Apart from the advice given in the text on this page, there are contact details for local tackle shops who can give you more personal advice. Many of them will also hire out any equipment that you are unable to bring with you.
Better still, consult your ghillie when you have booked your fishing. He knows his beat best and his experience should be listened to and taken full advantage of. A call to him before you arrive should ensure that no valuable time is wasted on your first day.
The following is some general advice which may be helpful prior to booking your fishing:
Many rivers and beats do not allow spinning for all or large parts of the year (see 'Regulations' above). Others will only tolerate it providing the fly has been given a long and fair chance beforehand. So do not arrive on your beat with just a spinning rod!
As a brief guidance, 14ft-16ft fly rods will find general use on the larger rivers throughout the season, but smaller rods are used in the summer months for grilse and sea trout fishing and on the many smaller rivers.
As for correct density of fly lines, again time of year will decide this but a floating line, a sink tip or intermediate, and a fast sinking line (2/3" per sec) will cover most eventualities. Care should be taken to balance your fly rod with the appropriate weight of fly line to maximise your water coverage.
This really is one for the individual beats to advise on. Bring a selection of flies, small ones for smaller rivers, warmer temperatures and lower water conditions, larger ones & heavier tube flies for the opposite conditions.
A fully automatic lifejacket is a necessity when either fishing from a boat or wading in a river. Many beats now provide lifejackets and you will be strongly recommended to use them.
Some form of eye protection is also recommended, whether in the shape of polarised sunglasses or clear safety glasses to protect your eyes whilst fly fishing.
A strong, sturdy wading stick is also an essential item on an angler's 'must have' list. Make sure the end is weighted and has a rubber stopper to minimise noise and vibration as you wade down through a pool.
Prior to arrival in the UK, anglers travelling from areas which are not designated as free from the parasite Gyrodactylus salaris must take precautions to ensure that their equipment is not contaminated. For further information please click here (696 Kb PDF) .