Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Regional Fly Tying.















I've been busy at the tying bench over last couple of nights tying up some patterns that have been recommended to me and which for some reason I don't appear to have in my numerous fly boxes, Hard to believe , I know but its true. One of those patterns is Hugo's Olive which is an apparent must have for a couple of the Caithness Lochs and a fly I imagine from the name was devised by Hugo Ross the Caithness angler and angling retailer. You could say I have been travelling all over the country in a fly tying sense , moving from as far north as Caithness all the way down to Lanarkshire as you can see with my Magpie and Silver which is a Clyde Fly of great repute. As well as these two regions I also tied flies that are synonymous with Ayrshire and patterns from the North West Highlands, Orkney and Ireland. You could say I tied a fair cosmopolitan collection of flies.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

A Trio from the Lily Loch









I decided to give Hillend Loch a miss tonight and decided to walk over the hill with Tam to the Lily Loch instead. We went right up to the west side of the Loch and had our first casts of the evening there. No contact was made with fish so we decided to try our luck along the South shore of the Loch. After a while Tam said he was having a break as he had Bailiff duties to attend to so off he went walking all the way round the Loch and back. He was only away ten minutes when I was into my first fish of the evening, a rainbow trout of about 1 3/4lb. After a quick photo call I was out on the water again and about three casts later I was into my second fish of the night a nice wee natural Lily Loch Broonie which after a quick pic was safely returned to the water. After half an hour or so Tam returned and was surprised to find out that I had caught a couple. He enquired what I had caught them on and told him it was my elk hair sedge pattern. I then opened my fly box and gave him one. About ten minutes later I hooked into my third and final trout of the evening another wee broonie which was returned to the Loch but without the photo call the previous fish had. All in all tonight was rather pleasing and satisfying but a bit frustrating for Tam as he had a busy night fulfilling his Bailiff duties.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Fly Boxes









At the last count I had about a dozen fox boxes all filled with flies not to mention another four or five small boxes. I know that I have more flies than I could ever use in a lifetime. I reckon having so many boxes and flies can cause more problems than finding a solution to catching trout. The plain fact is I have far too many flies to choose from and when it comes to preparing for a fishing outing it's a real headache wondering which boxes to leave behind. Some folk have advised me to just go fishing with about half a dozen patterns the mere thought of that makes me shudder. Don't get me wrong I no longer carry all my boxes with me anymore I have it down to three, sometimes four boxes in my bag these days. I have decided that for my trip to Caithness next month I will be taking just the four boxes the three above plus one other with Hoppers , Daddies, cdc's , sedges and some nymphs. Tam told me has cut down too, he's just taking the one box which I found surprising then I discovered that his one box was one of those huge wooden boxes with four different sides to it. I prefer the fox boxes which I find indispensable. They suit my needs perfectly and are an ideal size to fit into a jacket pocket if required. I recently won a a fly box in a fly tying comp. It was one of those clearwater boxes with the see through lids which at first appeared quite useful but the method of holding the flies was on the foam and I found that the flies were often dislodged and whenever I opened the box they would sometimes fall out which was frustrating especially if standing out on the water on a windy day. I decided to ditch it and put all my flies back into the fox box. The above boxes are three of the four I will be taking to tackle Loch Watten next month.

Monday, 20 June 2011

A Couple of Trout












I visited Hillend on Sunday evening hoping to see rising fish at the sedge. I was in the bay next to the Wee Moss then along by the Big Stane where I covered the only fish I saw all evening then I tried round at the point near the Braco Burn all to no avail. Today though Tosh and I went back into the area near the Braco this morning. After getting the disposable BBQ alight we waited on the first batch of sausages and burgers for breakfast. Soon after we were fishing in the Bay that Tosh fondly calls 4lb bay as he caught a fish of that weight here a few years back. We next tried all along those places I tried the night before, then back to the point next to the Braco. Our perseverence paid off as Tosh caught a trout with his favourite spinner the Black and Gold Toby in....... you guessed it, 4lb Bay. Although this time his trout was of a more modest weight. After rising a couple of fish to my flies east of the Big Stane the unexpected happened I caught a trout on a Kate McLaren. A very welcome fish indeed. We called it quits about 2pm in the blazing sunshine. As I type this this evening I'm considering going back up to the Loch tonight. I better not push my luck though and might just wait until wednesday night.

















Sunday, 19 June 2011

Still Piscatorally Challenged.




Well a week has gone since I last put finger tips to keyboard on here and still I'm piscatorally challenged. I visited Hillend on Tuesday all booted and wadered up and opted for the woodside trying various bays and points. Then on Friday night I gave the narrows ago just down from the club house. It was a terrible night weather wise so I had the place to myself...well for an hour or so before an old codger with a west Lothian accent came along and sat beside me on a bench while I was taking a break. He then plodded into the Loch where I had been fishing which meant I was ousted from my prefered spot. I was furious and decided to move over to the right a bit then the next thing I know he was casting over my bloody line when I was casting at rising fish. He must have been so desperate. I just walked away in disgust and packed up. I think I need a break from Hillend for a while and perhaps try another Loch. I'm not giving up.......just yet, as I am thinking of having another try tonight at the Loch and might find a place on my leader for one or two of the above wee scruffs.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Why does it always rain on Me?









