Top Tips for Fly Fishing Beginners

Fly fishing is a wonderful sport and if you’re looking to get started, you’ve certainly come to the right place.

Follow our top tips for fly fishing beginners and with a bit of patience and practise, you’re sure to reap the rewards.

Venue

When it comes to choosing a venue, you should ideally find a location which offers both plenty of space and fish.

We don’t suggest getting started with rivers as a beginner as this will likely cause more frustration than anything, so instead focus on finding small still waters as you won’t need to cast far.

Outfit

While you shouldn’t spend a fortune on gear as a beginner, it is still important to purchase a reliable starter outfit. The good news is that you won’t have to break the bank to get a suitable starter outfit and we suggest looking into the Airflo and Snowbee brands.

The best option for getting started in still water fly fishing is a nine foot, six-weight rod, reel, and line.

Fly Line

The options for fly line can quickly become overwhelming, so it’s best to start with floating fly line.

You’ll attach regular line (known as the leader) to the floating fly line, as well as a few tapered leaders as these will help land your line without scaring off the fish.

Flies

As a fly fishing beginner it’s a good idea to focus on tried and tested flies and that’s why we recommend the Cat’s Whiskers, Hare’s Ear, Diawl Bach, Montana, Viva, and Fritz – names almost as exotic as your favourite bingo Canada sites!

Some companies even sell fly selections which come with a handy storage box and you may even get into creating your own flies eventually.

Sunglasses

You’ll soon discover that sunlight casts quite a glare on the surface of the water which may make it almost impossible to spot a fish.

As such, we suggest purchasing a pair of polarised sunglasses as they will protect your eyes from errant hooks and casts and cut down glare.

Casting

As a beginner, you likely won’t have much experience with casting, so we suggest that you cast on grass first.

Try using a piece of wool or a fly without a point to avoid getting stuck on tress and obstacles and get a good feel for the motion before hitting the water.

Fishing Knots

The varieties of fishing knots are almost innumerable, but you don’t have to learn many of them before getting started with fly fishing.

For beginners we suggest you learn the half-blood knot and the overhand loop knot.

Wild Fishing Rules

If you’ve chosen a location you’re not particularly familiar with, be sure to check the rules quite carefully as you wouldn’t want to get into trouble.

On most wild fisheries, you’ll have to release whatever you catch, but stocked trout lakes will often have different rules entirely. Be sure to check which licenses you’ll require as well.

Top 5 Tips For Fishing in Cold Weather

Fishing is traditionally done on a warm, sunny day when the fish are at their most active. But depending on where you’re situated, the winter can set in for a number of months at a time, and it may seem impossible to head out to the nearest lake and try and catch something.

Fishing in cold weather, however, is just as simple as any other type of fishing, and only requires that you take the time to prepare in advance.

1. Timing the Weather

Most fish that live in colder-climate regions tend to be at their lowest activity after a cold front hits, and choosing the timing of when to throw the cast in can make a big difference, and sometimes it’s best to just stay at home and enjoy online casino NZ games.

As a general rule, most fish will begin to feed just before the front passes, meaning that they’ll be their most active at certain spots around the body of water. And while it may be difficult to determine exactly where they’ll be – as it depends very much on the temperature and volatility of the water – once the group has been found, there should be plenty to catch.

2. The Location

In a river, dam, or lake, fish tend to move around to the spots that suit them the best, and this is no different when colder weather strikes.

Many will migrate to an area that has an abundance of food available even when it’s cold, and it’s best to do the research to find out exactly where these spots are, otherwise it can become impossible to find any biters.

3. The Right Bait

Lures work best in spring and summer, but they’re not nearly as efficient during winter periods. When the temperature of the water starts to plummet, the prey that fish usually eat will generally begin to slow down, and this can become a problem for fishermen that tend to use fast-moving lures.

For this reason, it’s best to rather opt for live bait that will become accustomed to the temperature of the water and adjust accordingly, and increasing the chance of catching something, even if the water is frigid.

4. Winter Gear

Being out on the water means that you will not have access to any buildings or tree cover, and means that you will bear the full brunt of any cold winter winds. On top of this, water on the line can eventually begin to freeze, so it’s best to make sure that the line is always conditioned.

Wearing warm, insulated clothing that covers all of your skin can help avoid any serious cold-related conditions, and keeping your fingers warm means the difference between losing a rod or catching a good haul.

5. Be Safe

Never fish alone during the colder seasons, even if you consider yourself a pro. Always have the right safety equipment available, as falling in the water can become extremely serious.

