UK Fly Fishers 

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Fishing Licence

Fishing Licence


When you need a licence


You need a rod fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line in:

  • England (except the River Tweed)
  • Wales
  • the Border Esk region of Scotland

You must always carry your rod fishing licence when you’re fishing or you could be prosecuted.


  • Currently you do not need a rod licence in Scotland you only require a fishing permit for the water you wish to fish.

In Scotland, you need a rod fishing licence for the Border Esk and its tributaries. You do not need a rod fishing licence elsewhere in Scotland, but you need a fishing permit for the relevant water you wish to fish, or written permission from the riparian land owner that has the rights or ownership of the waters.  

You can be fined up to £2,500 for fishing without a rod fishing licence.

Types of licence Trout, coarse fish and eel licence

This lets you fish non-migratory trout and all freshwater fish.


You must use your licence in one of the following ways. You can choose to fish with:

  • 1 rod for non-migratory trout in rivers, streams, drains and canals
  • up to 2 rods for non-migratory trout in reservoirs, lakes and ponds
  • up to 2 rods for freshwater fish


You can also buy a 12-month licence that lets you use 3 rods for freshwater fish.


The place where you fish may have additional rules about how many rods you can use there.


Salmon and sea trout licence

This lets you fish salmon, sea trout, non-migratory trout and all freshwater fish.


You must use your licence in one of 3 ways. You can choose to fish with:

  • 1 rod for salmon, sea trout and non-migratory trout in rivers, streams and canals
  • up to 2 rods for salmon, sea trout and non-migratory trout in reservoirs, lakes and ponds
  • up to 3 rods for freshwater fish


You must report a catch return every year even if you did not fish.


The place where you fish may have additional rules about how many rods you can use there