The Essential Fly Fishing & Tying Shop

Dedicated UK fly fishing specialist store with 16 years experience serving fly fishermen and fly tyers. Large stocks backed by stunning customer service. Check our reviews!

What is Fly Fishing?

Fly FishingFly fishing is a technique for catching fish like brown trout, rainbow trout, salmon, grayling, pike or saltwater species where the fly fishing ‘bait’ is artificial made usually of synthetics, fur and feather.  The hand tied fishing fly may look like an invertebrate (bug), a fly landing on the water or lure or attractant designed to stimulate the target fish into biting the fly and hooking itself. We try to make the hand tied fly appear to a fish like a bug or invertebrate below the waters surface or a real fly has landed on the top of the water as if it belongs there as part of the natural ecosystem. Unlike other fishing techniques fishing with flies is an art form with key components, tying the artificial fly, matching the hatch and reading the water to calculate where fish will be. This is very different to other fishing methods where a bait from maggots to pellets are cast out, and presented to the fish below the water. The basic concepts and techniques involved with fly fishing using artificial flies is very different to bait or lure fishing. Often there is no weight in the fly as the fly line's energy is actually used in the cast to move the fly to the place we want on the water unlike other forms of fishing where the weight is in a float, sinker or the bait itself. Most important however for the fly fishermen is that they match the hatch. What does that mean in reality? We will eat food grown artificially out of season and fly it half way around the world to eat for example strawberries at Christmas. A fish on the other hand will eat what is in season. As an example Daddy long legs or craneflies are not prevelant in March so there is limited point trying that fly then as it will almost certainly be ignored. A good fly fisherman can be an amateur entomologist, reading the river to see where fish may be waiting for prey and often a fly tyer making their own artificial fishing flies from hooks, threads, synthetics, furs and feathers.

So check out our fly fishing store and enjoy this incredible sport.

Latest Customer Reviews
16 May 2022  |  Martin

Quality line fast delivery cheers

Vision Glass trout rod
14 May 2022  |  Stephen

A different experience fishing with this rod but it performed well yesterday . Casting is much slower but the rod has a natural curve when playing a fish . A rod which I will use again

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Online Fishing Flies and Tackle Specialists Since 2006

It was passion for fly fishing and specialist knowledge that took The Essential Fly online 17 years ago. It has grown strongly and has a custom warehouse and we design our own specialist fly patterns using top quality hooks and materials. With thousands of customers world-wide The Essential Fly is a brand to trust. Check the reviews from other customers, we have thousands of reviews. We stock a massive range of fly fishing gear in our warehouse and can order directly from manufacturers any gear from top tackle brands like Vision, Wychwood, Redington and Greys and tying materials from brands like Veniard, Marc Petitjean, Hemmingway and many more.

With specialist advice from our in-house fly fishing team please phone if you need help and assistance.

Guide To Fly Fishing For Beginners

Brown Trout Fishing on StillwaterWe love fishing for different species of trout ranging worldwide from cutthroat or brookies to uk trout fishing either in a chalkstream, stocked reservoir or stillwater fishing for rainbow trout, brownies or blues. Different species and destinations demand different tackle and fishing flies and you will find all you need from us here at The Essential Fly. On a small brook you may be using a 3 weight trout rod with size 18 flies on a 1lb tapered leader, however on a large reservoirs you may be casting an 8 weight fly rod with ghost tip fly line or boat fishing using a competition drogue to stop your drift. So you want to learn the incredible sport of fly fishing?  Wonderful!  Trout fishing is a fun and amazing sport and hobby.  It gets you up close and personal with the serenity and peace of nature, yet provides the sporting challenge of out smarting the fish.

We have a great beginners guide to fly fishing you can read with much more details to help get you started with fly fishing covering:

So lets get going, what is in this guide?

  1. An introduction to fly fishing
  2. Introduction to the basic fishing tackle
  3. Your fly rod and fly reel
  4. Introduction to fly backing, fly line, tippet and leaders
  5. Fishing flies, floatant and sinkant
  6. Other typical fishing accessories
  7. Fly fishing tackle setup
  8. The basics casting a fly
  9. Some final tips

When you first look at any sport or hobby it can be daunting with new terminology. In fly fishing we use terms like weight forward, line weight, rod action for example but don’t worry, we can break that down and learn as we develop. You would not expect to be facing a Formula One car the day you pass your driving test and fly fishing is the same, we build up gradually and like every hobby practice and develop our skills.

Often looking at fly fishing people get overwhelmed and decide not to get into the sport which is unfortunate, it is amazing being at one with nature and catching fish. Do not expect to get your fly fishing gear and bring home lots of fish from a reservoir the next day! You need to develop the skills with your gear, learn how it operates how to cast and how to read the water to see where the fish are hiding then finally learn what fly is needed and how to present it. When it comes together you will get the greatest buzz ever!

As a premier UK fly fishing shop you will be surprised that buying kit is not the first and most important thing to do. Indeed our recommendation is to go fly fishing with an experienced fly fisherman or even better go with a professional fly fishing guide for a day. Although an investment your guide will probably loan you the gear you need and help you learn quickly and when you go fishing they will advise you how to catch fish. Take your time, learning fly fishing will become part of the experience of a life time. Fly fishing often takes part on pristine waters as trout, salmon grayling like high quality and usually well aerated water which is often in fantastic countryside.


Fly fishing seems quite overwhelming at first, but don't worry, we are here to help and give you the basic knowledge and tools to get out there are start fly fishing!

Tackle, Flies & Fly Tying

Stillwater or rivers, salmon, trout & grayling we have the gear and advice to help you really enjoy your hobby. UK stockists of fly tying materials to tie your flies & the rods, reels, lines and flies if you don't tie you own and just want to get fishing quickly!

UK Fly Fishing Specialists For Flies, Fly Fishing Tackle & Fly Tying

A leading UK supplier of gear for fly fishermen, deadly fly patterns for rainbow & brown trout,  pike, salmon flies and  fly patterns for every species from our massive selection. We have fly tying materials and tools to satisfy every fly tyers needs. Our range of tackle from Greys to Wychwood, from fly rods, fly flines to waders, specialist luggage and all of the accessories needed by fly fishermen with advice as well.