Saturday, 30 October 2010

Claret & Partridge

I thought it would be best to get a blog post up before I leave later on today for the BFFI at Stoke and will be away for a couple of days. I got my monthly edition of Trout and Salmon magazine through my letter box a couple of days ago. An article by Stan Headley , he of Loch Fishers Bible and Trout and Salmon Flies of Scotland fame was drawn to my attention. It was an article about the middle fly on a traditional cast of three flies for Loch fishing. There is mention of a few flies in the piece but the fly I liked the look of was the Claret Partridge. It looks and has all the properties that I like in a fly.Nice and bushy and brilliant for retrieving through a good wave not only that but it is in a style That I find aesthetically pleasing to tie.Well that's all for now folks. I will be back early next week hopefully with new ideas and materials and look forward at getting busy at the vice next week and give my winter fly tying a much needed kick start.

Hook:Kamazan 10
Thread:Red Uni 8/0
Tail:Dyed Red Pheasant Tail
Rib:Fine gold Tinsel
Body:Claret seals fur
Body Hackle:Claret Hen
Collar Hackle:Grey Partridge

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

British Fly Fair International 2010

All being well I will be attending the British Fly tying fair 2010 this weekend at Trentham Gardens, Stoke on Trent. This event is organised by Steve Cooper from Cookshill Fly Tying Materials.Steve's company is in my opinion simply the best supplier of flytying materials in the country and it's safe to say that I will be purchasing something from his wide range of materials this weekend. Some of the best flytyers in the world will be at Stoke demonstrating their skills and passing on information to mere mortals like myself.
Last year I spent quite a considerable time in the Fly tying in Focus theatre watching and learning from such luminaries in the art of fly tying as Oliver Edwards and Hans Wilenmann. They were absolutely brilliant in demonstrating and communicating with the public.
Fly tyers row is fantastic where about fifty tyers are all lined up and you can get one to one information and instruction.
Last year I got to meet Mike Harding and got him to sign a copy of his book on North Country spiders.
My one regret is that one of my favourite tyers from last year will not be in attendance..... Irishman Peter Dunne. His instruction etc was worth the trip alone last year.
The event is held over two days on Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October. I will be there on the Sunday.
As well as the tying demos etc there is a fantastic trade stall area where all the very best tying material suppliers etc will trading their wares. The only problem being that you can end up spending an absolute fortune.
Anyone who knows me will know that I have a passion for angling books, it's inevitable that a good chunk of my budget and time will be spent in the book department.
Really looking forward to this and hope to come back with some new ideas and inspiration which I hope I can incorporate into my fly tying. If you go to the BFFI web side which can be accessed from my links side bar there is a short video from Sky TV taken from last years show which will give you a flavour of the event. The above pic is a collage of some of my images from last year

Programme of Events
Fly Tying in Focus Theatre - Saturday and Sunday
11:00-12:00 Paul Little (England) Using Difficult Materials in Classic Flies
12:00-13:00 Johan Klingberg (Sweden) CDC Flies
13:00-14:00 Tom Travis (USA) Saltwater Flies for Florida (and elsewhere)
14:00-15:00 Ulf Hagstrom (Sweden) Dry Flies for a Mayfly hatch
15:00-16:00 Oliver Edwards (Yorkshire) An Audience With
16:00 Charity Auction (Saturday only)

Fly Fair Forum - Saturday and Sunday
11:00-12:00 Geoff Hancock (B.A.S.S.) Saltwater Fly Fishing
12:00-13:00 Mike Brookes Silk Lines but not just for bamboo!
13:00:14:00 David Woolstoncroft-Dodds Pike! Big wild Fish from Big Wild Waters.
14:00-15:00 Malcolm Greenhalgh (Lancashire) Fishing in the Arctic Circle
15:00-16:00 Luca Castellani and Moreno Borriero (Italy) Fishing in Italy - The World Tuscany Open

