Fly-fishing-bait. Natural Baits.


There are numerous types of artificial fly-fishing-bait, but many anglers prefer to use natural baits.

Seeds can be bought from most good tackle shops. They cannot be used straight away as some preparation is required. This is the reason that they are not used more extensively. During the summer months they can be used to tempt roach, tench, carp and chub. The main seeds are wheat hemp and tares.


To tranform the wheat into usuable fish bait we must first wash it in cold water to remove any loose husks. Then it should be covered in boiling water and left to soak overnight. The following morning it should be boiled with a little water in a saucepan. This boiling will cause the grains to swell, growing larger and larger until they begin to split. When they reach this stage they are in perfect condition for fishing.


Hemp is prepared in a similar manner to that of wheat. After the hemp has been washed it is placed in a saucepan of water. The water is heated until it reaches boiling point and the seeds are left to simmer. Eventually the seeds will begin to split. When this happens they should be removed from the pan, as they are ready to be used.


More commonly known as pidgeon peas, tares have been used as fly-fishing-bait for many years. They require a little more care in preparation than either wheat or hemp. Like wheat they are first washed in cold water, after which they are placed in a saucepan which is filled with boiling water (sometimes bicarbonate of soda is added to darken the seeds. But care must be taken as too much bicarb will burst the seeds). They are left to soak overnight.

In the morning place the saucepan on the stove and bring slowly to the boil. Let the tares simmer gently for about 10 minutes. The cooked seeds will have an unbroken outer skin and will be soft enough to squeeze flat between two fingers. Place the tares in a bait tin and keep moist until you are ready to use them.

Seed baits should only be used during the summer and autumn.

Natural Baits

Though a beginner will probably restrict himself to maggots, worms and bread there is a whole host of baits which have and will continue to catch fish.

You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different baits, those anglers, (and there is a considerable number), who limit themselves in such a way miss out on a lot of good fish.

The main problem with natural baits such as wasp grubs and caddis fly larvae is their availability (or lack of). Even if you can get hold of them you may not be able to acquire enough for a whole day’s fishing.

Whatever fly-fishing-bait you decide to use, whether natural or otherwise, always carry a selection of at least three with you. That way if one bait proves unsuccessful then you have at least two alternatives.

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