Thursday, 30 December 2010

A Guid New Year tae Yin an aw.....

That's it folks this year is almost over . All our fishing trips of the year gone by will now become memories in the burning embers of camp fires of future fishing trips.For me the highlight of my angling year was my trip to the North West of Scotland in July to Loch Watten. Of course I have had many many enjoyable angling experiences this year but none can compare to my trip to Caithness. Great fishing and good company are the perfect mix for unforgettable fishing outings. This will be my last post of the year as tomorrow, Hogmanay I will be very busy in preparation for the Bells.For any overseas readers of my blog who do not understand the term "The Bells" this is the phrase we use here for bringing in the New Year at midnight on New Years Eve.All the family wait till the stroke of midnight toast the New Year usually with a fine Malt in hand then we get all sentimental and have a good greet as we remember the year just past and absent friends etc. I would like to end my year of blogging with a wee slide show of some flies I tied this year.Hope you continue to enjoy my blog in the future
A Guid New Year tae Yin an’ Aw an’ Mony may Ye see…

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas


A Very Merry Christmas to all my visitors. I trust each and everyone of you are having a great day. I will not bore you with all the usual stuff you read in angling magazines etc at this time of year about how great a time it is for the keen fly tyer as there will be a hell of an amount of tying materials lying about the house what with all the tinsel etc. Instead I thought I would celebrate by tying one my favourite style of flies.Rudolph the Red Nosed Dabbler!. It was about time I posted a pic of one of these style of flies.
I believe Dabblers first originated in Ireland and were originally dressed as bob flies but I reckon the Dabbler is a good all season pattern. It can be used from the first day of the season to the last.It can represent and be used in a variety of styles and conditions. It can represent small fry it can also be utilized as a sedge pattern as well as its original function as a top dropper pattern. To be honest I would be Happy to fish it on any position on my cast. A truly great all round pattern for wild brown trout and also the rainbow trout of Hillend Loch. It is also a very satisfying pattern to tye too.

Monday, 20 December 2010

One Year Old Today!


I can hardly believe it. My blog is one year old today.I know I'm only an infant in blogging terms and I have much to learn but when I set out one year ago and typed my first words on these pages I could never have never have imagined how many people would be interested in anything that I had to say about my fly tying and fishing exploits. I have had visitors to my blog from all over the world as well as all over the UK.How they found out about my blog is beyond me. I suppose the Internet makes the World a global Village.My blog might not be up there with the likes of Davie McPail's etc in numbers but over this last year I have watched with interest as my hit counter has been steadily recording a pleasing increase in viewers month by month. I am currently sitting at just over a thousand visitors a month now. I set out originally to publish photos and articles of my fishing trips and also somewhere to publish pictures of my fly patterns. I hoped at first that my blogging would attract the attention of my fellow Airdrie and District Club anglers and friends and didn't really think beyond that. During the course of the season it was such a buzz to meet anglers at the Hillend Loch side and then for them to ask if me if I was the bloke that did the Hillend Dabbler Thingy! I think I bored my mates rigid by telling them this and that and that I would be putting their pics on the blog etc.In the end I think they actually looked forward to seeing their pics and stories of our exploits together at Hillend and further afield on the blog. I have really enjoyed recording a year in the life of my favourite pastime. You may have noticed that over the course of the season I didn't catch huge numbers of fish but I can assure you that I have enjoyed every minute of my angling and blogging over this last year because for me angling encompasses a whole lot more than just catching fish and I hope you agree that I have tied to express and articulate the pleasure and enjoyment I gain from my pastime within the pages of my blog...The Hillend Dabbler.
I was wondering how I should mark the occasion of being one year old on here.In the end I decided just to post a simple photo of Hillend Loch as it looked this morning. It looks exactly as it did one year ago when I first started blogging. Anyone fancy ice fishing! Its hard to imagine that in 84 days time this place will be free of ice and snow and once again I will be afloat drifting along the north shore casting the flies that I have been tying all winter.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A Simple Fly!


Tonight I was listening to the Hearts v Motherwell match on Radio Scotland and while listening to the game I tied the above fly which is a variant of that well known Traditional wet fly , Black Pennel. I must have been subconsciously influenced by the colours of the Edinburgh club's team colours as on this occasion the variant I have tied has a maroon/claret theme. I think the colour combination will be one that works well as I have had quite a bit of success with claret coloured flies over the years. I am reliably informed by Stan Headley that claret coloured flies should be the anglers first choice in poor light eg, as darkness approaches. Not that I have ever met Stan . I got that bit of information from the Gospel according to Stan..... The Loch Fishers Bible. The pattern I have tied tonight incorporates black tying thread, Orange tippets for the tail, claret peacock herl body with a silver tinsel rib and of course that all important sweeping claret hen hackle.I look forward to fishing this fly in the coming season which is now 89 days away.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine!


As I mentioned in a Blog post in November, this months edition of the excellent fly tying monthly has a page dedicated to this months Essential Challenge fly tying competition winners. I was one of the lucky winners to have my flies included in the article which I called the Hot Orange Grizzly. The above photo is taken from the magazine with a brief description of the fly from Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine contributor Magnus Angus. It was really pleasing to have my patterns photographed and have them included in such a well known national magazine. As if this was not enough I also have a picture of one of the flies I posted on the Magazine forum and there is a picture of this on page 12 which carries an article promoting their forum.
This months mag also carries a brilliant feature from fly tyer and mag contributor George Barron who I met at the British Fly Tying Fair at the end of October. in this feature Gorge Barron delves into Emrys Evans "Plu Stiniog" which has been translated from Welsh into English and ties four modern flies from this great treasure trove of fly patterns from the Principality.
If you haven't already purchased a copy of this months Fly Fishing and Flytying Monthly I would thoroughly recommend that you do so

Monday, 6 December 2010

Grounded but Flytying!



As the weather situation here in Airdrie appeared to be eventually getting better over the last couple of days I arranged to have a holiday from work today as I had some business to attend to in Motherwell and Glasgow.Last night I cleared the snow from my car in preparation for venturing onto the roads for the first time in over a week. Then when i awoke this morning and looked out my window I couldn't believe my eyes. The snow had came back with a vengeance and was still falling and piling up at an alarming rate. With the entire town of Airdrie in a gridlock situation my plans scuppered for the day there was only one thing for it. I made a big pot of Scotch Broth and then while that was cooking and simmering away in the kitchen I pulled up a chair at my tying desk and got to work in tying even more flies for the forthcoming season which is only 98 days away. I tied various flies, mainly Loch style flies, no change there then I hear you cry. Well its mostly loch fishing do. Caithness was on my mind as I sat at the desk for most of the day. I tied all the usual suspects and a few others which were a combination of standard patterns the above fly is one of those such flies. It is a bit Loch Ordie, green tail Kate and watten warrior.
As I sit and write this my wife has just returned from work and told me that the Carlisle road in Airdrie is still gridlocked with reports of cars been stuck there for 8 hours.All major roads such as the M8, M74 and A80 show no signs of letting up. If it carries on like this I wont be at work tomorrow which means that my new fly box will be full sooner than I thought.