Bellow is a selection of UKFlyFisher recommended products and honest reviews on fisheries.
The Equipment section features a collection of items that excel at their price point looking after both the angler and their wallet. They feature honest reviews revealing both the benefits and also any negatives the products may display.
The Fisheries section takes a look at Fly Waters available to us in the UK. Unlike most blogs and posts trying to sell you a fishery in return for a days fishing, we are honest with everyone. I also like to be accompanied by less experienced anglers when visiting a new fishery. This helps the reviews be fair and relevant no matter your skill level.
UKFlyFisher Recommended Fisheries
Ellerdine lakes is a stunning fishery located in Telford, Shropshire. The fishery is a collection of 4 lakes all with its own unique style and feel. It is run by Edward and Jayne Upton who do an incredible job and really understand the needs of both the fish and the angler. Ticket prices are incredibly modest and this adds to the charm of the fishery. It is by far the most friendly fishery we have ever visited with locals more than happy to have a chat about tactics and tell stories of memorable days at this incredible fishery.
Stocked with 5 separate species, this adds an additional aspect to the fishery which not many modern fisheries can compete with giving you the additional excitement of not knowing what the next take could be. A rainbow? Maybe a brownie or the slightly rarer blue trout? Or even the hard fighting and more difficult tigers or salmon Ellerdine has to offer. All species range from 1.75lbs to high teens with double-figure fish regularly being landed.
The fishery has great facilities and there is hot food on offer daily. This is great especially for the period usually between 12:00 and 16:00 when the fishing can become harder. We like to break the day up with a cooked breakfast in which we use the time to discuss tactics that have been successful and the all-important killer flies working on any given day. With free tea and coffee, this fishery goes above and beyond to ensure you enjoy your day. This simple gesture of goodwill is extremely welcome on tough days and one that more fisheries should be implementing. The Lodge is complete with a large seating area both in and outside so you can enjoy your food in comfort out of the wet in the winter and eat outside when the weather warms up. The fishery has toilets with running water that are maintained daily to a high standard.
The lodge is complete with a tackle shop with everything you could need for a days fishing at Ellerdine. If like me, you enjoy fly tying there is a range of fly tying materials that really does put our shop at Fishtec to shame and is well worth a visit after you've finished fishing for the day.
All in all this fishery has everything the modern day fly fisher requires from a fishery and that's what makes it our UKFlyFisher number 1 choice for small water fly fishing in the UK.
Gludy is a picture perfect fishery in the heart of the Brecon countryside. Run by Chris & Laura Burgess this fishery is never overfished and well maintained. It is a catch and release fishery that offers peace and tranquillity. If like me you like to escape and get back to nature then this fishery is the perfect place to visit. The 7.6-acre spring fed lake has crystal clear water and a stealthy approach is required when fishing.
The fish are hard fighting with rainbows, browns and blue trout included the fishing is incredibly exciting with the average fish being around 2lbs but some big lumps in amongst them. Being a catch an release venue the trout quickly move onto the naturals and after being caught a few times will become wise to the common lures. When this is the situation often a team of naturals with an attractor will bring you the extra fish. Due to the clear water, long leaders and stealthy approaches are advised and the electric engines help with a quiet approach. When you do hook into a fish be ready for a scrap as these fish are extremely hard fighting.
The onsite lodge is perfect for a group of 6 or 7 anglers looking to make a weekend out of their visit with very reasonable pricing. With plenty of wildlife on view this is a stunning place to fish and if you are lucky you may even get a visit from the family peacock. After fishing, you can take advantage of the seating area and fire pit and talk about the successful tactics that have been catching the fish during the day before returning to the stunning lodge right on the water's edge.
UKFlyFisher Recommended Equipment.
This is a perfect bit of kit for the all-rounder and will handle small dries, teams of 3 or 4 flies and big sea trout and salmon flies alike. A real bargain and a rod you won’t regret purchasing. Being able to cast long distances can often be deadly on pressured waters and the Super Stik is more than capable of hitting 90ft and greater. It also gives great accuracy when fishing dries and nymphs to rising fish. All in all, it is a great rod and one that for the price will be hard to beat.
The Lake Pro is my go-to floating line for single dries and delicate presentation. The super-dri technology present in these lines reduces friction allowing the line to glide through the rod rings adding distance to your cast. It gives you unparalleled flotation with a line that can repel water, dirt and surface scum better than any other line in the history of fly lines. The ability to lift of creating as little disturbance as possible and relocate your cast to a rising fish is a great advantage for any dry fly fisher.
Airflo has modified their bestselling Ridge Impact Mini Tips to now include the Super-Dri coating.
This allows the line to float higher and pick off the water even faster than its predecessor. These lines are perfect for any still water fisherman and are my number 1 go to lines for fishing single lures and nymphs, teams of naturals and the deadly technique known as the washing line. This line gets your fly below the surface film and into the most productive area for still water fishing. Its thin diameter creates a gentle presentation creating little disturbance which will give you that stealthy edge on difficult waters.
The new forty plus lines feature a short heavy 35-foot head which allows easy loading and great distance even for a novice caster. Since Airflo corrected the issue with the original they now have a seamless blend from running line to shooting head with a product that won’t let you down. I have found this intermediate with the translucent green head incredibly productive. Its ability to cast nymphs, teams of flies and large lures to the far horizon is an extremely attractive prospect to the modern-day angler. A great tip for the still water fisherman is to fish the areas other anglers don’t fish. In my personal experience, this is the first 2 yards of water around the banks and then again at 30 yards plus. This line will help you get past the mark that many other anglers simply can’t reach and access fish that have been rested and will more confidently take a fly as they feel safe at this distance. A must-have for any modern-day fly fisher.
On the very rare occasion that I need to get down deep the Di3 Forty plus line is a great line to do this. Again, casting further than any other Di3 on the market this allows you to get your flies out far and down deep to fish areas of water others simply pass up. This can be a great line for big lures that represent small fish as often big cannibal fish can be found patrolling deep near the waters bed.
The Wychwood SLA MKII has successfully created the lightest fly reel in its class. This is my go-to reel with a drag capable of fighting the biggest sea trout and salmon found in the UK. The extremely Large arbour means your line is stored with fewer turns eliminating memory on the line. Supplied with 2 spare spools it allows you to have your favourite floating, intermediate and sinking line all on hand ready for any situation. You can also buy 2 clear spools as an extra for £9.99 which not only look stylish but will give you a total of 5 spools giving you more flexibility with the depths you are able to fish. The only negative we have found is that changing spools can be rather difficult especially once a line has been applied to the spool. Other than that, Wychwood has made the perfect reel at an incredible price and you will see me with this reel on almost any trip.
People get obsessed with spending big money on reels. The truth is there is no need to. 9 times out of 10 you will be able to play the fish by hand and on the rare occasion you hook into something bigger and need to follow a fish the drag on this reel is more than capable of playing any fish the UK Stillwater scene can throw at you. This must be the best value reel on the market today supplied with 4 spools this is more than capable of holding all the lines you need for a day’s fishing. The spool changing system with this reel is what appeals to me most. You will see that the modern-day fly reels tend to be small metal releases and tightly stuck cassettes. This makes changing spools in cold weather not only difficult but also uncomfortable. With the Airflo Classic Cassette reel, simply place your palm against the locking ring and twist, this adaptation makes it perfect for a quick spool change even on a cold winters morning.
This is the classic Airflo fluorocarbon and has been around for a very long time. I highly recommend the 6-8lbs for still water fly fishing as it is practically invisible in water and won’t let you down. At £11.99 for 50m and £19.99 for 100m spools with the offer of buy one get one free and the ability to mix and match breaking strains, this makes the G3 a very attractive option for the angler. Unfortunately, I would not advise going lower than 6lbs as at the lower breaking strains this becomes very unreliable for still water fly fishing.
The most popular floatant, and Fishtec's best seller by a mile. It works incredibly well and keeps flies floating high. Perfect for both river and still water fishing this is a UKFlyFisher favourite when it comes to dry fly fishing. It's also very easy to apply, simply put a small amount on your finger and rub between finger and thumb before applying to your favourite dry fly.