Monday, 21 June 2010

Postcard From the Lily Loch






Tam, Scott and I went up to fish the Lily Loch last night.I arrived there before them and fished for about an hour without success in the burn area just at the back of the Club Hut.When my friends arrived we got geared up and got the boat ready in preparation to hunt down some trout.It was a bit windy to start with but as the night went on the wind did ease a bit to make fishing from the boat a very pleasant evening.
Tam and I were first out on the HMS Lily while Scott fished from the bank at McKenna's point. Tam rowed us up to Scunners point and had a few drifts from there from west to east.There wasn't much activity in that area but Scott was shouting out to us that fish were rising near him . So were maneuvered ourselves over to the big weed beds and drifted down past Scott. It was here that I caught my one and only fish of the evening a nice brown trout about the 2lb mark which after a quick photo call was released back into the loch.Once again my successful fly was the balloon caddis.
Soon after Tam disembarked and fished from the shore while Scott joined me in the boat. We had numerous drifts which resulted in no more fish but Tam was having better luck. He had great sport with four rainbow trout which were all fooled by the Balloon Caddis. This fly is getting a bit of a reputation these days at Hillend and the Lily , so much so that after Tam spoke to a very experienced Lily regular today, asked if I would tie some up for him, which won't be a problem. I'm going to be very busy at the vice over the next few days as this pattern is proving to be very popular.
We decided to call a halt to the fishing at around midnight. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and can't wait to have a go at the Lily some time in the future.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Fishing not Football!


As the world cup has yet to capture my imagination I decided to give the Mexico v France match a miss last night and instead I decided to visit Hillend in the pursuit of excitement. I wasn't disappointed. I arrived at the Club house to see and hear fishermen, mostly maggotdrowners, leaving the Loch and bemoaning the fact that they had failed to catch or even see any signs of fish. I knew it was way to early for the sedge to be hatching ,hence the lack of fish activity. I decided to wait a while before I would attempt to persuade the trout to my flies. I sat outside the clubhouse with a cup of hot soup and a couple of sandwiches and watched a couple of frustrated fishermen try in vain to catch fish. At about 10 o'clock I set up my rod and reel and attached a balloon caddis to my leader.The odd big sedge was making an appearance. So I began to cast . for ten minutes or so I had no offers but the sedges were appearing in increasing numbers much to the delight of a couple of ducks who were feasting on them. By now the fish were starting to appear and rising at the sedges. It wasn't too long before I caught my first trout, a rainbow about1 1/2lb. Then I hooked and lost another. Every other cast the trout were coming up for my fly. Eventually I landed another , this time about 2 1/2 lb. After that I had numerous takes and rises to my fly but no more trout were landed. It was well dark when I decided to call a halt to the fishing. I offered my two rainbow trout to Davie, a Hillend regular who gladly accepted them and said they would be going into his smoker in the morning. All in all it was another satisfying evening at Hillend.
Tonight though! The football will be taking preference to the fishing as there is a rather important football match being played in Capetown tonight.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Walking not Fishing!




Yesterday I decided to take a break from the fishing, instead I thought it would be good idea to go for a walk with my camera in the Hills opposite Hillend Loch to give myself some long overdue exercise. I think you will agree that pics I managed to get made it all worth while. The pic that might intrigue some of you is the one of Hillend and the twin munros yes munros of Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin. I think I will be correct in thinking that not many people could imagine a pic of Hillend with a couple of munros in the background. I loved the colours in the one of the Blackhill transmitters.Then when I came back down to the Loch I managed to get a nice one of a family of Canadian Geese. Please feel free to leave a comment. Good Bad or indifferent.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Kate McLaren [Variant] Video Clip

Today I thought I would share a fly I have been tying up lately for my fishing trip in July to Loch Watten in Caithness.This is a Kate McLaren variant, substituting the red game collar hackle for a Sunburst yellow hen hackle. After a wee bit of research the fly patterns that appear to be popular at Watten all incorporate bright gaudy colours. Hence the reasoning for the inclusion of the sunburst hen cape. I'm going to give it some trials at Hillend over the next couple of days.
video

7lb Hillend Brown Trout!


