Jay Bajwa gets the fly fishing 101 from the expert team at Orvis.
Dipping your toes into the classic British pursuit of fly-fishing for the very first time can be a daunting experience, especially with the plethora of knots, flys, reels, lines and rods to get your head around.
I was lucky enough to get to grips with the basics of this angling technique (in which an artificial ‘fly’ is used to catch fish) under the trusted, professional guidance of the team at Orvis, a long-standing American fly-fishing specialist.
I headed out to the heart of the British countryside and towards the river banks to meet my fellow novice fly-fishers and instructors, where we were given an off-water beginners’ tutorial on rod set-up, tying knots and how to cast your line in a fun and intuitive way. This introductory course is also offered within its stores as a complimentary service.
Once complete, we moved on to experience the ‘On The Water Class’ – dubbed by Orvis as the next step in your fly-fishing education, which is built around learning specific techniques at local fisheries. Aimed at the complete novice, this instruction programme covers areas such as safety, tackle selection, casting, fly selection and playing and landing a fish.
Orvis is fortunate to own two prime beats, or sections, on the highly coveted chalk stream rivers, and also offers fishing on a selection of other exclusive stretches. The Orvis waters are renowned amongst anglers, making it an exclusive, prime fishing experience.
During my trip by the river, we also enjoyed a barbecue picnic and the peace and tranquillity of the scenic surrounds. By the end of the day, it had ignited my passion for fly fishing with a greater confidence and improved level of skill.
Both newbies and experienced rods can also try the One-to-One Personal Tuition Day on The River Itchen – a chance to improve your skills, whether it’s to correct those annoying casting faults or try out some new specialist tactics that can give you an extra edge on difficult days.
When searching for the perfect Christmas gift for aspiring to expert fishing fans, a day trip with Orvis for when the season begins again is sure to be a great catch.
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