Wool and synthetic fibres are the best materials for keeping the cold at bay, and a life jacket can and will be a lifesaver.

Making Sure Your Fishing Equipment Lasts

Fishing equipment isn’t cheap and we all know what it’s like to have to kiss goodbye a favourite rod and reel because it’s come to the end of its lifespan. But looking after your gear can extend the lifespan somewhat, giving you more time to reel in a catch on your lucky rod.

If you want to maintain your equipment and ensure your gear lasts for as long as possible, follow these handy guidelines:

#1. Storage 

Don’t leave your fishing gear in your boot or in your garage. If you store it in a dry, well-ventilated space it will last longer, it won’t rust and a drop in temperature or any other factors won’t affect it.

#2. Cleaning

Always clean your gear. Even if you are not fishing in salt water, make sure that you rinse your gear off before you finish for the day. This way any trace elements that can cause corrosion are removed and your gear stays clean too.

#3. Long-term Storage

Store your gear like you would your clothes. Between seasons it is best to store your fishing gear inside, in a warm spot. Just like your clothing, your gear needs to breathe and to have air circulate around it in order to prevent damp, mould and rust.

#4. Moisture

Make sure everything is always dry. Even if you are only packing away your gear between fishing weekends, make sure your bait and boxes and rods and reels are 100% dry. Excess moisture can cause havoc with your gear and can lead to it disintegrating quickly.

It can also lead to funny smells and damage scented baits, lures and flies that you’d have to spend your online pokies Australia winnings on if you need to replace them.

#5. Rinsing

After every fishing session, rinse off your reels. This will remove any sand, seaweed, pondweed or any residue that may have built up whilst you’ve been fishing.

Just ensure you don’t use a high-pressure hose or water stream, as this can do more damage than good and push water into places you don’t want it to be.

#6. Wiping Equipment

Wipe down your equipment after you’ve washed it to ensure there is no dirt left behind and to keep everything in tip top shape.

If you are worried about water having gotten in where it shouldn’t, you can also use a blow drier on a medium heat to get every last drop out.

#7. Tension

Ensure that you’ve taken the tension off your reels. If you leave your drag on tight setting it pus unnecessary strain on the reel components and causes undue wear and tear.

Make sure that you have backed off the tension at least 3 or 4 turns so there is no added stress in play.

#8. Oil It Up

Oil up anything that may rust. If you lubricate your reels they shouldn’t rust at all, and they’ll work smoothly the first time you go fishing next season.

Just beware that you don’t over oil, as you don’t want oil on your line that may end up in the sea or the lake.

Secrets For A Great Day On The Water

Whatever type of boat you have and whatever type of fishing you enjoy, there are some things you need to do to ensure that you always enjoy your day on the water.

Take heed of these great tips and you’ll have the best experience every time.

Wear sunscreen

Even if the sun is not shining, the glare from the water can give you a nasty burn. Always wear sunscreen on any parts of your body that are exposed, and if you are wearing a shirt or pants, make sure they offer adequate UV protection too.

Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your lips too, as they can burn badly.

Wear polarised lenses

Polarised lenses area fisherman’s friend as they not only protect your eyes, they also provide a great view of the water, as they don’t simply block out all the light. With polarised lenses you are far more likely to spot a flash of a fish as they provide a different type of transparency.

And landing a big catch is just as satisfying as winning big playing the online pokies Australia has to offer, so make sure you give yourself the best possible chance.

Be prepared for all weather

This is especially true if you are out on a boat on the water. Weather can change fast and you need to ensure that you have a warm top and pants just in case.

Bear in mind that you may also get wet while on the water, so a waterproof jacket can help stave off the cold and the damp when the weather turns.

Keep fresh water at hand

Staying hydrated is crucial, and even if you are not in the sun, you still need to have access to an adequate supply of fresh water.

The old adage of water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink is not funny when you have been fishing for hours and may not be close to the shore with no relief in sight.

Keep contact open

Always ensure you have some way of making contact if you need help. Tell someone where you are going and if you are on your boat, make sure you have flares and other emergency signalling equipment just in case.

Emergencies happen when you least expect them, so be prepared!

Learn from experience

If you are new to the whole boating scene learn from others or try and take someone out with you who has experience.

If you want to enjoy your fishing trip and feel comfortable on the water try and round up an experienced fisherman who can step in if you run into any trouble with your boat or with your fishing equipment.

Have enough life jackets

The Titanic was unsinkable and it sank, so your boat could well sink too if the worst comes to the worst. Make sure that you have adequate safety equipment and life preservers, even if you are only going out for a short sail.

