Start fly-fishing at Meon
Know someone who wants to learn how to fly-fish? Try Meon Springs where newcomers just need to bring themselves!
A friendly place to start down south
IF you’ve got a pal who’s keen to start fly-fishing and you live in the south of England, then the perfect venue to ‘show them the ropes’ is Meon Springs in Hampshire. A warm welcome is guaranteed in the plush wooden lakeside lodge and the lakes cater for anglers of all abilities, with fish clearly visible through the crystal clear water. You can stay over too, and truly relax in the peaceful surroundings. There’s superb and unique accommodation in the shape of Fisherman’s Huts situated close to the lakes, and glamping in the yurts tucked out of the way, further from the lakes and near the farm itself. The latter caters for larger groups and corporates. But most important of all the fishery recognises the need to increase the number of fly anglers in the UK. Tim Richardson, who works at Meon said: “One of the things we’re really pushing at the moment is fishing tuition. We’re keen to get new people into the sport. Our ‘Fly Fishing Experience Days’ – which are a complete introduction to fly-fishing – are proving really popular. Basically, people turn up and everything is provided – tackle hire, tuition, two-fish ticket, Environment Agency rod licence. It’s really popular and people buy them as gifts for friends and family. “For some people, it’s a bucket list thing – they do it and it’s fine. But for others, they love it and they keep coming back. We’re also keen on teaching juniors and in particular, we encourage them to enter Troutmasters when they catch.” Today we’re joined by TF contributor Peter Cockwill who lives not too far away and as usual, he walks around the lake a couple of times before even casting a fly. He likes to assess fish behaviour first as this will dictate his approach. Always take time to observe the scene as opposed to rushing in. It pays off in the long run. Get the approach right first and you’ll have a much better day. Peter is joined by Alan Wood who often accompanies him on trips abroad. It’s not long before they’re both into a run of fine rainbows which are easily spotted in the clear, shallow water. It’s fun spotting the fish, casting so your weighted fly lands close by or in the fishes’ path and then – after allowing the fly to sink to what you perceive to be the fish-holding depth – begin a sharp retrieve. It’s heartstopping stuff watching the trout’s reaction. Will it follow? Or will it ignore your offering? It’s the expectancy that drives us to enjoy this kind of fishing for hours – it’s amazing how fast a day will pass fishing like this. Add in the extremely friendly atmosphere and you’ve a ‘beginners’ paradise. Spend a few nights on a holiday, and enjoy the fishing and the food at the Thomas Lord pub in the village of West Meon – that’s where many visitors spend their evenings. There really is no better place to show your pals the fun and social side offered available when trout fishing.
Fish are easily spotted in the lake nearest the lodge.
The lodge welcomes walkers as well as anglers.
Alan Wood with a Meon rainbow.