Seasonal fly fishing in the UK

When fly fishing seasonally it's worth knowing which species are most common at which time of year. In the UK certain fish are more common in the summer and others in winter. Autumn, however,  is often considered the best time to fish on the shore, because it's there that summer and winter species overlap. In late winter fish move away from the shore to spawn and results for anglers can be very poor.

The main seasons for the species depend on your location. But here are a few general guidelines. Springs is the time for school bass, ray, smoothhound, codling, plaice, eel, mackerel, garfish, pouting, and flounder. In summer you should be looking for bass, conger, dogfish, ray, smoothhound, tope, mullet, garfish, mackerel, bream, scad, pollack, pouting, wrasse, and sole. Summer is also a good season for exotic fish like red mullet, trigger fish, and gilt head bream, and so on. In the autumn look for big cod, big bass, tope, conger, mullet, whiting, pouting, dab, flounder, pollack, coalfish and sole. Finally, winter is the time for cod and codling, whiting, coalfish, dab, flounder, and rockling.

At 10lb, cod is the largest species,  with bass coming a close second at 8lb, while the medium sized ones include pollack (around 3lb), and coalfish at the 2lb mark. The smallest species include whiting (1lb) and mackerel (1lb). In future blogs we will look at seasonal fly fishing in other parts of the world with a special focus on the species available.

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