Fly fishing is a very effective method for trout, chub or grayling. Here are the basics you need to get started with fly fishing.

How to get started with fly fishing


In fly fishing, the right choice of rod is particularly important. Fly fishing rods differ both in length and in flexibility. The length is measured in feet (1 foot = 30cm approx.)


The area of the lake or the size of the stream you’ll be fishing will dictate your choice.

The most versatile rods are 9ft long. They allow you to make a fairly long cast without being too bulky. 8ft and 9ft rods are right for the majority of streams and rivers in Europe.

If you’ll be fishing small watercourses or streams, smaller rods of 6ft or 7ft will suit best. You’ll cast less far, but the shorter distance will allow greater accuracy. The shorter rod is also good for fishing more overhung waters.


Unlike fishing with spinning or casting reels, in fly fishing it’s not the bait that pulls out the line but the line which throws the bait.

The factors governing the thickness of your fly-line are your skill level and your requirements: the finer the line (#2 or #3), the shorter the cast. These finer lines allow you to fish accurately with shorter casts, which is less tiring. Lines #4 and #5 are the most versatile, with them you can fish with medium casts and also quite long ones. Lines thicker than these are designed for big flies and streamer fishing (imitating baitfish or large aquatic insects).


You reel should be chosen in a suitable size for the line you’re using. Its capacity is expressed as the thickness of line (#4, #5 etc.) + backing.

Backing is the line that goes on the reel before the fly-line. It’s a reserve of line which stops the fly-line winding on to the reel, and is very useful when playing a big fish. On average, you should use 60 – 70m of backing for #4 and #5 fly-lines.

There are leaders available which are sold ready to attach to your fly-line. Your choice of leader is governed by the characteristics of the river you’ll be fishing. The stronger the current, the shorter the leader. The choice is also influenced by the diameter of leader: 14/100 or 16/100 are both very versatile. If your trout are wary, going for the bait but not swallowing it, choose a smaller-diameter leader.


There are two main types of flies which will allow you to fish in many situations. Floating flies (dry flies) are used to fish for trout feeding on the surface. They are very effective during hatchings or when the trout are feeding on the surface.

Sub-surface/sinking flies (nymphs) are used to fish for trout on the bottom. You need to let the nymph drift on the bottom and watch very carefully. A bite will often cause the line to move or tension. You can add a strike indicator to your leader to help you spot a bite.

# Caperlan tip:
You can use both types of fly on the same assembly. This lets you fish on the surface and on the bottom at the same time. The floating fly will also function as a strike indicator if a trout takes your nymph.

This is what you need to know to start fly fishing. We hope you’ll take up fly fishing and really enjoy the thrills.