All you have to do is simply purchase the right to fish for the relevant number of rods and days on the beat of your choice. A 'rod' is a term we use to describe an angler, so taking two rods for a day entitles two individuals to fish. There are no other fishery licences required in Iceland, Norway, Russia or Scotland however in England and wales you must be in possession of and Environment Agency Rod Licence and in Northern Ireland you must possess an department of Culture and Leisure Licence or a Loughs Agency Licence, depending on which rivers you are fishing
If there is a ghillie or fishery manager detailed on your booking confirmation you should ring them a few days before you are due to fish in order find out what tackle you will need to take with you, and then turn up at the appointed time and place.
What does a ghillie do?
Many beats employ a ghillie of some sort. He may be part- or full-time and on larger beats there may be more than one (with one designated as the head ghillie). The ghillie's job is to show you the water when you arrive, advise you on likely spots where fish may lie and the best tackle to use. You will then visit you from time to time during the day to see how you are getting on.
On some beats, the ghillie may stay with you for some or all of the day and if boats are available he may row you if it will increase your chances of catching a fish. Ghillies are also responsible for making sure that you fish within the law and in compliance with relevant conservation agreements. Most can also assist with some casting tuition, but if this is required, please make sure you have spoken to the ghillie in advance.
It is normally expected that you should tip your ghillie at the end of your fishing.
What is involved in a day's fishing?
When you arrive at the beat, the rods meet up, usually at the main hut at around 9am. If there is a ghillie he will help you set up your tackle and select a suitable fly. He will then show you where to start fishing and where to go for the rest of the morning. You will be expected to stop fishing for an hour at lunchtime, usually about 1pm, so please remember to take your own lunch!. He will then organise your afternoon session, often on a different part of the beat. At the end of the day, usually about 5pm, you meet again to tell him about any fish you may have caught and to find out how any other rods have got on.
I don't have any fishing tackle - what should I do?
Sometimes beats can lend you some items of tackle, however, you should not always rely on this. The best thing is to hire the appropriate equipment from a local tackle shop - these are listed on each river's 'Tackle advice' page. Tell the shop's proprietor where and when you are fishing and they should be able provide suitable equipment for you. The main problem will be how to pick up and return things before and after your fishing. Some shops may be able to deliver to your hotel for an extra charge.
What happens if the river floods or I have to cancel my fishing?
In line with general fishing practice, there are no refunds if the river floods. You still have the right to fish, although your ghillie may advise you that it is not worthwhile exercising this right. If he considers that it is not safe, he is entitled to refuse to take you out in a boat or to wade with you. Otherwise he is available to help as needed and will do his best to help get round the adverse conditions.
If you have to cancel your fishing, you do not get a refund, but FishPal can attempt to relet the fishings for you and, given sufficient time, can often achieve results. Please note that there is a charge for this. Altenatively, you can get a friend to fish for you.
You can also take out insurance cover, the detail of which can be found here