As much as it can be really fun to head out onto a big stretch of river for a weekend with your mates, I always think that the best fishing moments occur when you’re by yourself, often when there’s no one else around as far the eye can see.
When you get the opportunity to spend a day out on a beat by yourself it’s important to take it. As long as you’ve got enough food and water to last you for the day, it can be quite the meditative experience simply waiting for a fish for around 9 hours – you’ll never know when a bite might come and with nothing left to distract you, the tension can really mount from the moment that you cast your first line out to the minute that you finally call it a day.
This summer, I had the chance to take a trip down to Devon for the first time and experience what fishing in the deep south was really like. I spent a week drifting from beat to beat, checking into a number of hotels and B&Bs so I could best get an idea of what this place was like for travelling fishermen.
Close to the quiet village of Yealmpton are a number of truly unique accommodation options, all of which operate under the Sunridge Lodge brand. These options are a great option for fishermen looking for seclusion as well as luxury. Whilst their lodge is perhaps a little too expensive for one person to book themselves, their glamping pod is a perfect option for fishermen looking to relax in style. Not 50-yards from the pod itself is a decent sized fishing lake. Self-populated for decades now, this nice little spot has some big breeds of carp with the record being a whopping 28lbs.
With a name like ‘Anglers Paradise’ you’d expect the fishing to be pretty good here in Beaworthy and you wouldn’t be wrong. This is a fantastic place to come for a solo fisher looking to truly test his skills whilst not having to travel far each day. There are 38 villas on the purpose built site and with 12 holiday lakes to enjoy, you’ll never be stuck for fishing. Angler’s Paradise is a big site that isn’t open to day fishers, so if you want to fish here you need to stay here. If you do, you’ll be in with a chance of catching fish that are nearly 60lbs in weight!
Eight luxury lakeside lodges are on offer in the nearby Blagdon Lake, a decidedly smaller yet pleasant holiday cottage experience which offers as much in the way of seclusion as it does in coarse fishing. Each lodge has a South-facing balcony, looking out over the peaceful lake and are fitted with all the modern amenities that you’d expect. Coarse fish are par for the course here with a good variety of carp, rudd and roach being on offer. Whilst the weights of these fish aren’t often that big, it still makes for a peaceful place to while away a few days.
Although we might have all started our fishing journeys up in the popular rivers of Scotland, it was North Wales where we realised that fly-fishing was going to be a serious hobby for the rest of our lives.
There are loads of great spots to throw a line out in North Wales, from peaceful river banks which could have been plucked from a painting to bustling Victorian tourist towns. Wherever you choose to fish, you’re spoilt for choice for accommodation options – from humble camp sites to country house hotels, there’s something for every budget here.
We’ve each of us spent time fishing and holidaying in North Wales. It’s a great area for fishers of all experience levels and is also a lot more affordable than competing fishing spots up in Scotland. As well as being a good location for groups of fishers, there are many excellent locations for solo fishermen looking to simply get away from it all and enjoy some alone time.
Thousands of tourists flock to the popular destination of Llandudno every year to soak up the warm rays and Victorian-style atmosphere – whilst this is hardly the only place in Wales you can experience a quintessential seaside experience, it’s probably the most authentic feeling. Fishing-wise you can cast off from the pier itself here and spend a peaceful day (during the off season) dipping for sea trout, it’s busier during the Summer, but not less fun!
A comfortable, classy night’s stay can be had at any one of the recently revamped LC Hotels, which are situated on the North Shore promenade. These are well finished, smart establishments that are staffed by professional employees. Rooms come at a reasonable cost and their food recommendations are well worth listening to.
If you’d rather experience more of the rugged side of North Wales then it’s well worth taking a step into Snowdonia. This region is hugely popular with hikers, climbers and bikers, but it’s also home to some great fishing spots. Fast moving rivers provide some real challenge for experienced hands, whilst slower moving bends offer a nice spot for a relaxed day of fishing. Our best tip is to hire a boat and get yourself out onto Llyn Ogwen. Brown trout are in abundance here, as well some more elusive varieties of wild fish and stockies that are sure to put you the test.
The nearby campsite at Gwern Gof Uchaf is a great option for happy-campers eager to get a good start on the day and make the most of the close proximity to the lakes. There are options here to stay in a bunk house which offers good comfort at a reasonable price for dorm-style acommodation. If you’re planning on going solo, then you can pitch up for as little as £5 per night; the onsite shower block and washroom does the trick just fine!
Fly-fishing die hards will know that it doesn’t get much better than Llyn Brenig. Whilst there are often as many as 36,000 rainbow trout bustling through these waters at any given moment don’t think that it’ll be easy catching here. Even the hardiest of fly-fishers are commonly stumped here, so whilst there often isn’t a dry day at Llyn Brenig, you might be waiting longer than usual for a bite! Brown and tiger trout also call this massive lake home – because of the large populations this is a popular fishing lake that is often busy with eager fishers.
As Llyn Brenig is situated in a pretty rural location, the best bet you’ll have for accommodation options will either be camping or staying in one of the many cosy B&Bs in the local area. Whilst you can find some perfectly acceptable rooms pubs and inns, some of the best rooms to book in North Wales are tucked away on sites like Airbnb.com or Booking.com – make sure you have a good look around before making your decision!…