Wednesday, 30 November 2011

French Partridge & Malt

I've been tying a few flies this week mostly gold headed grayling bugs and leaded nymphs and the like. I find them very easy to tie and to be honest they can be a bit of a chore as there is no real skill involved in tying them.
Today I thought I would tie a few flies that I believe is my forte and the style that I get most enjoyment out of. What better way to make use of the tons of French Partridge that I have amassed than to tie a few of these flies which are loosely based on an Irish May fly pattern.This style of pattern is best used in the warm months of May and June, which seem an age away, and is best fished on the top dropper. My new fly box is steadily filling up but my fine bottle of malt is diminishing as I sit here at the tying desk on these dark dreich winter nights.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Frustrations of an Angler.

This week has been rather frustrating for me thus far.I have been really busy with non fishing related stuff over the last week and also my pc is still playing up every now and again. I have tied a few flies but have no means of uploading as pc problems prevail but there is hope on the horizon as I have high hopes of a new lap top in the next few weeks.
Anyway I digress the next best thing to fishing is reading about it I therefore took delivery of a couple of angling books last week. A Singing Reel by Moray McLaren and Long Walks with Little People by Bruce Sandison. I haven't had much time to read them thoroughly yet. The Moray McLaren book was recommended to me by a fellow fisherman but after reading the first couple of chapters its pretty difficult reading as its quite an old book and written in a style of its time but I will persevere with it when I get time. The Bruce Sandison book appears to be very good though. It's fairly light reading about Bruce raising his young family and introducing them to angling and the outdoor life in general. It is very humorous reading, very enjoyable in fact.
I was hoping to have a visit to the River Clyde this week but the weather has put an end to any thoughts of trotting for grayling for the time being as there has been heavy flooding in these parts over the last few days.Today I'm sure I saw animals leave the Lanarkshire countryside two by two.
On the plus side I have a nice bottle of 12 year old Speyside Malt, Cardhu, which I fully intend to enjoy whilst tying flies, reading about fishing and waiting for the rain to stop.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

No Grayling Today!

Today I returned to the scene of my first real success at the grayling which was two weeks ago now.
We arrived at Abbington Services in the dark about seven o clock, we had a coffee and a bite to eat and waited for the sun to rise. As daylight broke it revealed a very grey and overcast sky. We soon made our way over to the river.
This time I didn't have the expertize of John by my side to assist me. This time I took along my friend Scott who is also a novice at the trotting lark. I had told him all about my last time on the Clyde two weeks ago and how great it was so I was putting a lot of pressure on myself as I had made it sound as if we were bound to have success.I set up my trotting gear as before but with a little more length below the float as the water was higher than the last time but it wasn't really all that dirty. I had a maggot on the bottom and the pink bug about ten inches above that with the weighted shot in between.
After only fifteen minutes or so I was into a fish sadly it was not a grayling but a nice wee brown trout which was fooled by the maggot.After a quick pic it was released back into the river. I fished on and soon after Scott was into a fish this time it looked a more substantial sized fish that mine but once again it was a brown trout and this fish was duped by the pink bug. As I hurriedly made my way along the bank towards Scott to get a pic of his fish the trout managed to wriggle away from Scott as he held it in the water so unfortunately we didn't get a photo of it.
We fished on for an hour or so but no further fish were caught. Today the weather was quite different from my last trip and because it was so dark and grey I struggled to see my float at times which wasn't a problem the last time when it was bright and sunny. I was using an orange tipped float . I was wondering if someone could advise on which colour is best for dark overcast conditions? I was thinking black might be a good colour.
We next moved onto a couple of other locations on the river that were reccommended to me by John but alas I had no more success.Scott and I really enjoyed ourselves and once again it was a big learning curve for both of us. It was just great to be out there!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Spiders! lost in a web of problems.

All week I have been having problems with my pc.Therefore I haven't been able to access my blog to load up pics or write some posts etc. It turns out my pc is completely goosed. Tonight is the first time I have managed to get online all week as I have a replacement now but it's not very good it's rather old and slow a bit like how I feel these days. I'm ready for throwing it in a skip as it won't accept my camera, my phone or even load up my photoshop programme.Therefore my ability to load new pics from my camera are zero. Not being in cyberspace this week has had its advantages though as I have been reading Mike Harding's book on North Country Spiders and spending more time at the tying desk tying those style of flies.Here is one I tied a while back to give you an idea of the flies I have been tying this week. This is a woodcock and ginger.
I'm not good with computers, as long its working I'm fine but when things go wrong I am hopeless at trying to remedy the faults.I have dropped enough hints to the wife about geting a lap top for my Christmas but I dont know if I could wait that long or if she even will get me one, I live in hope. Not sure when I will be making another blog post as it all depends on my pc plight. Bye for now folks!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A day to remember and forget!

Yesterday was the worst day of my life. To let you understand I was in the town of Coatbridge at the disgraceful hovel that is Cliftonhill to watch my dearly beloved Airdrie FC play Albion Rovers. If you don’t already know we suffered the most horrendous defeat in our history. Embarrassed and humiliated I was in much need of being cheered up; therefore a day on the River Clyde in the pursuit of grayling was the perfect tonic.
John and I arrived at the River in a cold and frosty Sunday morning but the frost soon disappeared as the warmth of the sun moved from the east to enliven this glorious day.
Not having much experience at trotting the river, John helped set me up and gave me all the advice I needed to get started. He let me have the first few runs through the river and then when John was setting up he lowered his float into the river and a trout immediately grabbed the maggot. Next cast John landed the first grayling of the day, which took John’s unorthodox bug. Then he caught another and another. I too was soon into some grayling and a couple of trout. All this lasted for most of the morning. We lost count of the grayling that came to the net in various sizes. We then had a coffee break and a bite to eat. Refreshed, we started trotting again and fished for another hour but for some reason all the fish seemed to have disappeared.
We then decided to move down river and switch tactics by giving the fly rods a try. Sadly the nymphs and bugs we used with our fly rods didn’t tempt any more fish. We then reverted back to trotting. One more trout and the biggest grayling of the day were landed. That big grayling that John landed was an absolute beauty and made the whole trip worthwhile. We were not entirely sure of its definite weight but it was well over 2lb. If it had been me who caught this wonderful specimen it would have been a personal best but remarkably John has had plenty grayling in the past which have been larger. We fished on a little longer until the light faded and the air turned cold.
We soon packed up, walked back down river and across the fields back to the car and reflected on a very successful and satisfying day on the Clyde.
As I was packing my gear into the car I suddenly remembered something I had forgotten all about. Ach well I can always ease the pain by having more fishing trips to the Clyde over the winter in order to forget.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Red Tag

For my first blog post of the month I have tied a fly which has taken me back to basics, The Red Tag, which was one of the first flies I ever tied when I first started out flytying. It is a very simple but effective pattern that has the distinction of being the most popular grayling fly in Great Britain. It originates from the mid eighteen hundreds in Worcestershire where it was first known as the Worcestershire Gem. Many years ago a work colleague who is sadly no longer with us took me on my first ever grayling trip to Kinkell Bridge on the River Earn. Being a novice at the time John provided me with everything I would need and the fly that was on my first ever cast for grayling was the Red Tag. That day the river was running high and was getting dirtier by the minute but although I didn’t catch a grayling that day I did manage a small sea trout thus proving that the Red Tag is not only a fly for Grayling it’s also a good all round pattern too. Have a go at tying one they really are simple to tie and is good fly to have in your box.