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Patience is a Virtue

Thought I would share this pic I created the the other night in between tying flies.If there is something that I enjoy as much as flytying it's being creative with my photographs on my pc. I'm sure you are all aware of the importance of patience in fly fishing. Waiting in anticipation is one of the many pleasures connected to fishing. I do know of some anglers who are impatient. I wonder if they actually realize that they are missing out when they disregard one of the fundamental laws of angling. A patient angler can more readily appreciate the beauty and ambiance that one can experience from angling. Impatience leads to frustration which inevitably leads to lack of success and enjoyment. After all we anglers participate in our sport for the delight and the joy of pitting our wits against our quarry and which can only be truly savoured by exercising that virtue which we as devoted anglers profess to admire...... Patience!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Wet Loch Ordie

This is a fly my two friends Tam and Scott have been asking me to tie all season. The two of them have had great success with this pattern for a few seasons now. This is my first attempt at trying to copy the version they have now ran out of. It does appear a bit overdressed but that was the intention.
This variation of the Loch Ordie originates from The Orkney Isles where it has been used to great effect in a big wave.We have found it to be successful on Hillend Loch as well as Highland lochs too. It's surprising how tempting it is for the trout as it hangs in the surface film just as it is about to be lifted for another cast.
I know Tam will like this pattern and I know I will be getting pestered to tie more of these over these winter months.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Royal Hillend Dabbler

With my tongue firmly placed in my cheek. I had been thinking lately how I could try to promote my blog to a wider audience.I had thought and tried of all the conventional ways of advetising etc then in what is best decribed as uirekkkkkka moment I made a call to Charlie Windsor you might know his mother better,she's called Liz. After a few more phone calls they arranged for my Blog Logo to be beamed up on the frontage of Buck House. It wasn't cheap having that done but I hope you will agree that it's a worth while venture.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Loch Dochard

Although we are only a week into the close season I have been thinking of possible lochs to visit and also to make return visits to. One such loch is Loch Dochard near Bridge of Orchy which I last visited in 2007. It's in a wonderful location and is a pleasure to fish. Here are a few words I wrote about my trip there three years ago. I hope you get inspired enough to fish it one day. You won't be disappointed if you do.......
At long last I made my long awaited trip to Loch Dochard. My friend Jim and I set off from deepest Lanarkshire early on Friday morning at around 7am and arrived at Victoria Bridge a couple of hours later. On route we stopped at Mr. Brodie’s wee shop in Tyndrum where we had a coffee and a bite to eat before setting off again on the short trip to Viccy Bridge. We parked in the car park close by which is mostly used by the hill walkers who are probably bagging Stob Gahhahr and Stob a choire odhair.
We began our walk and followed the land rover track by the Forrest Lodge and then by the course of the Alhainne Shira which looked rather tempting for a cast or two but we resisted as there was a two hour walk and quite a few camera stops ahead before we could reach our desired fishing destination.
After a couple of kilometers we reached the the point with a choice of routes we opted for the track to the left that is the right of way to Glen Kinglass. This path follows the bank of the river which is boggy in places but not too bad and eventually leads you to the bridge over the Allt Ghabhar and then after a short distance through the forest the track leads to the suspension bridge over the Alhainne Shira which is a bit wobbly but perfectly safe then after a further kilometer and a wee bit of a climb we reached Loch Dochard. The view as one reaches the loch is breath taking and I can honestly say that I am not exaggerating when I say that its one of the most picturesque lochs I have ever visited.
Just to be nosey we had a wee peek in the shepherd’s hut that’s marked on the OS at the south shore of the loch. I assume its still in use as there was some sort-discarded instrument or other for injecting the sheep well that’s what my mate thought it was. The mind boggles at the thought of sheep on smack.
We approached the banks of the loch form here and set up base camp at the wee shingle arm on the south bank. I was just setting up my rod and line when Jim was into his first fish of the day, he caught it on his first cast but the wee bugger took him straight into a snag and inevitably he lost it.
He wasn’t too disheartened a there was plenty of willing takers of his flees for the rest of the day. At the end of our day we both caught well into double figures and not surprisingly there were no record breakers among them. The fish we caught were beautifully marked and I’m glad to report that every single one of them were returned safely from whence they came.
We fished all along the south shore and kept moving on after we had caught fish from the one area. The fish were caught on bibios, Kates, and most of mine were caught on a wee brown bushy palmered fly of my own tying.
I would have loved to explore the rest of the loch but was too lazy to do so. The next time I go there I will camp overnight as it’s a two-hour walk in and a two-hour walk out. The walk out is knackering especially after fishing all day. On the way back to Viccy Bridge I had an interesting find, a set of antlers which I am going to get mounted on my garden shed. We also saw plenty of deer in the area and managed to get a few photos of them but as they were a bit far a way the pics are not the best. As we retraced our steps we met an Englishman who was camping by the river, we got talking and told us that he was staying there that night as he was meeting up with a group the next day coming up from Glenkinglass they were doing a walk across Scotland from the west coast to the east.
A very interesting and satisfying day at Loch Dochard and it’s a place I will definitely be going back to but with an overnight stay in my newly purchased Argos tent. One place I will not be re visiting is the chip shop in Tyndrum. 5 quid for a white pudding supper and a can of coke, they are having a laugh.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Mouth Watering Trout!

