 6-7 rod with a handful of fly lines from a floater through to a fast sinker can go a long way! Check out these great fly line videos from our friends at Fishtec to get your head around what you may need. Polarised sunglasses are also extremely important: not only do they protect your eyes from wayward casts and hooks, but they also help you to spot fish by removing the glare on the water. Waterproof clothing, sometimes it can be very windy and wet on big reservoirs and staying warm and dry is essential. Fly Fishing Tips for
3) Make good casts, not long casts;
When reservoir fishing you often see anglers trying to cast a line as far as they can, this causes many problems. The further you cast, the more chance there is of tangling, forcing you to use more tippet and lose time by having to re-tie leaders. It’s best to make 100 good, average length casts than 10 good ones and spending your day undoing tangles. A handful of tapered leaders are well worth having, these long tapered lengths of tippet help your cast turn over and land neatly without spooking the fish. Start with a leader about as long as your rod (10 ft) and add a thinner tippet from about 3-4ft if you fish with a dry fly. If you fish with 2, 3 or 4 flies you can make your own leaders, it’s best to get familiar with basic fishing knots. If you were to learn only two to start with, these would be the half-blood knot (the easiest way to tie a fly or hook to line) and the overhand dropper loop knot. There are lots of free resources online these days. Fly Fishing Tips for Beginners
4) Check the fishery rules;
If you’re new to reservoir fishing, or just new to a particular fishery, do check the rules carefully. Wherever you fish, you will also need a rod license; these can be bought from most Post Offices or online. It’s always worth chatting to other anglers, whether on the bank, online or in the tackle shop. Indeed, one of the best things about fly fishing is that it is such a friendly sport and anglers love to share advice and ideas! Be sociable and you’ll often pick up useful information, whether it’s a hot spot to try or which flies are working best. Fly Fishing Tips for Beginners
5) Book a guided session to learn quicker;
It is well worth booking a session with a guide if you are new to the sport because they can provide a big head start and save a lot of frustration. In the space of a few hours a guide can often teach you things that would take several seasons to figure out for yourself.
6) Is fly selection important?
In one word, YES! Start your collection of flies with a few tried and trusted patterns. For the stillwater beginner, you won’t go too far wrong with a selection of Attractors, Dries, Nymphs, Blobs and Snake flies. Fulling Mill is the leading company with thousands of different reservoir fly patterns tied on the best hooks and top quality fly tying materials. Check out their full range here: Fulling Mill Flies.