Friday, 29 April 2011

William and Kate!



I have to say, I was very dissapointed that I didn't recieve my invitation to the Royal Wedding at Westminster Abbey today, I didn't even get an invite to the evening reception.. As you may be aware it was Prince Phillip who introduced me to fly fishing so I had been expecting an invite for weeks but it sadly never arrived. Putting my personal dissapointment to one side I thought it would be appropriate to mark the occassion of the Royal Couple's big day in my own personal way by tying a couple of flies that I think you will agree are very fitting for such a momentous occassion as our future king's marriage. The patterns A "Williams Favourite" and of course that would have to be a " Kate" I hope you agree that they are a good combination.They are a couple I will have in mind when I next get out on the boat at Hillend, perhaps sometime this weekend. So tonight raise yer glass in appreciation of a great couple that I hope will bring me many many trout in the months ahead. William and Kate.......Hip! Hip! Hurrah!





Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Tying Again!



I know , I know I should be out fishing rather than sitting at the tying desk tying up flies. I might well go up to the Loch later. You see that's the beauty of having a permanent desk set up I can just draw up the chair and start tying without having to look out materials and get everything set up. Anyway I just watched a tying demo by a certain Ayrshire flytyer of good repute and was suitably inspired at having a go at something similar. The above pattern is what I came up with. Its not the exact same dressing as Davie's fly but it's tyed in the same style the only difference being the thread colour and the feathers . I used a greenwells hackle instead of the starling. This fly might not be in the same league as McPhails but I think it has all the properties to fool the trout. If only I could get a good fisherman to try it out as I haven't been very successful as I would like to be at the fishing lately. Nothing has changed there I can hear a certain ginger haired fellow cry. Maybe this fly will change my fortunes?

Monday, 25 April 2011

Hillend by Boat!





Scott and I had our first day afloat on Hillend today. We collected the engine , battery and life jackets from the Hillend Lodge and made our way down to the boat moorings. It was a great feeling as we manouvered the boat up past the narrows passing the boathouse bay and the point of the woods. We were full of expectation as we headed out into the middle of the loch passing Spiers Island as we made for the North West Corner of the Loch. We made our first drift of the season from the north west Corner to the Eastercroft Bay as the wind was coming from a north westerly direction. I set up with a Sunburst Kate on the point, a ginger palmer on the middle and a black claret bobs bits on the top. I never touched a thing . Scott had a take as we drifted past the Big Moss. We then had our next drift from the north shore to the back of the woods. Then tried variuos other drifts from other locations before finally calling it a day in the boathouse bay. We never saw a fish rise all night which was surprising as there was insect activity on the water from time to time. I really enjoyed drifting on the Loch today but it could have been better had the fish came out to play. As usual I got plenty pics from around the loch. Next time we are out I hope to have one or two fish to show in them.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday at Hillend



As this is the start of the Easter Holiday weekend I decided to go up the Loch this afternoon. I should have known better not go up there today as it was very very busy with anglers. It was far too busy for my liking so I decided to return home to tie some flies and then go back up later in the evening. So this afternoon I tied up some flies based loosely on the Bobs Bits pattern. I called them the Dabblersbitsandbobs. I used a size 10 hook, black claret seals fur for the body silver tinsel for the rib and mirage tinsel on one of them and a natural hen feather for the head hackle. I went back up to the Loch at about half past seven tonight to the Big Moss. A cold Easterly wind was blowing down the Loch which restricted my fishing from the moss. I set up with a two fly cast of dabblersbitsandbobs. I persevered for a while then reckoned I should move right down to the corner of the dam near the yachting club. It was a good choice as I hooked into a trout right away which leaped right out of the water as it fought for its life which it eventually won as it through the fly after several leaps and runs. A few casts later I was into another fish this time though I knew right away that this was no trout as the pike really do fight differently from a trout. After an exciting struggle with the Jack pike it wasn't until I got the Jack in the net that I could establish which fly it had taken. It was fooled by the point fly which was the bits fly with the mirage tinsel rib. After removing the fly I returned the pike back to whence it came. All in all this has indeed been a Good Friday

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Buzzing at Hillend!