I have to admit I'm not very keen on eating trout, probably because I'm a crap cook. I have had a few disasterous attempts at cooking trout, although with the help of my father[he did the cooking and I caught the fish] we once did turn a Hillend rainbow trout into tastey fish cakes. I have to concede that I do like the look of this simple recipe though. I have heard it said that when cooking trout it is best to keep it simple. This wee vid proves that point . Who knows I might even give this method a try. Now then where am I gonna get a trout now that the season is finished? Well, that's as good an excuse as any for visiting a commercial fishery, at least it would be a much better option than buying a trout from the supermarket

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A couple of Jokes!

As close season blues are now starting to kick in and I'm at a loss right now with regards to blog content. I thought it was about time to share a couple of fishing related jokes with you. Don't worry I aim to get some articles etc prepared for the blog over the next day or two.
I think my fishing friends Tam and Scott will appreciate these cartoons.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Last Cast of the Season

Today I made my last cast of the season at Hillend. Alas I caught no fish today just like I did on my first cast on the Loch back in March. In seasons gone by the last day of the season have always been bleak cold affairs but not today it was rather mild and sunny and you would have been forgiven for thinking that it was just like August. I made a visit to the club house before going along the South shore and fishing all the wee bays and promontories. I was fishing a Black wooly bugger on the point and a wee brightly coloured fly incorporating a very tempting UV straggle fritz on the dropper that I had tied last night. The fish showed no interest in any of my flies so after an hour or so I packed up and headed back to the clubhouse a drink and a bite to eat where I met Sandy who I got to know through the Wild Fishing Forum.
The 2010 fishing season for me was very enjoyable and rewarding experience. It was also the first time I had shared my mixed bag of exploits on the Internet through the means of a blog and it is something I intend to continue into next season.
As ever the season passes ever so quickly and I never find enough time to fish all the places I intended going to at the start of the season.Once again that fishing trip to Loch Skeen that I have been promising myself for a few years didn't materialize. The highlight of the fishing season for me was my trip to Loch Watten in Caithness. I had a few good nights at Hillend too at the height of summer when the Big Sedge made its annual appearance at Hillend. Those outings on the boat at Hillend over the last month and a half when I caught a few wild Hillend brown trout were also great.
Before I sign off for the night I would just like to say that there are only 159 days and counting until the opening day of the 2011 trout season.
So until then you can expect to see a fair bit of my fly tying related pics and articles over the next few months. At the end of the month I will be travelling to Stoke to take in the British Flt Tying Fair. I hope to do a feature on that event and look forward to sharing it with you.