Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Beneath the Black Water


I’ve just been on a fantastic fishing trip but I didn’t leave the house. I was taken on this journey by Jon Berry’s wonderful book called “Beneath the Black Water”
The content of the book is basically all about Jon’s obsession with Ferox trout but it is actually much more than that. It’s actually a glimpse into the last thirteen years of Jon’s life.
Although I certainly do not have a passion for ferox trout nor do I ever intend to hunt for these mysterious creatures I really did find this book compulsive reading. His whole obsession and compulsion really struck a chord with me. I defy any passionate fisherman who reads this book not to deny that they see a bit of themselves within these pages. Jon captures the essence of fishing and in some part explains the theory that there really is more to fishing than catching fish. It’s about the journey, the landscapes, the planning, the anticipation, the people you fish with, the unknown and sheer escapism.
My only criticism of this book is that it wasn’t long enough; I never wanted the journey to end. To be honest I think Jon’s journey hasn’t really ended he has only paused to collect his thoughts.
As you may have guessed I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Clyde Sand Fly


There is a fly that may be encountered from the end of April to the end of May on the Clyde when the conditions are suitable
The fly in question is known on the Clyde as the Sand Fly, but referred to elsewhere as the gravel bed, since it appears on the surface of gravel or sand, before swarming onto the water.
It is a rather drab little creature, but according to Clyde fishers the response of trout to its appearance can be very spectacular.
The hatches take place in the slightly moist sand and gravel near the river edge during sunny days in May.
For some Clyde anglers the Sand Fly season is the absolute pinnacle of the trout season. The recommended areas on the Clyde for sand fly fishing are in the Lammington area and also the Bower Pool area another suggested stretch is the half moon flat between Thankerton and Carstairs. There are many other suitable stretches such as the Elvanfoot area but the hatches maybe later in this location due to it being higher and often more cooler.
There are several artificial flies which some tiers claim to be the must have sand fly patterns but in my opinion and that of many others the definitive Clyde Sand fly pattern has got to be the one included in the Bert Sharps wonderfully rare book, “ Lets Fish the Clyde” The dressing is tied with size 14 or 16 hooks, black thread, a body of very sparsely dubbed mole fur and a wing made from a small brown speckled partridge feather and then a black cock hackle is tied in front of the wing.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Hillend Ant!


I now have a swarm of ants lying on my tying desk. My tying of these has improved with each one I have tied. Like I said, a bit fiddly to start with but with each ant that falls from the vice they appear to be improving. I'll tie a few more then move onto more conventional patterns. Here is the latest to come from my vice.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Dabbler's Ant


No, my latest blog post is not about one of my rarely seen relatives that I only ever meet at weddings and funerals it's my latest creation from the vice at Dabbler HQ. I have been talking to some folk who use these style of flies on Scottish Lochs and rivers would you believe? I think you will agree that it is a most unusual pattern and not the sort of fly you would use on Scottish Lochs which are normally the preserve of the Traditional Scottish wets but I have been reliably informed that wild brown trout of the Highlands cannot resist them.I can exclusively reveal that a double figure Scottish wild brown trout which is the anglers personal best was fooled by one these beasties.I must confess I have never used this style of fly before but I'm willing to give them a try next season based on the success stories that I have been hearing. I found them to be a wee bit fiddly to tie at first but soon got used to tying them. They are good fun to tie and with a bit of imagination I'm sure I could come up with many variations but the one above is the basic style. I think its the movement of the rubber rubber legs that is the trigger point for the trout. Go on give them a try they are fun to tie and I'm sure even better fun to fish with.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Hillend Zonker


With the trout season over I decided to have lazy weekend. Last night I had a few beers whilst watching the Scotland match on tv and this morning I gave my blog a long overdue freshen up by changing the header and footer and also changing some of the pics on my side bar. Let me know what you think of the changes. This afternoon rather than go for a bike ride up to Hillend as was my intention, I decided stay indoors because of the weather and decided to do a bit of reading and also spend some time at the vice. I had been reading recently on a forum I frequent about the use of big flies for big trout, personally I don't think the size of fly matters much its just down to luck whether you catch a whumper or not. This notion though gave me an idea to use up the zonker strips that have been lying in by tying chest for a number of years now. Therefore for a bit of fun I tied up a few of these Hillend Zonkers. To be honest I can actually see these being of great use at Hillend at the start of the season next year.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Trout season ends.... Flytying Nights Begin!

Well that's another trout fishing season over.I went upto the loch today for the last time but I didn't even leave my car as it was blowing a gale today with heavy rain. I decided that it wouldn't be worth the effort even though it was the last couple of hours of the season I just sat in the warmth of the car with the rain battering the windows and read a book. It was a season of mixed fortunes for me. I didn't do too well at Hillend this year but that could be down to a number of reasons. maybe I didn't fish Hillend as often as I have done in the past , A lot of my visits were just for an hour or so, I spent quite a bit of time just walking around taking photos etc. I was mostly fishing on my own at Hillend this year too which is fine but I do prefer to have company when fishing. Of course it could be that I 'm just a crap angler. I had better days and more enjoyment away from Hillend this year but once again I didn't get as many away days in as I would have liked to.Highlight of my fishing season was of course catching my first, losing my second and catching my third salmon wow! what a memory. There were so many lochs that I intended to visit but didn't find time to fit them in ach! well there's always next year.Only 160 days until the start of the season.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Back at the Vice!


You may have noticed in these pages over the last couple of months that I haven't been flytying much but that is all about to change with the end of the fishing season imminent and the dark nights really starting to kick in. I've recently lost by enthusiasm for watching the football so this afternoon instead of dragging myself along to New Broomfield to watch the Diamonds I switched on my radio to listen to Radio Scotland's football coverage, Open all Mics, and pulled up a chair at my tying desk and stuck some fur and feather onto some hooks. The fly on display here is a variation of Watson's Bumble , a great Loch style pattern, which will undoubtedly be the first of many that I will tye over the dark winter nights. Oh aye! My team had an emphatic victory today, which is just typical whenever I'm not in attendance.