Apart from the obvious, such as rods, reels and a selection of lines that all trout anglers need, there is also a whole range of other equipment that is needed for a successful day on any stillwater.
• CLOTHING •
Warm and weather-proof clothing is important, no matter where you enjoy your fishing. It is essential to be protected from the elements because you can be caught out, at any time, by a sudden storm while bank fishing miles from the nearest shelter. For cold weather, several layers, including a wind-stopping fleece, covered by a knee-length waterproof jacket is the best option, unless you intend wading when you would be wiser using the shorter version. If you intend doing much boat fishing, then a one-piece waterproof bib-and-brace suit is a good idea.
• SUNGLASSES •
Eyes are a precious commodity that must be protected at all costs. A fly travelling at speed can do very serious damage – never fish without them in place. A polarising pair also enables you to spot fish below the water.
• HATS •
Baseball type hats are ideal as the wide brim affords shading that enhances vision when used in conjunction with your polarising sunglasses. A hat also adds protection from those
errant flies, shades you from the sun and keeps the top of your head warm.
• NETS •
Like everything else, there are several types of nets that you can choose from. If you are fishing from a boat, you will need the short handled variety that won’t be so awkward in the close confines of your typical boat. On the other hand, bank fishermen are more comfortable with the longer handled sort that gives greater reachability. Some of these even have retractable spikes that can be pushed into the bank when not in use.
• BAGS •
Bank anglers nearly always opt for the smaller, lighter shoulder bags to keep their tackle in. Others stuff everything into their waistcoat pockets to make moving around the stillwater as easy as possible. The only criteria really is making sure that it is waterproof so that the contents are kept dry when the torrential rains start! Boat anglers are able to use bigger bags as once in the boat, there is no longer any need to carry it.
• HOOK SHARPENER •
This is one of the most used bits of tackle in my armament. I learnt many years ago of the detriment of a blunt hook in terms of missed trout. Make no mistake, a sharp hook means that more takes result in properly hooked trout.
• BASS BAG •
Catching a trout early in a hot summers session means that before you know it, your trout is nearly cooked! Put your trout in a damp bass bag and place it in the shade to keep it relatively fresh.
• FORCEPS •
I always carry a pair of long nosed forceps with me. They are ideal for retrieving the occasionally deep-hooked fly or if you accidently hook a pike.
• PRIEST •
Having caught your trout, you must despatch it quickly and efficiently by using the aptly named Priest to deliver it’s last rites!
• MARROWSPOON •
When you have caught your first trout, it makes sense to find out what it was feeding on. A marrow spoon is intended for just this purpose and soon helps you discover what it was they have been eating.
• ROD LICENCE •
Failure to provide a valid Environment Agency rod licence could result in prosecution (maximum fine £2,500). Rod fishing licences are available from: