Fly fishing cost and future generations

icejohn

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
1,314
Location
bristol
Showing my age I guess and feeling nostalgic but remember fishing 2 a week for pleasure and comps every other weekend.
I earned considerably less then but seemed to be able to afford it. Granted didn't have the expensive gear I have now.

Anyway in 40s now and realised sadly that just fish dates of comps now. Frankly because of the costs involved in hiring a boat etc. The break down something like £50 a rod ur lunch 5 fiver, car fuel 10 quid, tippet flies lost 10er Yes tie my own but even so. If fishing the bank ticket price halves to 25 quid. ( Will mention practise days of comps accommodation etc...)

But boils down to boat day is £75 and bank £50.

The cost of fishing the same amount of times back in my twenties at today's prices would be like 600 quid a month that's quite a chuck of disposable income to have much less the youngsters of today.

Very few places that I know offer the suggestion of cheap fishing these days. Its no wander there is a serious decline in fly fishing in general. The only way I see things improving is if ticket prices drop and offer more catch and release. Ie stock stays in the lake. Basically the more affordable the fishing means more anglers likely to fish and take a friend over the course of a season overall the fishery would be better off and more angling actually gets done.
 
Last edited:

Oddball29

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
23
Location
Surrey
I don’t think it’s ticket prices or tackle. compared to carp angling Fly fishing is a lot cheaper to get a good set up look at bite alarms,Tent, unhooking mat, some carp lakes around my area Are charging 2k a season ticket. It’s lack of information and availability. I’m surrounded by big reservoirs and gravel pits and the only trout fishing available near me is a small 2 acre fishery and hardly any of my mates know it’s there. the next closest is about 45 minutes drive, I have to travel 1.5 hours to fish my “local” reservoir with boat fishing. It just needs to be put out there to the younger generation most kids don’t have someone to teach them to cast after 10 minutes of making a tangle 99% of youngsters are gonna put down the fly rod and pick up a carp rod
 

ejw

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2012
Messages
573
Location
Helsby, Cheshire
It is more difficult to run a trout venue ? Think, you have already answered parts of it. Stocking, Coarse lakes only stock once and do not have to order more weekly/monthly. Coarse anglers know what's in there and Carp fishers will probably tell you the name of each fish over 10lb. Trout anglers want to catch fish regularly, there is a minimum stock size and none of the fish will breed ! All extra costs. The trout cannot have a day off feeding for any reason including the weather or anglers will say it is not stocked well enough and go to another venue, until the same happens.
Many "Trout" venues have closed due to lack of customers making it un viable, this year will put the Top Hat on it, expect to see more closures.
There are answers, in my case I fish a commercial fishery about once a month. I have a river about 15 miles away that a Club have 3 miles of. It used to be stocked, but careful, time consuming, management and habitat improvement, now means it is self sustaining, but that does come at a cost in time and effort. The result £50 A YEAR, drawback, the season March to September.
I also am a member of a syndicate on a lake costing £100 a year. Call it lucky - NO - Only a small "select" trustworthy group, with a proven track record were allowed to join, now dead men's shoes and personal recommendations. Stocking is included, but once per year only.
It takes time to find venues, but it can be done. Unfortunately to get invites to join takes hard work and in some cases years of waiting and earning that position.
For larger waters, due to travelling, my visits are down to one or two per year as for my nearest is a 150 mile round trip. Since retirement 7 years ago, I just don't have the time !!!
One final point for me, I used to fish competitions and have fished many, reaching the finals of quite a few, but have lost interest in these due to a change in the attitudes of many participants ? The last time I fished the "Troutmasters" final, I paired up with a "newbie" to competition fishing and we got on well, we stayed together for the bank session and had a good, but fishless day. When waiting for our food, there were lots of arguments over "dubious" fishing and at one point fighting !! Fists were thrown, accusations of cheating, it was a poor show. We both decided not to attend again. I have had similar issues with other competitions, with anglers just too competitive, I have had many such incidents and now only do "local" competitions with people I know and respect.
 

PaulD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
2,192
Location
South Northants
Being an 'old person', way past my 40s (sadly), I collect old fishing books and stuff. I have some Hardly Anglers' Guides. Here's a rod label I found, used as a book mark, I found in an old book I bought. . .
Label.JPG


. . . and here's a page from the 1934 Hardy Guide that describes the rod - £8 5s . . .

Hardy Catalogue.JPG


If you use an inflation calculator, 1934 to 2020, the rod would cost £594.34 today. There were no Shakespeare Agility rods available in 1934 and Maxcatch hadn't been thought of. As a 16 year old schoolboy in 1968, my day ticket at Stithians Reservoir was 15s (75p). The stocking level was such that you'd average a fish for every mile of bank you walked. Using the inflation calculator, the 15s works out to be £13 9p today. As an OAP I can get a bank ticket, full day C&R at Elinor for £17.

Fly fishing itself, tackle and tickets are no more expensive, in real terms, today than they have been historically. What has become 'expensive' is your choice of how you fish and the costs associated with that choice.
 

anzac

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
1,846
Location
Terra Firma
Being an 'old person', way past my 40s (sadly), I collect old fishing books and stuff. I have some Hardly Anglers' Guides. Here's a rod label I found, used as a book mark, I found in an old book I bought. . .
View attachment 32959

. . . and here's a page from the 1934 Hardy Guide that describes the rod - £8 5s . . .

View attachment 32960

If you use an inflation calculator, 1934 to 2020, the rod would cost £594.34 today. There were no Shakespeare Agility rods available in 1934 and Maxcatch hadn't been thought of. As a 16 year old schoolboy in 1968, my day ticket at Stithians Reservoir was 15s (75p). The stocking level was such that you'd average a fish for every mile of bank you walked. Using the inflation calculator, the 15s works out to be £13 9p today. As an OAP I can get a bank ticket, full day C&R at Elinor for £17.

Fly fishing itself, tackle and tickets are no more expensive, in real terms, today than they have been historically. What has become 'expensive' is your choice of how you fish and the costs associated with that choice.
Well said.

I can only add that fly fishing isn't unique here. One only needs to look at tennis or golf to see the same thing. Equipment, club fees, etc. all show a parallel.
 

loxie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
843
I think there have been several significant changes over my involvement in stocked trout fishing. Firstly the increasing summer water temperatures and the spread of Argulus have made summer fishing impossible or very difficult in a swathe of venues across the midlands and the south. This has impacted both the revenue of and recruitment in to many fishing venues. You might persuade youngsters to come fishing on a warm July day in the school holidays but it's a big ask in March. Many venues made unviable like this have turned to carp fishing and this has changed the balance of what is locally available for many people.

Secondly the abundance of inland cormorants has caused an increase in average stock sizes well above what was historically normal. When we started stocking the newly flooded big midlands reservoirs the standard stockie was 1 to 1.25lb and cormorants got shot! This continued through the 1980's until cormorant control became impossible. To get round it larger fish were stocked and this fuelled angler expectations and now we stock the same waters with 1 3/4 to 2lb fish. This has added greatly to the cost.

It is amazing to me how little prices have increased in real terms over the last 30 years. When you compare what you get to other comparably priced activities stocked trout fishing looks very good value. C19 has moved the goalposts again and there has been a massive increase in take up of fishing this year. If only a quarter of these new anglers keep going it will make a massive difference to the economics of the industry.

Finally there has been a quiet revolution in restocking trout production in the last 5 years. A large number of producers have given up, for a number of reasons, leading to acute shortages of trout, particularly in Scotland and the North of England. Most of the supply for the Midlands and South and Welsh large waters is concentrated in to 3 suppliers. There is a serious danger that the 2 largest of these suppliers will have to stop production in the next 4 or 5 years in which case stocked trout fishing as we know it is over.
 

4wings

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
978
Location
Bristol
It is like caravanning, only older folk (in the main) can or want to afford it. I am already finding licences unaffordable for the time I can put in for fishing having decided reservoir /lake fishing is not for me
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
9,176
Location
Wiltshire
What EJW doesn't see going on at the commercial carp lakes is the regular re-stocking. Sorry, but it happens and more often than you might think. The average - in all respects - angler at those waters demands big bags of fish for his efforts. 100lbs is almost obligatory and if it isn't forthcoming he will vote with his feet. No different to trout anglers in that respect. The only difference is that carp are a sight more expensive to buy in than trout, and no, they don't breed in those fisheries either. They require extensive weedbeds and a water temperature in the low 70'sF for several days to get them going. The temperature thing is easy enough, but heavily stocked carp lakes are not noted for weedbeds, extensive or otherwise.
 

Rob Edmunds

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
3,671
Location
Midlands Reservoirs
I agree fly fishing is costly, especially when it's me, the wife and my son.

We all fish competitions ( the mrs & lad in the England ladies team and youth teams respectively so that's a big cost too with internationals and weekends away)

My lad is 15, and I'd sooner him have genuine interest than roaming the streets or sitting on a Playstation all day as it would only lead to trouble.

Currently we all fish twice a week minimum so the cost keeps racking up and up.....but we don't go to the pub or out for meals very often.....we can't afford everything so have to choose.

However I do genuinely think we are very lucky, Anglian Water let under 18's fish for free with an adult, as do Draycote and Eyebrook so this helps us a lot as regards fees.

Ed Foster at Elinor also let's my lad have a very cheap C&R Season ticket which he can bike too in less than 10 mins....so a big "Thanks" to them.

I'm actually not complaining at all, fisheries have to make a profit, pay staff and stock fish..... all of which cost.

Try a days shooting, golfing etc.....and see what that costs 😭😭...fishing is cheap in comparison

We usually do a full 10 to 12 hours fishing, and end up with a decent meal when we catch....that's pretty good in my opinion
 
Last edited:

micka

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
1,064
When Rob refers to him rather seeing his son fishing than in front of a 'play station' we would all agree wholeheartedly. But the fact is that the dearth of young people going into pastimes like fishing and golf etc is because a social revolution has occurred between childhoods or yesteryear and those of today. Yes' I'm an old fogey born in the 1950's and when you went out for the day with your mates on your bikes or walking, my mother never said where are you going? You just turned up at teatime (if that) mucky faced and that was all taken for granted - you were very physically active and adventurous.

Now many fishing clubs are struggling for members as are golf clubs, even prestigious ones which before had long waiting lists. And so it's instant membership. no joining fees etc. in both sports. That's in great part because sedentary electronic activities from addictive smartphones linked with social media obsessions, interconnected (sometimes internationally) gaming etc. absorbs young people's minds and defines their culture.

Demographically, it is bad news for angling as a sport as more older anglers die off without being replaced in matching numbers from the young. Sadly, the new youth culture combined with the costs of angling and the fact that it does not provide instant gratification as a pastime do not bode well for this wonderful sport.

Mick
 
Last edited:

glueman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
4,228
Location
on the banks of the A5
My fishing pal 5 years my junior( I am just short of 80) can remember when a ticket on the Derbyshire Wye was sub £10 a day it is now £150 a day
 

eddleston123

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2012
Messages
9,716
Location
Peebles, Scottish Borders
My fishing pal 5 years my junior( I am just short of 80) can remember when a ticket on the Derbyshire Wye was sub £10 a day it is now £150 a day


In 1966 a day's trouting on the Tweed cost 2/6d

I'm not entirely convinced about the expense of the sport bit discouraging youngsters, although that must play a part. If you add up what is spent on computers, games consuls etc - that is a lot of money. I think it is more to do with todays priorities what seems cool to do and as mentioned previously by Mick, the need for instant gratification.



Douglas
 

Rob Edmunds

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
3,671
Location
Midlands Reservoirs
I accept that kids ( actually any beginner) wants the instant hit of catching....

But as I see it its the responsibility of us older more established anglers to help out.... my lad is happy catching anything, bleak, dace, roach etc

We started off when he was just 4 or 5 just for an hour or so by the river in the summer, this always involved a picnic, us both getting wet and about 20 mins actual fishing....

