Get Your Fly On Fishing Breaks

March 10, 2017

At Outside Days, we believe dreams should be lived not just lusted after. So we’ve set about finding accessible alternatives to infamous bucket list destinations.

Whether you’re time poor, or cash-strapped, the reality for most of us is that exotic destinations are out of reach. With that in mind, we start to wonder just how much fun we could have within easy access of British hubs. And at a sensible price. So just what can you do with that long weekend to get your fly on?

So you want to walk sun-drenched flats in search of tailing fish? The cognoscenti aren’t losing precious fishing hours to the longhaul flights, layovers and jetlag that stalking the fabled sands of Bermuda, Cuba, or (in reverent, whispered tones) Fiji entail. Instead, they’re hopping cheap flights to Madrid in pursuit of Europe’s own bonefish, barbel on the dry fly.

Best described as upside down bonefishing, you see cruising barbel as they come into the shallows to hunt, fins above the water like small scale golden sharks.

Cast your terrestrial imitation in front of blunt, moustachioed noses. And if you get it right, the fish will raise its head and knock the fly several times before rearing up, grabbing it and running in the opposite direction. With nowhere to go except for the deep, they keep going until your line is heading for the backing. Or you’re (wo)man enough to fight back.
Or is it the search for that fish of a lifetime, the double figure wild brownie, that gets your blood racing? Let’s be realistic. While we might all aspire to the dizzy heights of Paul Procter’s hours on Kiwi riverbanks (and attendant success), few of us have so skillfully arranged our working lives as to make this possible. And to be honest, with wild browns possessed of the same hard fight just a 2 hour flight from London, why bother? That’s an extra 44 hours you could invest in bank time.

Or maybe you’re like our friend Tony who’s invested a small mortgage’s worth in pursuit of salmon. He’s found himself on the wrong end of the spate on Scottish rivers. And the opposite (but equally wrong) end of the spate on Norwegian waters. But if it’s kit you’re after, he’s got to be considered an authority. Having resorted to renovating to create space for it all.

But seriously, if salmon run the rivers of your dreams, you don’t have to go Pacific or even Russian to get your pulse racing. Sweden’s producing more than IKEA and ABBA.

Wild, wide-bottomed, boulder-strewn rivers and idyllic forested banks are an excellent reason to brush up on the basics of Scandi-style casting (roll casts, sinking lines and heavy shooting heads).

The vagaries of Swedish waters present exactly the conditions for which Scandi evolved: stretches where the boulders make wading risky and the conifer-ridden banks offer little room for back casting, and the salmon are too tempting to ignore. And then there are the arctic char…

Have you unearthed an exotic location with fishing at high street prices? Or maybe a species behaving in an extraordinary way like Spanish barbel? Or something no one’s thought to flick fluff at, but is hilarious fun or an infuriating challenge? Then let us know. We’re always on the look out for tip offs and the inside scoop on fishing breaks. Give us the skinny and we’ll make sure to take you along on a trial trip!


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