Fly Fishing The Basics. A Riverkeeper’s Guide

You've decided you want to learn to fly fish - fantastic! A sport that keeps you at one with nature, whilst giving you the challenge to catch a fish. But where do you start?

The Leckford Estate is a beautiful environment to learn to fly fish in and you'll find our river keepers a font of knowledge.  To give you a taste of the basics, we've put together a top level guide.


●  Choose an easy location, with few trees, quiet water and of course plenty of fish! 
●  Use a regular floating line to begin with and a tapered clear leader line. The leader line should be about as long as your rod. 
●  Start with a simple, tried and trusted pattern of flies. Begin with just a few you can add different patterns as your progress. 
●  Wear sunglasses, these will protect your eyes from any stray hooks and help reduce the glare from the water. 
●  Remember to purchase a rod licence, these can be purchased from the post office. 


●  With your rod, line and fly assembled, you’re ready to make a start. It’s worth taking your time to master the casting technique. 
●  Begin with the overhead cast. This is the basis for all other casting techniques. 
●  Hold your rod comfortably, putting your thumb on top pointing towards the end of your rod. Make sure your hand is placed in the centre of the handle. 
●  Your index finger should be gently holding the fly line on the rod, to avoid it running away from the spool. And always point your rod downwards. 
●  Pull out some fishing line, around 1m should be enough 
●  Keep your wrist straight and lift your arm until the line tightens. Swing your arm back, making sure the line is behind you. 
●  Place your arm at a 2 o’clock position. Then quickly bring your arm forward stopping at a 10 o’clock position. Casting the line out in front of you. 
●  Bring your arm down gently, you don’t want the line slapping the water and spooking the fish. 
●  Once the fly is in the water, don’t reel, just gently pull the line with your other hand. 

If you want a hands on guide to the basics and to help you get started, remember our river keepers can get you started with a beginners tutoring lesson. Find out more on our tuition page.

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