Where to find the finest fishing in the UK

Written by Weekend Angler on March 25th, 2009

Fishing in the UK is steeped in history. Although the origins of fishing go back beyond recorded history, and fishing was known and written about in both Greek and Roman times, Great Britain has played an absolutely pivotal role in the growth of both commercial and sport fishing as we know them today. Two of the most influential and important books to be written on fishing were published in Great Britain centuries ago. The first of these was published not long after the printing press was initially developed. These books were the “Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle,” published in 1496, and “The Compleat Angler,” from 1653.

Where to Fly Fish in Britain and IrelandFly Fishing in Southern England
Fly fishing as it is today also originated in Great Britain. This type of fishing is covered extensively in the two classic books mentioned above, with an especially detailed analysis in the second work. The two chapters given to fly fishing were actually written by a friend of the main author, and described in detail fly fishing in Derbyshire. British fishermen have always had a far more rigid attitude about fly fishing than folks from other countries. The upper class of Southern England considered that only dry-fly fishing was acceptable on the chalk streams of the region, although wet-fly techniques were successfully used by dissenters.

Salmon Fishing in the Highlands
Fishing in the UK offers such varied conditions from north to south that it offers a wide variety of fishing experience. Salmon fishing is readily available in the sparsely populated regions of the Scottish Highlands. It has now grown in to a popular tourist industry, bring much needed revenue to a region of the country struggling with a decreasing population and economic hardship. In the Highlands, it is possible for someone who has never done any salmon fishing in their life to become adept enough at casting a line to begin catching salmon, all in the space of a morning or afternoon. For the more experienced fisherman, there are many organized trips, complete with accommodation and travel, and you can even get a tour of the local historical sites thrown in as well.

Derwentwater in the Lake DistrictLake District Fishing
Great Britain also has game and coarse fishing in the lakes of the Lake District, not too far in distance from the salt water fishing of the Scottish rivers, but a world apart in terms of scenery and terrain. The large lakes of Cumbria boast some of the finest views in Northern England, and again boast a full tourist industry built around the local fishing. There are opportunities here for beginners to learn to cast a rod for the first time, as well as many courses teaching advanced techniques to those with more experience.

The variety of fishing experiences available in the relatively small geographical area of Scotland and Northern England make Great Britain a top place to visit if you are a fishing fanatic. You can plan a trip which takes in several different types of fishing, as well as varied and breathtaking scenery. If you have a taste for history as well, combine your fishing trip with some excursions to historical sites, and you will really grasp the flavor of the diverse local cultures. There is much to be said for taking a trip across the water for some fishing in the UK.

Note: Where to Fly Fish in Britain and Ireland is available from Amazon UK. Not surprisingly Amazon.co.uk has a better selection of fishing guides for the UK than Amazon.com.

Photo credit:  Mike Knapton, Wikipedia

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