It's more about getting them out and enjoying the day together..

After about 6 months of literally messing about he became more interested , and you take it from there build up the fishing slowly....my other kids had the same opportunities but didn't really take to it.

Now he is really focused on his fishing and lives and breathes it, tying flies, fishing most days in school holidays etc.. he's even got 3 of his mates into it which is a result.

But I do worry for the future of our sport.......ok I may be grumpy at times on the bank, but I will always try and encourage kids , give them a few flies or generally help them catch a fish.....To me it's vitally important
 

sean freeman

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
1,227
Location
Manchester
Strange one this but I’ve never known golf to be so popular with people my age (26) and younger even. Of my close mates about 7-8 play golf and none go fishing or have ever even tried. Golf is accessible, there are over a dozen courses around Manchester. My house overlooks the local golf clubhouse and it’s always mobbed! They charge £1000 a year and I see people of all ages there.

For some reason golf has been capturing the minds of younger lads more and more over the last few years but fly fishing hasn’t. I say fly because coarse fishing is popular with a few lads I know, again it’s accessible as there are plenty of coarse fisheries in urban areas whereas fly fishing venues are mostly found in rural areas.
 

glueman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
4,228
Location
on the banks of the A5
Strange one this but I’ve never known golf to be so popular with people my age (26) and younger even. Of my close mates about 7-8 play golf and none go fishing or have ever even tried. Golf is accessible, there are over a dozen courses around Manchester. My house overlooks the local golf clubhouse and it’s always mobbed! They charge £1000 a year and I see people of all ages there.

For some reason golf has been capturing the minds of younger lads more and more over the last few years but fly fishing hasn’t. I say fly because coarse fishing is popular with a few lads I know, again it’s accessible as there are plenty of coarse fisheries in urban areas whereas fly fishing venues are mostly found in rural areas.
Golf is on the TV a lot, if you are good at it there is money to be made same with the course angler. In my village there is a course angler that only fishes for money not for pleasure. There is very rarely any fishing on main stream TV and when there is it will not be with a fly
 

sean freeman

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
1,227
Location
Manchester
Golf is on the TV a lot, if you are good at it there is money to be made same with the course angler. In my village there is a course angler that only fishes for money not for pleasure. There is very rarely any fishing on main stream TV and when there is it will not be with a fly
True, golf related fashion has found its way into mainstream fashion too. I feel like in America the fly fishing brands have cultivated a more youthful image and there are fashion and accessory brands that cater towards the younger end of the market.

Young Americans working in the city wearing a suit through the week and then throwing on a flannel and hiking boots and heading for the hills at the weekend. It’s a cooler experience and image over there than it is here for the most part.
 

beetlebum

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
225
Location
Chorley
True, golf related fashion has found its way into mainstream fashion too. I feel like in America the fly fishing brands have cultivated a more youthful image and there are fashion and accessory brands that cater towards the younger end of the market.

Young Americans working in the city wearing a suit through the week and then throwing on a flannel and hiking boots and heading for the hills at the weekend. It’s a cooler experience and image over there than it is here for the most part.
I've definitely noticed that too, you only have to look at brands like Filson and of course Patagonia to see what is fashionable over there. One of my friends has just started fishing at the age of 41, he's getting to grips with coarse fishing before trying the fly (his words) and is obsessed! The thing I did notice is that we managed to kit him out with everything he needed for float and feeder fishing, as well as all the other gear needed and it came out at under £250. I couldn't believe how much further money goes on coarse tackle compared to fly gear.
 

kingf000

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,913
In real terms, IMO fly fishing is cheaper than it's ever been. You can buy an acceptable stillwater fly fishing kit for less than £100, eg. https://www.pauls-angling-supplies.co.uk/complete-reel-lines-tackle-p-1129.html. plus £22 for 6 hours fishing at my local lake. Not only that, the average disposable income has nearly doubled since 1980, so most of us have more money to spend on none essentials.
 

glueman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
4,228
Location
on the banks of the A5

Latest posts

Top