Anything can happen on the water, and you need to be ready to act if it does and have the necessary equipment at the ready. This is extra important if you are taking children out on the water.

Top Boat Care Tips For Enthusiasts

If you want to be a better boater and to ensure your boat is always in tip top condition, these tips will give you the edge, every time.

Wipe off dew

Morning dew is actually distilled water. If you wipe off your boat using it, your boat will be spotless and it will cost you nothing.

Remove old wax

If you want a spotless shine you need to get rid of old wax before you add new. Use a dewaxing solvent to rid your boat of last seasons wax and you’ll get a great shine with added protection.

Natural mould remover

If the idea of using bleach is off putting, use vinegar to remove mould. Vinegar does the job naturally and leaves a lovely shine.

Remove gelcoat residue safely

If you need to remove paint and adhesive reside without damaging gelcoat, oven cleaner works extremely well and leaves no damage or trace.

Create a crisp waterline

Use masking tape that you have burnished by rubbing the edges with a paintbrush handle or dowel stick.

Carry a spare belt

We’ve all heard about how pantyhose or duct tape can serve as a belt in an emergency, but rather always ensure you carry a spare belt just in case! Belts are not about to break the bank and you won’t have to spend all your online slots Australia winnings just to be prepared.

Protect outboard prop shafts in transport

Cut a section of PVC tubing and wrap it around the prop shaft while transporting your boat. This cushions the prop and the splines while you are in transit.

Clamp hoses properly

Worm gear hose clamps may be cheaper, but they can also cause the hoses to wear and distort, leading to leaks and potential bursts. Rather opt for the T-clamps as they do not allow for distortion.

Eliminate free play in hydraulic steering

If this is an issue, add fluid to the helm pump to see if it alleviates the problem. Only add small amounts at a time till you get the desired reaction.

Check tension

Cracking and glazing on engine belts is a major cause of failure. Check your belts regularly and ensure the proper tension is always in play.

Check exhaust systems regularly

Always keep your exhaust systems well maintained. No only can they cause carbon monoxide poisoning, a faulty exhaust can sink a boat. Ensure fasteners, plumbing and supports are all in good condition and replace any parts that sow signs of wear and tear.

Long haul soaping

If you’re transporting your boat long distance always rub it down with liquid dishwashing soap before you set off. When you get to your destination hose it off, and all bugs, dirt and grime will be washed away too.

Beware of fishing line

If fishing line gets wrapped around any part of your boat or motor, always check the parts carefully for signs of damage. If line is wrapped around a sterndrive or outboard prop shaft you should always have the unit pressure tested, as the oil seals may have been damaged.

Soap the rails

If you have a carpeted trailer bunk or a bunk that sticks when offloading your boat, apply liquid dishwashing soap. It won’t damage your boat or the rails.

Your 5 Top Tips for Sustainable Fishing

It’s no secret that recreational fishermen love catching fish, but a smart angler is also concerned with protecting them and their species in the long term.

It might seem paradoxical, but it actually makes a lot of since; fishermen witness first hand the damage that happens to marine and river ecosystems when their fishing practices are not sustainable.

They see the negative effects of commercial overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and practically every other threat to life under water, and they are well aware that these issues endanger the very pastime that they love so much.

Luckily, you can love fishing and still be environmentally aware at the same time, as long as you adopt a sustainable mindset. If you fish for fun, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and ensure that the fish you are angling for are around for decades to come. Here are some of the best sustainable fishing tips you can follow to do exactly that.

#1: Carbon Conscious Fishing

Climate change is a massive threat to all forms of aquatic life, be they in streams, rivers, dams or oceans. Warmer climates and increased extreme weather events are pushing many species of fish into new territories as well, which can disrupt your own fishing schedule and force you to travel further afield with every trip.

To do your part to combat climate change, you can reduce the amount of carbon that your boat puts into the atmosphere by replacing old propellers with stainless steel ones to reduce drag and installing electric fuel meters to monitor your fuel consumption. Go easy on your throttle, find a fuel-efficient cruising speed, and you have already done plenty to save the lives of the aquatic critters around you.

#2: Opt for Lead-Free Tackle

Lead is a highly toxic metal, and fish’s tissues absorb it quite readily if it is plentiful in the environment. The best way to help prevent this is to order lead-free fishing tackle and gear, which has many benefits over regular gear.

Lead free options will help to prevent muscular and neurological degeneration, paralysis, cancer, stunted growth and infertility in fish, as well as the deaths of countless eagles and loons.

