Today I went on my first wild fly fishing trip of the season.
I never thought it would take me until August to catch my first wild trout of the year.
My friend Scott and I arrived early this morning at the Laggan Hotel to a arrange our days fishing which we had pre booked at the loch of the headwaters of the famous River Spey which is commonly known as the Spey Dam!
After paying our permit and picking up the oars etc for the boat we drove on up to the Loch.
Once we were organised and got the engine clamped on we manoeuvred up the loch to prepare for our first drift of the day.
It didn't take long for Scott to catch his first trout which was fooled by a heather fly.
It was cloudy and overcast for the first couple of hours and as the day went on the weather got better an better with the sun making appearances more often.
After numerous drifts Scott's tally of trout was mounting up and it wasn't until after he had caught half a dozen that I fooled my first trout of the day which took a Connamara Black.
It was a bit of relief to get that first trout. As the day progressed I went on to catch six more which were fooled by the Doobry and the Loch Ordie.
I caught a total of seven trout while Scott went on to catch a total of eleven trout. The most successful pattern of the day was undoubtedly the Loch Ordie which took more than half of Scotts haul.
In conclusion there was a total of eighteen fish for the boat which I'm sure you will agree was not a bad return for day out in the Scottish Highlands surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.
After looking through my book of Irish Fly Patterns I thought I would tie this fly as its a bit more true to the original pattern although looking at pics of original dressing it should maybe be more heavily dressed. I don't suppose it will make any difference to the troot. I imagine the only time you need to stick to an original dressing is for display purposes and the like. Far too much is made of sticking to exact original dressings for success with troot.
Im often inspired by Davie McPhail's tying demos on youtube especially traditional wet patterns. His latest fly tying demo which I watched today was no different. It was a variation of an old Irish pattern called the Ballinderry.
Therefore I decided to have a go at tying my version. I was quite pleased with my results. Im now gonna a tie another couple for my Hebridean box!
Fishing wise, this year has been a complete disaster for me. Somewhere along the line I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for fishing, especially at the local reservoirs which is strange as this year I took out a membership for the Clarkston Angling Club's Lily Loch too. I've only ventured out on the local club waters on a handful of occasions this season and have not been on any away trips to any of the wild waters up north either.
However I aim to get my flyfishing mojo back as I've got a fishing trip planned to Benbecula and the Uists next month and I'm starting to get a little bit excited about that.
I'm also hoping to go on a road trip up north next week to a reputedly good Highland Loch with my friend Scott.
I have cleared out all my fly boxes and started afresh by tying fly patterns that I will actually use. Far too many times Ive went trekking over moorland and bog etc to reach lochs and lochans overburdened by the weight of my rucksack full of unnescesary fishing gear and boxes of flies that never see the light of day.
With all this in mind this week I've been back at the vice, that was something else I haven't been doing much this year.
However I've really enjoyed getting back to tying again especially traditional wets which is my favourite style of flies to fish and a method which will be fully utilised when I visit the Hebrides and hopefully be of good use next week at Lochaber.
I will keep you posted and let you know how I get on . In the meantime here's a few examples of what's been created at my vice recently.
You could say that I've had a bit of a hiatus from my blog. It wasn't really what I had intended, however they way things have worked out over the last few months I haven't much choice due to a number of circumstances.
Nevertheless things appear to have settled back to normal here at Dabbler HQ, with just a few things to be put back in place.
Its a new year and a new start with a couple of big trips planned.
Therefore I look forward to start turning my thoughts to flyfishing and flytying in the coming weeks and months and once again get focused on what I enjoy most.
Today! at long last I managed to get the vice dusted down and put together some feather, fur and tinsel.
I had Highland Lochs in mind when I tied these this afternoon.
I had another outing on the tube last weekend, this time at Hillend's neighbouring loch the Lily!
I wasn't as successful as my first time afloat as I didn't catch any fish , however it was great fun to be out in the tube. I was really surprised that I could manoeuvre all over the 60 acre loch without any trouble. Perhaps I spent too much time moving around and maybe should have concentrated my efforts in some areas a little longer. I suppose I was just getting to know the tube and how to handle it etc, it was great to try in at the dam as well as square bay, Scunners point, the big weedy bay and all down the south shore. I could have done with a trout though.
