Thursday, 20 July 2017

Mostly Muddlers

Sunday16th July my mate Tom and I headed north. Our loch of choice was the Spey Dam , but before going to the Laggan Hotel to pick up our pre-booked permit and oars we stopped of at the location of Teenage Fanclub's "Songs from Northern Britain" album etc, to see how the wee Laggan petrol station was looking these days. Seems there has been a complete overhaul.
 On arrival at the loch there was quite a stiff breeze blowing down the loch but we set off out on the boat anyway. We tried a few drift drifts mostly around the island rising numerous fish and getting half hearted takes without landing any trout. 
 We then decided to take a break as the wind was getting troublesome and a bit scary at times for although the boat was in great condition it wasn't the most stable in these blustery conditions. Once refreshed we headed out afloat again as the wind subsided a bit but every now and again would pick up so we had to be careful where we drifted and avoided the middle of the loch where the wind was at its most fiercest.
As the day progressed we started to pick up trout, losing and missing as many as we caught. At the end of the day we had 14 trout all about the 1/2 lb Mark for the boat, 7 fish each for Tom and I.
The trout were fooled by Ordies, Watten Warriors, soldier Palmer and muddlers but mostly muddlers.  We called it a day when the low cloud rolled in bringing  a drizzle of rain.
 I think thats my 4th visit to Spey Dam and I have always enjoyed my days there with great sport.
We headed off back down the A9 satisfied and hungry so stopped off at Pitlochry for fish and chips from the Chinese chippy before making the remainder of the journey back to North Lanarkshire!


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Falls of Clyde

I recently visited the River Clyde. Not in a fishing capacity though as I just went for walk down by the falls of Clyde to try shake off a recent sciatica attack and try to get some pics as its particularly nice down there at this time of year with all the Autumn colours at their best just now. I started the walk from the conservation village of New Lanark and walked along the Clyde walkway up to Bonnington Linn then walked back down the other side for a mile or so where I brewed up a hot drink before retracing my steps back to my starting point.
I intend to get back down there again soon once we've had a great spell of rain an get the falls in all their gushing glory! 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

There is More to Fishing than catching Fish!

A slideshow of recent fishing stravaigs! 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Is it a fly? Or perhaps it's a lure?

Went into GAC this afternoon for a few flytying odds n ends and ended up with a new rucksack too for next season's flyfishing daytrips. Anyway I digress the flytying season has started in ernest tonight. Heres the first off the vice tonight!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Last cast!

Last Cast!
I wrote in my blog last week that my season was over, however during the week an opportunity to take my float tube  arose at a loch I last fished a few years ago.
Therefore I arranged a holiday from work on the 6th, the last day of the trout fishing season.
On Thursday morning I travelled through the County and passed through the town of Lanark towards a couple of lovely wee lochs nestling below the summit of Tinto Hill.
Once I parked up the car I shouldered my tube and accessories and headed up the hill to first try Loch Cleugh which sits at 1020 feet above sea level. I finned about the loch in the tube fishing various areas without success and then decided now that the wind had picked up that it would be a better idea to head off that loch and descend down to Loch Lyoch which sits at a mere 960 feet above sea level.
It was a bit disappointing to leave Loch Cleugh as it is reputed for its lovely brown trout however it just wasn't to be.
The decision to fish the more sheltered Loch Lyoch was a wise move, for not long after getting out on the tube there I was into my first fish of the day. A rainbow trout of about 6 or 7 lb which put up a tremendous fight and a fish that struggled to fit into my net, however I eventually got it under control and managed to get that obligatory photo before returning the fish to the loch.
As the day went on I had a few more rises to my flies but none stuck until later on when I eventually fooled another fish. Once  again it was another rainbow trout, this time it was a more modest fish of about 2lb
Both fish were fooled by the same fly, an Irish wet fly, the Conamaraa Black.
After no further success I finned to the top of the loch and got back onto dry land.
I then had a wonder about taking photos of this lovely loch set in the most scenic of locations.
I sat and had a coffee while I dried off the tube etc and reflected on a season in which I hadn't fished as much as I usually do.
As this season ends I can honestly say that I have well and truly got my flyfishing mojo back especially after the experiences I have had over the last month out on the Outer Hebrides, the Highlands and of course having a day like I had today in such a wonderful setting that is less than an hours drive away also helps.
Well the trout season is over that can only mean one thing, The flytying season begins! 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

My season is over!

My season is over now we're in October
As the sixth was fast approaching I just had to have my last flyfishing trip of the season to the edge of Rannoch Moor to Loch Na H-Achlaise.
On this Occasion I took along my float tube as that was something I'd been intending to do all season and was keen to get about the islands and huge boulders that are scattered about on this most scenic of lochs.
 I arrived at the loch on Saturday morning and was soon working the fins out towards the rocky features where I had high expectations of encountering trout.
As expected I caught numerous brown trout which are known in some parts as "Bandies" There is some debate as to where that name comes from but in essence it just means "wee troot" 
I lost count of the trout I fooled with the two flies I fished all day, A muddler and a Kate McLaren variant. 
It was a very pleasing way to end the season, with a tremendous day of sport in a most spectacular setting.
Once I had my fill for the day I came ashore at a nice sandy bay and walked over the moor back to the car and drove up to Glencoe where I camped for the night.
The next day I finished off a great weekend by having a fantastic walk in Glencoe which was looking at it's finest in the most beautiful of days.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Two more Loch Flies

Id rather be loch side but as Im temporarily immobile, vice side will have to do.
I will hopefully get a chance to wet these before the season ends next week.