#3: Catch and Release

There is wisdom to be found in a fisher who throws back a prize catch. If you throw them back, you are giving them a chance to live, mate, and produce equally prized offspring for yourself and other anglers to enjoy in the future.

Make sure to learn the techniques recommended by catch and release experts, including the use of a circle hook, which ensures that the fish you catch have the best chances of survival post-release. Of course, if you manage to hook an invasive species, it is actually recommended that you do not release them back into the ecosystem!

#4: Clean Up After Your Trips

People leave plenty of junk and litter on coastlines after fishing trips, which causes major issues for the local fauna and flora. Plastic debris in the water can also cause damage to boats by wrapping around their propellers, and cigarette butts and grocery bags can choke hungry animals.

Be sure to collect all of your waste, junk and gear before you leave for home – and if you are really committed to the environment, you can also pick up other people’s trash, too.

#5: Use Every Bit of Your Catch

Waste not, want not. If you decide to keep your catch to eat alongside a few rounds of online pokies NZ, be sure to use as much of it as possible.

As for the rest, you can compost it alongside plant waste like leaves, twigs, bark, wood chips and peat, which will turn it into a rich humus that is excellent for your garden. Fish roe makes for an excellent dip, and the bones can even be used to make a tasty fish stock before you compost them.

7 Biggest Fish Caught With Rod and Reel

The ones that got away usually get bigger with every retelling of the story, but what about the fish that weren’t so lucky? The biggest of them made it into the record books, where we can find – and marvel at – their mammoth sizes. Take a look at some of the biggest catches since record keeping began.

1. 2664lb White Shark

On 21 April 1959, Alfred Dean was shark fishing off the Ceduna coast in Australia. He used a porpoise as bait, and was rewarded for his efforts when he hooked a white shark.

It wasn’t just any white shark. At 2664lb, it received the International Game Fishing Association world record for being the biggest fish ever caught.

2. 1785lb Tiger Shark

On 4 March 2004, Kevin James Clapson was fishing off the Ulladulla coast in Australia. He caught a massive 1785lb, 11oz tiger shark. While it is a little more than half the weight of Dean’s white shark, it holds the record for being the biggest all-tackle tiger shark caught.

3. 1708lb Greenland Shark

18 October 1987 was the day on which Terje Nordvedt was fishing off Trondheimsfjord in Norway. Using a herring a bait, he hooked a Greenland shark that weighed in at 1708lb, 9oz. Not only was it one of the biggest fish ever caught, it was the largest ever encountered of its species.

4. 1560lb Black Marlin

On 4 August 1969, off Peru’s Cabo Blanco, Alfred Glassell Jr demonstrated his prowess when he used a mackerel as bait. He astounded onlookers when caught a 1560lb black marlin.

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5. 1182lb Swordfish

In 1953, Lou Marron was rod fishing off the Chilean coast, in an area he knew well. He expected an ordinary day’s fishing, but, luckily, things did not go according to plan.

After a 2-hour battle, Marron reeled in a 1182lb swordfish. However, it was not just the fish’s weight that surprised the experienced angler. Its length was something never seen before in it species. The average length of a mature specimen is 9ft. His measured 14.9ft long.

6. 1496lb Bluefin Tuna

On 26 October 1979, Ken Fraser went fishing at Nova Scotia’s Aulds Cove, Canada, where he used a mackerel as bait. He undoubtedly expected good fishing. Just how good, he probably had no idea.

After a long battle with a bluefin tuna, he reeled it in, only to find that, at 1496lb, it was one of the biggest caught.

7. 1402lb Atlantic Blue Marlin

To many people, a leap year is special because women can break from tradition, and propose marriage to men. However, 29 February 1992 was a special day for Paulo Amorium for very different reasons.

He went fishing off Vitoria, Brazil, where he used a Moldcraft lure. An experienced angler, Amorium had seen a few big fish in his time, but nothing could have prepared him for what he pulled out of the water after an 80-minute fight. The Atlantic blue marlin he hooked weighed in at a whopping 1402lb, 2oz, making it the largest of its kind to have been caught.

Get Knotted: An Early History of Fly Tying

Arguably the most graceful form of angling there is, fly fishing is perhaps much older than most people realise. To the popular mind, fixing various materials to a hook with thread or resin could not be more than a few centuries old, but in reality, fly tying is much older; in fact, it is ancient.

The methods and materials have changed over time, but there is nothing new about catching fish using artificial flies. Of course, no matter how expertly a fly has been tied, there always is a bit of luck involved in a big catch, much like winning a massive slots NZ jackpot online.