However I wasn't downbeat, far from it in fact I'm rather excited about the possibilities with the tube therefore I'm going to have another visit with the tube to the Lily this weekend as the Lily stays open until the end of October.
The Lily may be open for a further few weeks but the official 2015 brown trout fishing season has now ended but I'm already excited about getting out on the tube next season to some hill lochs that I would like to visit but in the mean time the Lily will do for the next few weeks.
The day after my first experience of Armchair fishing I was once again out pursuing Brown Trout, however on this occasion it took a lot more effort to catch my quarry.
I visited a lochan west of Rannoch Moor for the first time in a number of years along with my friend Scott.
We had a cold foggy start to the day and it definitely felt like autumn but as the day progressed the temperature started to rise.
After a walk of 1 3/4 hours we arrived at this remote loch which is set in a spectacular location surrounded by a group of Munros.
Before we strung our rods the sound of roaring stags could be heard echoing around the mountains.
It was obvious that the fishing would be difficult as there wasn't a breath of air and the surface of the loch was like a sheet of glass.
However during our time there a slight breeze would appear intermitently throughout the day but these spells didnt last long.
Fishing was tough but we did manage to fool around half a dozen trout each with Scott getting the catch of the day with a small plump Perch.
Big and bushy flies were the order of the day. We missed a lot more fish than we caught which was fun but frustrating too, The fish werent very big and never even reached the 1/2 lb mark.
The trout may have been mediocre but the scenery was absolutely first class. I dont think Ive ever fished a loch with such spectacular surroundings.
We were leg weary and tired after making the long walk back to the car. Although we were thirsty and hungry after such a long day we deliberately avoided the chippy in Tyndrum and waited until we arrived in Callander to refresh and regale ourselves.
I was keen to get out on my recently purchased float
tube so arranged through a fishing friend to get some tuition on a Perthshire
I met up with Vaughan at Braco and then after packing
all my gear into his car we drove up through the Perthshire countryside to a
couple of lochs which Vaughan assured me would be ideal for a novice float
We stopped off at the first loch and ran through
everything I needed to know he then attached a rope to my tube and set me of
out onto the loch. After learning how to manoeuvre etc I was keen to be set of
the leash to start fishing.
Therefore we moved onto another loch where Vaughan said I could be in for a few surprises , so told me to be prepared.
We noticed that fish were dimpling at various areas
all over this loch so expectations were high and we were both keen to get
So off we went and I found it surprisingly easy to
move up the loch the only trouble I had to start with was controlling turning
left and right but soon found a technique to do this which suited me.
Vaughan was first into trout with two nice trout
fooled by his beetle pattern which I suggested to him he should call Ringo.
I had a few offers before I managed my first trout.
Vaughan was correct, I was indeed most surprised as my first trout from the
float tube was a hard fighting rainbow trout.
It has to be said it is an absolute pleasure to fish
from the tube. I couldn't believe how comfortable it was as it was like
flyfishing from a big comfy armchair.
I caught a further two trout which were once again
very fine conditioned rainbow trout.
Vaughan caught a couple of brown trout and a couple
of rainbows too.
It was so relaxing sitting on the tube and fishing
areas which wouldn't normally be able to be fished due to soft banks and weed.
It's just a pity I've been introduced to this style
of fishing at the tale end of the season as i really enjoyed myself and can't
wait to get out on the tube again.
I can't thank Vaughan enough for taking me to these
lochs and instructing me on how to get the best out of float tubing.
It was Prince Phillip who first introduced me to fly fishing, well sort of, for it was while preparing for my Duke of Edinburgh award expedition among the lochans and hills above Lochgilphead that I first developed a passion for angling and hillwalking. My name is Allan. I am an enthusiastic flyfisher and flytyer. I am by no means an authority on fly fishing and flytying by any stretch of the imagination. I have been a member of Airdrie & District Angling Club for about twenty years. I like to fish Hillend Loch at least once a week during the course of the season. When I can I like to get away to the Scottish Highlands in the pursuit of fishing for wild brown trout. I will often incorporate my fly fishing with my other passion which is hillwalking. I love nothing better than a trek into the mountains with my rod and reel and an assortment of flies. Once the fishing season is over my attention turns to fly tying which I enjoy just as much as fly fishing. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog and hope you find it both informative and interesting. Please feel free to leave comments... good, bad or indifferent.