I arranged for a half day holiday from work today in order to get an afternoon of fishing at Hillend. I opted for the North Shore today. I arrived at the Loch about 1 o'clock in the blistering heat and a very calm surface. Conditions were really awful for fly fishing so I just lay back and lapped up the sun and took in my surroundings for a while then I noticed a fish or it could have been others too rising to the surface every now and then and obviously feeding on hatching insects. It was quite exciting watching the fish show their backs and tail on the surface as they feasted on what I reckoned was hatching buzzers. Later I was to be proved correct as I could not resist having a few casts at them every time they showed. I tied on a small size 14 black spider and eventually a rainbow trout fell for my imitation. After netting the fish I dispatched it and while removing the fly I noticed that its mouth was full of what appeared to be black buzzers there was absolutely dozens of them. I have to admit that this trout was not in the best of condition although I did get a photograph of it I am not putting it on here as its not of the usual quality we come to expect from Hillend Rainbows. Instead here is a pic of fisherman who caught the trout today and come to think of it I'm not in good condition either, this pic is just as bad as that trout but the location I was fishing was much more photogenic

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Roughrigg today Hillend tonight!




Had a bit of a busy day today. First of all I was out on the bike this morning and decided to have a cycle up to Roughrigg Reservoir. It was a lovely sunny morning and I sat around a while up there in the brilliant morning sunshine. Roughrigg is known locally as the Waterworks. The reservoir was constructed between 1846 and 1849 as a joint venture between the Forth and Clyde Canal owners and the Airdrie and Coatbridge Water Company. Water was drawn from the reservoir for the Canal and also to supply the water needs of the population of Airdrie and Coatbridge. The agreement lasted until 1874 as the A and C water company bought out the F and C Owners. The Airdrie and Coatbridge Water Company eventually became West of Scotland Water who subsequently became Scottish Water but they no longer operate it as a functioning water works and it is now leased to Roughrigg Angling Club. I have never fished Roughrigg , It's a nice enough Reservoir but I prefer Hillend Loch to satisfy my angling needs.

After lazing around up at Roughrigg I decided to head back home it was a great ride back down as it was nearly downhill all the way back to Dabbler HQ. On my return I was instructed to take err indoors down the Clyde Valley as she was wanting to visit the gardening Nurseries that are a plenty down there as she was wanting some plants etc. The River Clyde looked busy with anglers as I passed the Mauldslie Estate. After doing my domestic duty I got back home for a bite to eat then I went up to Hillend to fish from the Big Moss. It was such a perfect night with a light warm breeze coming from the West but let's just say..... The highlight of the evening at Hillend was watching a big full moon rise above the East End of the Loch. I haven't got a clue where the fish have been hiding this week.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Mixed Fortunes at Hillend



Tonight I arranged with Scott to go up to the Loch tonight. This was Scott's first visit to Hillend this season. I checked this afternoon to see if the boats on Hillend were available but although the boats have been put back on the Loch again they will not available until next weekend as the boats, engines and batteries and the like have still to checked over to see if everything is in order before they can be made available to the members. Scott and I were keen to get out on the boat this weekend but we will have to wait another week so we decided to give the Big Moss at the South West end of the Loch a try tonight. To cut a long story short I failed to touch a fish with my flies but Scott had better luck he managed to net a nice brace of Hillend rainbow trout. Scott sportingly returned his trout to fight another day. The first fish was caught on a Kate Mclaren on the top dropper the second on a bibio on the middle dropper. A light warm breeze was coming from the west tonight and although we witnessed a good few hatches of buzzers we only managed to see about three or four fish rising on the surface. We packed up tonight as darkness fell. Scott was very happy with his first visit of the season I was a little frustrated at the lack of fish in my bag but all being well I'll be back up on Wednesday to try again.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Fooled by a Hillend Scruff



The title of this post might have you thinking that a fish was fooled by one of my fishing buddies but alas this was not the case, Let me explain. I Had a visit to Hillend tonight on my own for a few casts. It was a perfect night for fishing a nice warm breeze was blowing from the west. Tonight was the first time I have felt the warmth in the air. This is a good sign as the Loch will now begin to heat up and we should experience more fish activity in the top layers in the coming days and nights.