Used in Ancient Times

The earliest mention of fly fishing comes to us from an ancient Roman named Claudius Aelianus, who visited Macedonia toward the end of the second century AD. There, on the banks of the Astraeus River, he saw anglers wind red wool around a hook, and then attach 2 feathers to the wool.

The hook was at the end of a 6ft-line on a 6ft-rod. Aelianus observed that the colour of the wool and feathers attracted fish, which ended up with a hook in the jaw, rather than a tasty morsel in the mouth.

Gonne Fysshynge

In 1496, Dame Juliana Berners included a Treatyse On Fysshynge With an Angle in her Boke of Saint Albans. She described how to make rods, lines, and hooks, and listed different types of seasonal fly dressings.

1653 saw the publication of Izaak Walton’s Compleat Angler. His friend Charles Cotton contributed a section that deals with the tying of 65 different flies, and the techniques used in fly fishing.  In 1662, Parliamentary army officer Robert Venables wrote and published the Experienced Angler, in which he described tying flies for fishing in rivers and ponds.

The First Fly Bible

One of the most significant developments in the history of fly tying was the publication of Alfred Ronalds’ 1836 tome, the Fly-Fisher’s Entomology. The book contained a wealth of practical information, much of which Ronalds gleaned when he learned the craft on the Blythe, Dove, and Trent rivers.

The author went as far as building a hut on a riverbank, from which he observed the behaviour of trout, and tested various theories. In his book, which he illustrated with 20 colour plates, he described various techniques, as well as a range of flies that could be tied to resemble various insects on which trout feed, such as caddisflies, mayflies, and stoneflies. However, he did not stop there. Ronalds also started standardizing the names of tied flies.

His pioneering work no doubt inspired John Colquhoun, who wrote and published the Moor and Loch in 1840. Colquhoun’s work included fly dressing menus in which he described the body, hackle, and wings of various flies in use during the 19th century.

Flying tying has continued to develop into the 21st century; something that would not have been possible, if it were not for the ingenuity of those early Macedonian anglers, and those who followed in their footsteps.

Kitchen Secrets for Flavourful Fish

There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh fish, especially if it has been prepared with the perfect seasonings, and is served with the best side dishes. Many anglers are no stranger to grilling a catch with a knob of butter, some garlic and parsley, and perhaps a bit of lemon – it’s a classic combination, but there is so much more that can be done with the simplest of ingredients.

Make sure your kitchen is stocked with the following herbs, each of which add their own special magic to fish and seafood. Also listed are a few ingredients that you can turn into side dishes that compliment your fish perfectly. They are quick and easy to prepare, so you can get on with other things you love, such as playing online Blackjack.

Heavenly Herbs For Fish

When cooking with bay leaves, remember that less is more. The leaves of the bay laurel tree are strongly flavoured, but used with moderation, are perfect for adding a certain special something to delicate fish such as tilapia.

Famously used as a garnish for smoked salmon, dill has so much more to offer. Its delicate anise flavour works well with most types of fish and seafood, so do not be afraid to experiment.

Lemon balm, or Melissa, has been revered since the days of ancient Greece. Add it to any recipe that calls for lemon, and it is sure to lift the spirits of anyone who tastes it.

Add some Mediterranean magic to your fish dish with marjoram, oregano’s sweet and gentle cousin. It is a classic ingredient in Greek and Turkish cooking, and pairs well with tomato, as well as with other herbs common to the region, such as thyme.

Tarragon’s culinary uses were known in Gaul long before Rome invaded, and it still is a favourite herb in French cooking. Its light, bright anise flavour will perk up any fish or seafood, when used with moderation.

Pairing the Perfect Sides

Like a good supporting cast, the perfect side dish will highlight your fish main, rather than compete for the spotlight. Follow these basic principles when deciding what to serve.

Depending on where you are standing, fish and chips is either a British institution or a cliché. However, those Brits were on to something, because potatoes, whether baked, boiled, fried, or roasted, really do compliment white fish such as cod.

If you are serving fish that is strongly seasoned or naturally sweet, such as salmon, consider making a salad as the side dish. The bitterness of greens such as kale and rocket will cut through the fattiness, and provide a perfect counterpoint.

Baked or grilled flaky fish such as flounder are best served with a side of vegetables that have been grilled, roasted, or steamed to enhance their earthy sweetness. Think about using a mix of root vegetables, summer squash, and peppers.

These basic guidelines are a great foundation for turning your catch of the day into a seductively flavourful dish. Do not be afraid to get creative in the kitchen!