We offer half-day introductory saltwater courses on our freshwater lakes in rural Oxfordshire.

Atlantic SurfWe can introduce you to some of the techniques and tackle used and get you started in this easily accessible sport around our coast.  For those of you going off to the tropics, perhaps for the first time, we offer an opportunity to experience, and generally get up to speed with tackle and techniques.

Saltwater fly-fishing has been a major growth area in fly fishing for the past 40 years and is now practiced all round the Globe. The sea is obviously huge and often windy, an onshore breeze would be deemed normal, and so it is important to have a good, efficient casting technique and the ability to double haul is a real advantage. We can help you with these and introduce you to some strategies for dealing with the wind.

Around our coast the main quarry species would be bass and pollock, with mullet making a very accessible, but exceedingly challenging, alternative and with mackerel offering a very sporting choice on light tackle.

The sheer scale of the sea, coupled with the exposed nature of the coast, necessitates heavier tackle than would normally be used for trout fishing. Also, with no insects in the sea, the fish will be feeding on small fish and crustaceans: crabs, shrimps, prawns etc., so the flies are generally bigger and heavier, again requiring a heavy line weight to be effective.

An 8 or 9 weight outfit would be suitable in most situations. However, during the warm summer months, mullet and bass can often be stalked in the shallows while they are feeding on small crustaceans and a 6, or perhaps a 7, weight outfit may be appropriate, but be warned, a good sized mullet or bass hooked on light tackle in shallow water can be a real handful.

When inshore fly fishing estuaries, tidal lagoons and beaches, usually a floating line is all you would need. For more open water a fast intermediate or even a fast sinking Di7 or Di8 would get the fly down quickly, bearing in mind the denser saltwater will give more buoyancy to the line. Also, the thinner diameter of the sinking line will cut through any wind better.

The ability to double haul would be advantageous and should add about 15% to the length of a cast but more importantly, when sight fishing, will speed up your cast to quickly cover fast moving feeding fish.

Salt water is naturally corrosive so ensure tackle is well rinsed in fresh water after each session. Pay particular attention to any exposed internal workings of reels including the spindle, and don’t forget the handle spindle and spool release catch.