I was once again fishing from one of the jetties on the South shore. I set up with a sunburst kate on the point and a Hillend Scruff on the dropper. I fished for a while without seeing or touching any fish then out of the blue a fish made a splashy rise well within casting distance. I cast my line right into the area where I had seen the fish and my reel screamed instantly with a leaping and splashing rainbow on the end of my line. Its a great feeling when you cast to a rising fish and get a reaction. The trout was fooled by my Black and claret Hillend Scruff. I will now have to tie up more of these flies as when Tam gets to hear about this he will be wanting some for his box lol!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Wild Hillend Pike


Yesterday I mentioned in my blog that I would be going up later to the Loch. I went up around 5 30pm when most of the day ticket folk had made they're way home resulting in the Loch being less crowded, the way I prefer it. I walked along the South Shore to the Bracco Burn area I fished for a wee while without success and eventually just sat back and watched the local Bird Life on the Loch. I was nearly falling asleep enjoying the rest and the view but decided to have another few casts. I persevered without success then decided to change my location and moved along to one of the old jetties further along the Loch. I tied on one of my Sunburst Kates which had been successful on Saturday night, well it came up trumps again as I hooked into one of Hillend's truely wild fish... A nice Jack Pike around the 3lb mark. I thought right away that it was a pike as they're really is a difference between thenm and the trout with regards to the struggle they put up. The pike tend to stay deep while the trout leap all over the place. After a great wee fight I landed The pike, photographed him then carefully removed the fly with my long forceps then returned him to fight another day.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Hillend From the Train



Today my Bike and I boarded a train at Airdrie the destination was Armadale in West Lothian. The purpose of my journey was to have a bike ride from Armadale and down the new routed cycle path back home to Airdrie all in the good cause of weight loss and fitness and as well as that I had been looking forward for some time now to seeing Hillend Loch from the train. As you can see from above I captured it on video. I got it all wrong today though as I should have pedalled up to Armdale and caught the train home as was the case yesterday a fierce westerly wind was prevailing and blowing straight into me as I cycled west. To say it was hard going is an undrsatement. I stopped off at the Hillend Lodge for a well earned rest and a drink and got talking to some anglers then I was off again but soon stopped once again at the Bracco Burn for a blether with some well known Hillenders. They told me that my friend Tam caught the biggest fish of the day in the Inter Club Competition yesterday between The Lily Boys(Clarkston Angling Club) and my Club The Hillenders( Airdrie & District Anglers). Tam fishes for the enemy lol! The Lily Boys won by the smallest of margins I believe. I'll be making sure he doesn't get any of my flies for the next fly fishing round of the Inter Club Competition lol! After stopping and chatting I had lost the momentim I had bult up and it was a real struggle to get going going again but I persevered and made it home all be it shattered. I'm going up to Hillend later for a few casts along the South Shore but this time I will be arriving by car.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A Sharpes Gordon for Me!

Late this afternoon after I finished my Saturday shift at work I skipped dinner and decided to go up to Hillend for a few hours. I decided to take Gordon with me for the first time this year. Gordon ? I hear my friends asking, who's Gordon?. Let me explain. I should have said.... Sharpes Gordon..... my 6 weight fly rod. Up until today I had been using my trusty Daiwa Lochmore 7 weight at the Loch. The sharpes Gordon is a teriffic rod but is very light and is more suited to small lochans and streams. The reason I like to use it at Hillend from time to time is because when I play a fish on it it really feels different from the heavier Daiwa and you can really feel every jerk,dive and pull of the fish which makes it more fun to be honest as you are never sure that you have the fish under full control until you have the trout in the net.
When I arrived at the Loch this afternoon I opted to fish the North Shore of the Narrows which yielded a trout soon after on one of those Sunburst Kates I tyed up last week. After trying for another I moved round to the BHB. A very strong westerly wind was raging up the loch so I went round to the west side of the bay to get the wind at my back. No more trout were caught so decided to pack up at about eight o'clock but before departing I had a few more cast in the narrowws then went back down the road to get my dinner and a couple of glasses of fine red wine.