SizRe 12 hook
Black thread
Tippet tail
Mirage tinsel body 
Silver wire rib
Black body hackle
Partridge collar hackle

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Busy Tying!

Unfortunately I couldn't manage to get away fishing on the float tube this weekend. It's really frustrating  as the end of the trout fishing season is drawing ever closer.
Therefore instead of being out and about as I had intended,  I've been busy tying flies today.
This is the best fly from my vice today.
Hopefully I'll get a chance to get away next weekend.

Size 10 hook
Black thread
tippet tail
yeĺlowish possum body
copper rib
amber body hackle
french patridge collar hackle

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Mostly Benbecula

I arrived at our excellent Stravaig Base Camp on Benbecula along with Lochan Load and our driver Highlander,late on Wednesday night after following a British Army convoy of various trucks and vehicles from Lochmaddy on North Uist all the way to Benbecula.

Next morning after an awfy unusual breakfast for a WFF Stravaig I was off to West Olley with Bob Fly in search of my first trout of the trip, however I didn't get off to the best of starts as I failed to net any trout on the boat and the best I got was a swirl at my flies near the end of an uneventful day,which got even worse for me as just as we were on our last drift, my Rod got broken at a point on the rod which I got repaired a number of years ago.
Bob Fly didn't net anything either, however he did hook and play around with a land locked salmon which got us into a rather messy tangle of line, weed, laughter and quite possibly tears too. I'm sure Bob Fly will describe his unsuccessful but memorable battle better in his report.

On Friday after another unfamiliar WFF Stravaig breakfast I fished a nearby loch with Border Bob. 
We both fished from our float tubes which I enjoyed immensley. I'm  a bit of a novice to float tube fishing but really enjoyed the experience, especially the freedom that it gives you to cover areas of the Lochs you might otherwise not get into by foot.
I caught a few trout, all be it of modest size. Border Bob had a few too and kept one, he promised for our host Donald.

Saturday arrived and after downing yet another uncommon WFF Stravaig brekky, Robbie dropped me off at recommended Benbecula loch which I fished from the tube on a rather windy day. I caught eight trout to various fly patterns. Again I really enjoyed the much needed float tube experience, but felt a bit uneasy in the very blustery squalls out on the open loch, so mostly stayed close to the margins which probably helped in successfully fooling the troots.
I called it a day when I had fished myself out and began a very uncomfortable walk back to base with my float tube on my back and all my gear, while still wearing my waders etc. Fortunately about halfway back, Wilder the Better caught up with me on his walk back from some lochans north of where I was and assisted me by carrying some of my gear, which was very much appreciated.

Sunday morning saw the arrival of the rain and very strong winds to Benbecula and I doubted whether or not we would manage to get any fishing done on such a terrible morning.
However the forecast was showing that the weather was to improve as the day went on and after a late uncustomary WFF breakfast, numerous cups of coffee and  hanging around until midday, Robbie and I set off to a loch that I had visited last year in the changing weather conditions.
We got geared up with our float tubes and ventured on to this interesting loch with great hope. We both got offers to our flies very quickly but it wasn't until we fished just off the far shore where the wind was blowing to that we got our first fish of the day.
I got a further two trout near that shore then moved in among the islands where I got another three trout. Robbie had a few more too from the far shore.
At around six o'clock, my four days of Hebridean trout fishing was over.

My most successful patterns on this trip were muddlers, claret bumbles and Zulus.
All my trout were of a modest size compared to some of the lovely trout caught by the other Stravaigers.
Well done to Lochan Load for winning the Malt Whisky challenge set by our host Donald for the prettiest fish and also congrats to Billy for winning the MP Bowl for the heaviest fish which was hand crafted and kindly donated by Bob Fly.
A big thank you to Bibio for all his forward planning and booking for this trip, Alan for arranging the quiz night and arranging my travel arrangements and also to all the guys who supplied and cooked the wonderful evening meals, they were teriffic.

This was my first real go at Wild fishing from the float tube and thoroughly enjoyed the experience as I learned quite a lot from it.
The most important lesson I learned was to never go for a pee on a shallow rocky shore that the wind is blowing onto. I made that mistake and found it very difficult to get away from that shore, oh and also don't be taking on too much fluids as you will be regretting it and you might end up having to go ashore to that wind swept rocky shore as a matter of urgency.

Two of the most surprising things to arise from this trip was the the lack of fry up breakfasts, which I'm sure we will all have benefited from and lastly some folk actually    did drink that smooooooooooch!
The whole trip was a blast and hopefully it can be repeated next year!