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Thread: UK v US

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: UK v US

    Quote Originally Posted by sammyc View Post
    When it comes to trout fisherman, I've found the British better casters and the Americans better at reading water.
    There are those rare occasions where you may find someone who does both well, I've always thought of these as fishermen. Here where I fish and the species I fish for you need to be both of those things with an added understanding of physics, hydrologic principles and it helps to have a grasp of angular velocity problem solving also. Once you have all that figured out the act of catching fish isn't something to get all worked up over, it just happens.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Crowded Colorado

    Default Re: UK v US

    just my friendly opinion, but since fly fishing was already established in the UK long before here in the US, it has always been a fascination of mine of the fly fishing history of the UK. I even belong to two fishing forums over there and I have learned so much about the way they do things, and even bait fishing with long cane rods in still water for the various types of fish they target.

    I hear that the rivers in Scotland are very similar to what we have in CO., and they fish pretty much the same as us.

    I like the traditional ways of fishing, and I think it's still holding on over here. It's not the popular modern way most of us fish, but I have met a few, not many, but a few people lately who prefer the old ways. I'm not talking about using gut for leaders, but just the fishing style.

    I respect the ways the UK fish, even the traditional bait fishermen. Yes, I said it.

    I do believe that the good people in the UK take their time, and are more methodical than most here in the US. I like going at my own pace, but I still hit fast pocket water filled with boulders aggressively where it's combat fishing. Five casts to work an area and then I move. But in riffles and slower moving water I find myself slowing down to work it the way I want.

    Still water fishing is popular there. They find what they call a swim and work it with flies or bait. The rivers are different in some ways. They pray for rain to fill the rivers for a few days, then the rivers get low again. Right now some of my friends over there talk about how low the rivers have been due to no rain and the heat. I guess it's been very hot there, more hot than normal.

    But I have 100% respect for our friends across the pond and the way they fish. Fly fishing has some of the greatest authors of books from there like W.C Stewart and Frank Sawyer, plus T. E. Pritt and the likes. These gentlemen are my hero's, and the way that they used to fish still works as well today. I do hope the younger generation in the UK doesn't put fly fishing aside, especially for video games. But one of the ways to help with that is to take a child fishing, and not just hope to catch a fish, but teach them why fishing is important to us in our personal ways, and teach them about the fish themselves, and maybe take a stroll and look at the wildlife like birds. I always enjoy seeing humming birds and kingfishers along with the blue jay's. There's so much to share.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

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  4. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Montrose, CO.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: UK v US

    Well, in the States a poor person can fish. My limited experience in the EU, I would say that's not true. Multiple rounds of golf there is cheaper.

    I take away an experience from every place I visit. I see some things and think that may work well for a given situation and at the same time scoff at other practices.

    There is always something to be learned. That's the single greatest benefit from the internet, an exchange of ideas from around the world. I don't agree with most but every now and again something grabs my attention and can change my game.

    Big business? You bet. This has everything to due with accessibility and price point. In the States, angling can be as expensive or as inexpensive as one wants it to be. No need for club membership as public waters are everywhere. So maybe the reason for your observation of an aging angling population are the very reasons why it's a big business here.


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    Nice fish! Do you have anymore pictures of it lying in the dirt?
    As publicity increases so does the propensity of tripping over yards of mono attached to a Dipsey sinker.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Isle of Lewis, UK.

    Default Re: UK v US

    If I may clarify something about British fly fishing it is that although our island is relatively small it is still extremely varied both geologically and culturally. This has resulted in the development of numerous styles of fly fishing to best utilise the waters we have, from upstream dry fly trouting on southern chalk streams to wet fly drift fishing on acidic northern Scottish lochs by boat, from double-handed Spey casting for salmon on the larger rivers to single-handed work on spate streams and lochs (again, often by boat).

    The effect of the last Ice Age here was to strip the land of eons of geological activity. Volcanic and sedimentary deposits in many areas were removed by glacial action from the far north of Britain as far south as London leaving us with an extremely varied topology and, consequently, equally varied waters to fish. Add to that the creation of reservoirs to supply our cities in the late C.19th & C.20th, gravel pits from road-building, the vast canal network .... For such a small country we are, indeed, much blessed with fishable water. Surprisingly, perhaps, although an island, swff is still in its infancy here with a small but dedicated following.

    I mention culture because the UK was and still is a class-ridden society and because our regional cultural differences reflect the geology, whether through industry or agriculture, depending on how the land was used and by whom. If one travels only 30 miles from any point in the UK an educated ear can discern differences in accent. Every Brit knows of 'The North/South Divide', a cultural and economic schism between a perceived general wealth in the south and relative poverty as one travels northwards.

    The class aspect is important because the vast majority of land ownership still rests in the hands of a privileged few and the 'riparian rights', too, which include the right to fish. A consequence has been that the cream of salmonid fisheries have long been reserved for the wealthy in much of the country. The working class were left with the coarse fisheries and many clubs sprang up to facilitate their sport. With every city and most towns served by canals affordable fishing for the working man was cheaply available throughout England in particular. It wasn't until the latter half of the C.20th that affordable trout fishing became widely available in England when local water boards realised they could stock their waters with hatchery browns and rainbows and charge a modest price for a day ticket. So was born the Stillwater fishery boom and the development of new methods to best take advantage of the sport.

