Trout fly fishing in the UK is one of the best ways to while away a sunny weekend. You can explore our incredible natural habitats while catching some of the biggest and best specimens in our rivers and chalkstreams.
If you’re new to the sport, or just looking for a new challenge, here’s everything you need to know about trout fly fishing in the UK.
5 best locations for trout fly fishing in the UK
River Test, Hampshire
The River Test is one of the most enjoyable chalkstreams to fish for trout. Trout thrive in the Test, thanks to its rich habitat and diverse flora and fauna.
Best of all, one of our fly fishing schools is located on the banks of the Test. You can get to grips with the basics of trout fly fishing in this fantastic location.
River Itchen, Hampshire
The other Orvis fly fishing school is on the Itchen, a chalkstream known for its gin-clear waters. It’s a versatile location which boasts everything from bank fishing to wading areas.
All the trout in the Itchen are wild, so it’s perfect for angling purists. As a result, many anglers deem the Itchen the best trout fly fishing spot in the UK.
River Frome, Dorset
If you’re looking for a south-west location for trout fly fishing, the River Frome is another fabulous chalkstream to consider. As well as trout, you’ll find grayling and salmon in the Frome — so it’s ideal if you want to try your luck with other species, too.
River Usk, Wales
The Usk is one of the most popular trout fishing rivers in the UK. This is no surprise — there are huge trout to be caught here, with anglers reporting catches up to 5lb in weight.
The Usk also passes by stunning scenery, flowing past the Brecon Beacons on its journey to the Bristol channel. It’s not the easiest wading river, but the bank fishing is superb.
River Wharfe, Yorkshire
The Wharfe is a fantastic trout fishing spot for anglers based in the north of England. With plentiful stocks of wild brown trout, wadable waters, and incredible scenery, it has some of the finest trout fishing beats in the UK.
It’s also a good spot to try out different flies. Lots of anglers report success with nymphs and dry flies, as well as the classic Yorkshire spider fly.
River Tyne, Northumberland
Northumberland is a beautiful part of the country — and it also happens to be home to the UK’s biggest catch of sea trout, thanks to its peaty waters. So if you want to try your hand at sea trout fishing, the Tyne is the ideal spot.
The Devil’s Water tributary is a notorious spot for sea trout, so make your way to this beat for the best chances.
What do you need for trout fly fishing?
Trout fishing flies and hooks
Some flies are better suited to trout than others. Mayflies, damsel flies and dry flies are all well-suited for trout fishing. See our collections to learn more:
Barbless hooks are also best for those who want to fish sustainably. While you may lose more fish, they’re much less damaging to the fish themselves.
Fly rod for trout fishing
The rod and line you need depends on the size of the chalkstream or river you’re fishing. Tributaries and narrower streams can be fished with shorter rods, while longer rods give you better reach across wider rivers.
5-weight rods are ample for trout fishing, as they can handle heavier fish. In areas where trout tend to be smaller, you can also try a 4-weight or even a 3-weight line.
Waders and wading boots
Most trout fly fishing in the UK involves wading, so you’ll need to invest in some good wading boots and waders. Depending on the season, you might also need some thermal underlayers to keep you warm (especially if you’re planning to spend time in the water).
Catch and release: sustainable trout fishing
Trout may be prolific in our chalkstream and rivers — but there’s not an endless supply. So they should be fished sustainably.
Catch-and-release is the best way to enjoy fly fishing without impacting the environment. It keeps stocks healthy, which in turn makes our fly fishing habitats thrive.
If you’re new to catch-and-release, here are some pointers:
There are also catch-and-release tools you can use to make it easier to fish sustainably.