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Tackle and Flies

Fishing our beats here in Dorset is a very mobile activity, so it is imperative to keep things simple and light, we do cover a lot of fishing, lots of different species and tactics from the most delicate dry fly fishing right through to double handed Salmon rods, and heavy single handed rods for Pike.

We will try to cover the basics for the styles of fishing you enjoy, please feel free to ring us for any advice on tackle and flies for your visit to Dorset..

For any of you new to the sport of fly fishing, we cover all aspects of the tackle needed in our courses. Casterbridge School of Fishing

A 8 ½ ft for a No. 4 line rod is the ideal for most of your dry fly and nymph fishing for the Brown Trout, although this can be reduced in the summer months to a light 7 ft for a No. 3 line.

Longer rods say a 10ft 3wt will be ideal during the winter months when nymph fishing for the Grayling.

A 13ft 8wt will cover the Salmon and Sea Trout on Pauls beats on the Lower Frome, please chat any of your Salmon and Sea Trout questions through with

Something a little heavier for on the Stour when fishing streamer patterns for the Pike, a 9ft 8wt will work for this tactic.

Some fish will be landed without using the reel when fishing the Frome, but it is well worth purchasing a good quality reel, because you just never know when you are going to hook into that fish of a lifetime.

A monster Grayling can run you a fair way downstream, I did have a huge Brownie a year or so ago that took me over 100yds downstream so a quality drag system can make the difference in landing or losing the fish!

One option is to purchase a double-taper line, which by turning the line round when worn, gives you two lines for the price of one!
I prefer weight forward lines for short casts in tight areas.

The line colour is another personal choice, but I have never found any fish catching differences between light or dark coloured lines.

I have recently switched from using braided leaders to 9 ft tapered copolymer leaders and found the fish are spooked less with the clear line. I also tie on a tippet ring to the end of the leader and then attach a couple of foot of tippet material. This stops the leader from gradually reducing in length after changing your fly!

The strength depends on what fly you are using: 2 ½ to 3lb for every day fishing and rising to 6lb to help turn the large mayfly patterns, or even 15lb with a wire trace when fishing for the Pike.

Landing Net
These should be as light as possible and the actual net must be made with knotless mesh (National Byelaw).
Bag or vest

Whatever your choice, try not to carry more than you will actually need for a day’s fishing.

Wading can certainly give you a great advantage on our beats, enabling you to get a little closer to the fish and to access those lies you cannot reach from the bank, but like any wading always take great care!

I simply recommend the best breathable waders you can afford, with separate wading boots with a solid rubber/stud sole rather than a felt sole, firstly felt soles always fall off the boot, secondly, and this is important, they are difficult to fully dry out and can possibly carry disease from one fishery to another.

Please take a look at the Dorset Wildlife Trust (Wild Rivers) website, it shows a little about “Bio Security” for anglers.

Here is a good outline of (some) the flies we love using here in Dorset.

Month Artificial Size
April GRHE 16
GRHE Grannom 16
May Black Gnat 16
Hawthorn 12
Mayfly – Grizzle Mayfly 10
Mayfly – Elk Hair Sparkle Dun 12
June GRHE 16
B.W.O Emerger 14
GRHE Spinner 12
July Sedge – Roman Moser – Delta Wing Sedge 12
GRHE Spinner 14
August Grayling Midge 20
Pale GRHE 16
September Grayling Midge 20
Daddy Long Legs 12
Winter Grayling Peeping Caddis
Tungsten Jig patterns, PT, GRHE, OLIVE
Various CZECH nymphs
SHRIMP patterns
12 and 14