It's supposed to be fun

Practicalfly has been around for some time now and should be here for some time to come. Practicalfly was a product of time on my hands and a frustration at the number of sites I was visiting who's advice was structured to sell me a product or they believed that their way was the only way and woe be tied anyone who disagreed, the latter seemed to apply to core members of some forums.

So back to Practicalfly; Practicalfly started out to deliver basic advice on different types of fly fishing and some basic and generic advice on fly tying, without the bull shit. From this was born the maxim "It's supposed to be fun" a reminder to us all that if it's not fun you're doing something wrong. I sincerely hope that practicalfly has continued and continues to deliver on this promise as I continue to add content and update some of the original material. The update should be more around format and delivery than content with one or two new bits.

New material doesn't come easy if I don't fish and in the spirit of no bull I will be arranging a session to go right back to basics on the river. I have given rivers too little attention in recent years, mainly due to mobility issues; however the desire to return is there. New material also comes from new venues in new places with new or different approaches. fishing the tweed in style

If you've ever fancied that day on the tweed with a ghillie but thought it was not for the likes of us then read my latest report of my trip to Melrose and my day on the Tweed with Tweed guide right here.

A day with a guide is not a luxury anymore, go on treat yourself.

One of the North East's top waters has re-opened after two year closure 

Sweethope loughs fly fishery

Sweethope Loughs in the heart of rural Northumberland has opened it's gates once more in 2013 with reports of top drawer fishing and hopes for some great developments to come.

Sweethope is one of England's oldest trout fisheries and offers sport from the bank or boat, don't forget your waders though as wading is allowed

The fishery has been opened by Tony and Linda Beck through Sweethope Adventure ltd and have 20 boats for hire on the Great Lough with wading permitted to thigh depth and bank fishing only on the Little Lough. Set in the wilds of rural Northumberland and open from Dawn to Dusk 7 days per week this fishery seems like the ideal place to get away from the day to day pressures of work and chill out in idyllic surroundings for a few hours.

In fact I think that Practicalfly may just have to pay this fishery a visit in the not too distant future, a day on a boat perhaps, either way I wish Tony and Linda all the best in their new venture, it's so nice to report a fishery on the up with so many closures in recent years.

Ian Akers

it's supposed to be fun.


Practicalfly's Local Water

 New updated reports added May 2013 here

Sharpley Springs

My local fishery is Sharpley Springs in the north east of England close to my home town of Sunderland and a short distance from both Durham and Newcastle.

Sharpley is a venue of many parts; It's beatifully designed and maintained location, it's friendly and sometimes scathingly ribbing craic and it's comfortable lodge make it one of those unique places where, whoever you are and where ever you're from, you will be able to feel comfortable and welcome. Most importantly the fishing is top class, with hatches of almost every still water fly you can think of. On my most recent trip I witnessed hatches of Midge, Caddis and Pond Olive, with Caenis putting in a show, Damsels and Dragon Flies add to the mix, making the hardest choice of the day what fly to pick never mind which of the six lakes to start on.

Sharpley Springs Fishery contact detailsThe fishery also offers a small worm/sweet corn lake for the kids and disabled, stocked regularly with table fish To fish it costs around a tenner for three fish, you will need to bring your own tackle and bait.bubble float seems to be the most succesful method and during summer weekends and school holidays the lake is really popular. Remember water can be dangeraus and all children must be supervised at all times by a suitable adult.

Sharpley Springs comes with Practicalfly's highest recommendation for your bucket list fisheries. It's a must fish if you visit the north east of England, check out our previous reviews here. (That reminds me.... It's time I did an up to date review, hopefully following my recent visit to the pain clinic a winter review may be on the cards)

The North East of England is a great place to visit for the fly fisher and their family with Durham and Northumberland on the doorstep. Great shopping in Durham, The Metro Centre and Newcastle. Great days out in Weardale, Teesdale and Northumberlandalso top class fishing at a host of commercial still waters plus great Salmon & Sea Trout fishing on the Wear and Tyne.

Remember it's supposed to be fun

Ian Akers (Practicalfly)



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