Unfortunately folks I did not catch this fine brown trout. Ian Lawson, a Hillend regular got in touch with me to tell me of his magnificent capture. Ian caught this beauty at the end of April while fishing in the Bracco Burn area at Hillend Loch in the evening.Ian was using his posh fly rod, an Orvis Helios 6 weight with a two fly set up which consisted of a cdc buzzer on the point and on the dropper he fished a crisp packet buzzer tied by one of Hillend's renowned fly tyers, Bobby Lennon.
Ian informed me that he fished this method by letting the flees swing round in a drift. I don't fish much in that style. I have done in the past but I usually run out of patience. Think I might need to have a rethink in that department if this is the results it can bring. Well done Ian!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Fisherman's Parable


Behold the Fisherman,mighty are his preperations
He riseth up early in the morning and setteth all his household in commotion
He goeth forth full of hope, with companions like unto himself
His labours are great, small indeed are his rewards
Late in the evening he returneth home
smelling of strong drink
The truth is not him
What doth it profit a man if he have the patience of Job
and the wisdom of Solomon
If in the end the fish are smarter than he is.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Lazy Sunday Evening


I decided to go up to the Loch tonight at about nine o'clock. I sat in the club house car park for a bit and watched a couple of anglers casting at rising fish. I wasn't going to bother fishing but when I saw the rising fish I just had to have a few casts. I just fished down from the club house and didn't bother with waders or wellies I just went down in my trainers and fished from the stones as I was too lazy tonight to wander about trying all the nooks and crannies. I was on the water five minutes when I got a rise to the single fly I had tied on . Guess what fly I was using? Yes it was that fly. I soon got my first take and landed the above trout. After numerous more rises and takes I hooked into another trout but this time the fish broke me and got off. By this time the sedges were scuttering along the surface in good numbers . I had a few more splashy rises to my fly then I wound in and packed up. It was one very happy and contented angler who made his way home tonight.

Tying a Balloon Caddis [The Video]

You might get fed up with me going on about this fly but I thought I would post a video to show how easy they are to tie. My friend Tam spoke to me on the phone this afternoon and said he read about this fly on my blog. I tied him a few this afternoon as he was going up to the Lily Loch. He said he will let me know how he gets on with them. He came to my house to collect them just as I was finishing this video clip. So he is away up to his Loch with this fly and a couple of others.If the conditions are favourable he will get success with these, I'm sure. I better get tying some more.I hope you find the video interesting and helpful. Please feel free to leave comments good, bad or indifferent
video

Saturday Night is Competition Night!



While millions sat in tonight to watch the final of "Britain's got talent" to see if an auld 81 year old Scottish granny could win it I decided to visit a 200 hundred year old Scottish reservoir to enter a fly fishing competition to see if I could win it. Just like the auld granny I failed miserably too. When I arrived the conditions were just about perfect. I chose to target the Braco Burn area of the Loch.I fished there for a couple of hours without success and then made my way eastwards along the shore to try my luck in a couple of likely looking bays. To my surprise I only saw a handful of fish rising. There was plenty of fly life around and when it started to get dark the Big Sedges started making an appearance. That usually triggers the trout but it was one of those strange nights when they did not come out to play. Perhaps the wind changing direction to an easterly round about ten o'clock put the fish down. I gave up at around eleven o'clock. While making my way back to the club house I met Dennis and Archie and they too were unsuccessful. I never hung around to hear the result. I will find out tomorrow.

Friday, 4 June 2010

So Many Summers


I really should be out fishing tonight but I have had a hard day so I'm currently relaxing with an Islay malt and a book by one of my favourite Scottish poets , Norman McCaig. I thought I would share this poem by him entitled , So Many Summers. Whenever I read this poem it reminds me of scene I encountered on my fishing trip to the Isle of Lewis last year. It's funny how the words and thoughts of another man's mind can conjure up images in ones own mind even though his original thoughts have no connection with mine. I suppose that's the essence of poetry.

Beside one loch, a hind’s neat skeleton
Beside another, a boat pulled high and dry:
Two neat geometries drawn in the weather:
Two things already dead and still to die.

I passed them every summer, rod in hand,
Skirting the bright blue or the spitting gray,
And, every summer, saw how the bleached timbers
Gaped wider and the neat ribs fell away.

Time adds one malice to another one -
Now you’d look very close before you knew
If it’s the boat that ran, the hind went sailing.
So many summers, and I have lived them too.