    Scotland's story is slightly different and subject to their own laws. Whilst reservoirs were built and stocked as in England, the country is naturally gifted with far more lochs than the south has lakes as well as many prolific salmon rivers which remained largely unaffected by the pollution and abstraction of Industrial Revolution. As the popularity of salmon and sea trout fishing increased costs rose with demand and good sport remained the almost exclusive domain of the rich leading to a snobbish and inverted-snobbish attitude between coarse and game fishers. However, in areas where trout lochs are numerous fishing could - and still can - be had for the asking. Indeed, in the Orkney Isles the ancient Viking 'Udal Law' is still observed giving anglers free fishing and even free access through private land to enjoy that right. Similarly, on my Hebridean island and in much of the N. West of Scotland trouting is free or available for a few pounds per day today. We have more water than we can fish in a lifetime here.

    A consequence of salmon fishing's exclusivity was/is poaching. This has been somewhat alleviated by the riparian owners leasing stretches of a river to clubs, many of which will charge circa $40 for a rod per day, some more, some less. That's a paltry $4 per hour for salmon fishing given an 10 hour day - what other sport offers such value for money? Local residents can often buy a much cheaper season ticket - mine costs circa $120 per annum and gives Saturday access to some historic salmon systems by rota.
    So, if you are considering a UK holiday plot a course to the N.W. and most northerly areas of Scotland for cheap/free fishing in beautiful, unspoiled surroundings.

    In the nine weeks I spent fishing my way from CA to BC in 2010 I met several US anglers made of exactly the same clay as their British counterparts, each a specialist on their chosen water. All of us might initially struggle with unfamiliar styles but I believe we would all adapt swiftly enough to new demands because we already understand certain fundamentals of the sport and of watercraft. At that point I humbly suggest that success is down to the man himself, not his nationality.

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  7. #15

    Default Re: UK v US

    In my meetings with British and Scandinavian fly fishermen the first thing that stands out is fly patterns- size, color, type etc..

    I was pretty blown away by the fly patterns of my European brothers.
    Refined, delicate precision and small with elegant sparseness.

    All I have met thought my trout and salmon flies were too big and not sparse enough although they did like my tying and patterns. It was a confidence breaker for them. Although I did convince one guy to fish a small trout pattern which he called large steelhead fly and he did quite well on my home river.

    Likewise the small salmon flies they showed me and gave me were sometimes smaller than what I fished at home for stream trout, a confidence breaker for me and I was wondering how they land a 55” Atlantic on those tiny flies.

    In fishing Sweden there is public and private water and prices vary, same with Norway there are places where the fishing fees are insane or for the very wealthy.

    The people that I’ve fished with employ all methods of fly fishing but seem to be very set on upstream dry fly presentations and anything other than swinging flies for salmon and sea trout is considered snagging.

    Europeans and Scandinavians seem to travel more and longer distances for fishing than a lot of us.

    Casting seems to be similar and gear also seems similar with most owning Simms waders and gear, rods and reels are similar with loop Guideline and gale force over there only one guy knew what a Sage was.

    I would say we have more similarities than differences.
    Last edited by unknownflyman; 08-12-2018 at 10:13 AM.

  8. #16

    Default Re: UK v US

    I have no experience of fishing in the US although I have friends and colleagues there who fish. The geography, water and target fish will always determine the ideal tactics and there is rarely a substitute for local knowledge.

    My experience of many conversations with US fly anglers suggests there is more similarity than difference between us. We seem to be cut from similar cloth. I've no reason to think why skill levels would be different, just tailored to the local waters.

    In the same sense, salmon anglers on Scottish rivers aren't better or worse the trout anglers on southern English chalk streams. There are experts and duffers on both!

    PS: One difference I will highlight. I've never seen a UK fly angler add split shot to the leader. It's a dreadful habit. You guys need to go to rehab.
    Fishing For Trout Blog

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  10. #17

    Default Re: UK v US

    I would guess for salmonids it’s very similar.. sure, some different skill sets, but the overall range of skills very much the same.
    One main difference would be the popularity of still water anglers fishing for stocked fish in the U.K.
    A friend has fished a lot in Montana... his experience- if you walk 30 mins from an access point you’ll leave 90% of the anglers behind; i’d guess the average US angler who parks up and fishes no more than a few hundred yards from his car is akin to U.K. anglers who fish small stocked still waters.
    The number of people fishing rivers in U.K. would def be a smaller % than that in the US, but out of that number i’d wager a higher % use euro-nymph techniques than in the US... big ass bubble floats (or whatever you call them) aren’t really used in the U.K. on rivers. But in US use of streamers is a far better developed skill... so it probably works out pretty even.
    The U.K., as in the US, has people obsessed with everything about flyfishing, who constantly look to improve... but I would guess in both countries there are even more who just take it as another hobby and don’t care to be the best.
    One thing... the idea that everyone fishes purely upstream in the U.K. doesn’t really hold, the stereotypical chalksteam only cast upstream/dry fly doesn’t apply for all rivers.
    Most people will head in an upstream direction but will fish/cast however works best, so across, down.. but heading upstream. Many of our rivers are so small compared to the US, working your way upstream just works better.

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  12. #18

    Default Re: UK v US

    Quote Originally Posted by boisker View Post
    Many of our rivers are so small compared to the US, working your way upstream just works better.
    The USA has tailwater fisheries that have created trout fishing in what would normally be warm water fisheries and enhanced tailwater trout fishing in the northern states. Fisheries such as the San Juan in New Mexico, the South Holston in Tennessee, the White and Norfork in Arkansas in the south. The northern states have tailwaters like the Green River in Utah, the Bighorn and the Missouri in Montana. These are huge fisheries that have created miles and miles of large fishable fertile trout water with thousands of trout per mile, for example 4200 trout larger than 9" per mile in the Bighorn in a 2011 survey.

    There are so many tailwaters that Terry and Wendy Gunn have a book about the 50 best tailwaters in the USA.

    This leads me to ask, are there rivers comparable to the USA's tailwater fisheries? Are there any tailwater fisheries?


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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