Tonight Scott and I were afloat at Hillend to participate in the annual Hillend Flyfishing Boat pairs competition. The comp runs for a month and is fished at the weekends. It's just your luck what the weather throws at you but normally June can guarantee good weather with plenty of fly life and fish activity on the Loch. Tonight a strong east wind with rain persisted for the whole evening. I prepared well for tonight I had tied up various flies which I thought would be required etc etc especially a Connamara Black which I thought would be just the trick. To cut a long story short Scott caught a cracker of a natural Hillend Broonie and also lost one at the net which was a comedy of errors. I was in charge of the net as Scott played the fish and as he eased it towards the net one of his dropper flies caught on my hat I must have jolted up and the next thing we knew the fish was off. Once again I caught the complete total of hee haw! I really am getting fed up going up to Hillend and coming home without as much as a bite. This situation is really getting to me. I feel like packing this fishing lark in. Its actually getting embarassing the amount of blank days I'm currently experiencing. Every night I go up there I am full of hope and anticipation and every night I come home with the same feeling of dejection. As I maneuvered the boat into the jetty tonight after another fishless and soaked to the bone night I contemplated taking a break from fishing for a few weeks but hell I'm not going to give in I'll be up there again on Monday or Tuesday night trying as hard as ever. Whoever said that there was more to fishing than catching fish was bloody lying.

Monday, 6 June 2011

The Clarkston Tangler and I




Last night Tam and I went afloat at Hillend. We set off from the boat moorings with a strong east wind blowing up the Loch. We had a a drift down the south shore for a short distance but continually got blew into the edge of the no fishing zone at the South shore. Whilst in this area we actually saw a few fish which we presumed to be rising to the Green Drakes. We then decided it would be better to get out the throat of the wind so went round to the back of the woods where it wasn't just so windy. As it happened we ended up staying in this area the rest of the evening trying various drifts. There were quite a few Green Drakes about which a few fish were interested in. The east wind was a constant hindrance to us and eventually down came the rain which soaked us to the bone. We persevered though as quite a few fish were showing especially near the shore under the overhanging trees. I would just like to say at this juncture that Tam has a new name after being frustrated with his casting in the troublesome wind. From now on he will be known as the Clarkston Tangler! I'm certain that he will get me back for that as once again he outdone me on the landing of fish... Tam caught the only trout of the evening on a claret bumble just west of the Lowes Bay. We fished on until about 9.30pm and decided a retreat to the Fishing Lodge was in order where we both enjoyed a hot Bovril with loads of pepper to warm us up.

Friday, 3 June 2011

A Fish at last!







As the title says but not quite. I arrived at Hillend about 10 30 am. Pulled the waders on then my new wading boots and off I went . My first stop was at Boathouse bay. Had a few cast here then walked through the woods to Lowes Bay. I spent quite a bit of time here and also watched many green drakes hatching and fluttering around most were taken by the gulls but surprisingly I only saw one fish rise for them. I next tried the Mound but soon was on the move again. This time I made my way round to the three trees and fished all the way down the bay at the back of the woods. About half way down I felt the jag jag jag of a trout at last. I played him out and eased him over to my my net and just as I was about to put the net under him..... Ping! He was off! The Lord's name was taken in vane and was probably heard right round the woods. Never mind I'm counting it as I probably would have put him back anyway . My only regret was that I never got a photo of the fish which I reckoned looked about 2lb. I fished on but no further fish were hooked landed or lost. I was fishing today with a three fly cast which consisted of a Connemara Black on the point a Doobry on the middle and a Loch Ordie on the bob. My lost fish was caught on the Connemara Black.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Doobry



I received an email last night from one of my Blog followers who is also a regular visitor to the local tackle shop... the Airdrie Angling Centre. Jim had been up at Loch Watten last week and was telling me how he got on. He didn't get out on the Loch on Monday or Tuesday because of the Gales but had three fantastic days at Watten from the Wednesday to the Friday. Anyway he let me know what his most successful patterns were. One of those patterns he mentioned was the Doobry which for some reason I don't have in any of my boxes. As Scott, Tam and I are heading up there in July I decided to knock up a couple these patterns this afternoon. The fly has a great reputation for wild brown trout and was originally devised for the Lochs of Orkney by the well known angler, author and fly tyer Stan Headley. I don't know what he would make of my attempt as the body isn't true to the original as I used a golden olive holographic tinsel as for some reason I didn't have any plain gold tinsel in my box. Need to get some this weekend. I better start on those Loch Ordies which I have promised for Tam as he is fond of fishing those at watten too.