Saturday, 31 December 2011

Goodbye to 2011

Thought it would appropriate to make one last post before the year is out. Hogmanay of course is a time when we like to reflect on the year just passed. We Scots tend to get all sentimental and many a tear is shed as the bells ring in the new year.
I like to make new year resolutions but I'm not going to share them as they are often broke after only a matter of weeks.
The highlight of my year fishing wise was of course catching my first ever salmon on my first ever salmon trip. That was something really special. There have been a few highs as well as lows on the angling front but I'm not going to dwell but remain upbeat as we go into the new year.
I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very prosperous New year and may all your fish be big uns!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Peter Ross

Well that's all the festive giving and receiving over for another year. Therefore I've now got time to concentrate on my blog again. For over a month now I have had problems with my pc but all issues are resolved now because Santa/Val got me a new one.
Over the last week or so I have tied various style of flies so I thought I would share one of those patterns with you. Its a fly you either love or hate. The Peter Ross. Its amazing how many fishermen will tell you that they have never caught a single fish on this pattern but there will be just as many who will tell that they would never be without it. I like to use this fly on Highland lochans I have also had success with it at Hillend too.
There is an enjoyable and interesting account of the use of this pattern in a chapter titled 'Peter and I in the Corrie Halloch' in Robert McDonald Robertson's wonderful book called Wade the River Drift the Loch. You should really try and get a hold of this book it really is a delight.The Peter Ross was devised by a Killin store keeper of the same name as a variation of the Teal and red. I imagine it represents small fry. It also has a reputation for sea trout as well as browns. Go on give it a chuck in the new season and prove the doubters wrong.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Traditional River Floats!

Today My Blog is two years old. It's a real delight to share my fishing related experiences and to watch my viewing numbers increase as they have done over these past two years. I am now on average receiving 1,250 views a month which is very encouraging. Its more than I could have ever have hoped for when I first started this venture. Anyway I digress. Today I thought I would share the news that I will be receiving these beautiful hand made traditional grayling river floats within the next couple of days. They are made by George Lockhart a Scot now living in Yorkshire I have a link to his blog on my side bar... Traditional Floats.
You may recall a blog post from last month about a successful day on the Clyde fishing for grayling with John, on that day John showed me a plethora of floats that he had acquired over the years but the ones that caught the eye were the very beautiful floats that he had, made by George. I thought they were real works of art and told John that I would be scared to use them in case I lost them, he just laughed.
After seeing these floats first hand I decided to contact George about the availability of making me a set, through the Clyde Fishing Forum where he is an active member and regularly post his fishing exploits on there. He was more than Happy to make me a set but told me there would be a four or five week wait as this is a busy time for him and only makes them in his spare time in the evenings.Well just last week George contacted me to say that my floats were almost ready and sent me a pic of the floats to see that I was happy with them. At the time of taking the pic George told me they still had a couple of layers of lacquer to be applied.I think you will agree that they look rather splendid and I cant wait to use them on the River over the festive period.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Dabbler's Xmas Wish!

Well its that time of year again when every fisherman has got to turn his thoughts to the very serious matter of what he wants for Christmas.Its not as easy as it first appears because the choice of game fishing accessories is quite bewildering these days. Difficult the choice may be, I’m sure that by way of this blog, Val, oops, sorry I mean Santa will take the hint and get me what I want for Christmas. Now then there are various things I could be doing with, for a start I could do with a new pair of waders, These brethables I have at the moment let in water like the lily burn rushing into the rizzer in full flow, Yes I really could be doing with a new pair of waders. A new floating fly line, I could always do with some top of the range fly lines oh! and some of those wonderful hand crafted grayling floats that George Lockhart makes . Living on a financial knife-edge means that I am always putting economy before efficiency, so what better time of year could you ask for some hi- tech gear. You see that is the beauty of Christmas you don’t have to pay. This being the case I think I will ask for a Sage four-piece travel rod with matching reel. I must say, that I have been a very good angler this year Santa so if you could kindly get me a season ticket for an exclusive beat on the Tweed or Naver I’m not bothered which river you choose, it would be really be appreciated, you see I already have a ticket for Hillend Loch so it would be beneficial to me if I could broaden my horizons and put my fishing skills to the test on some of the more challenging waters that there are to offer. Oh and as a little extra add-on could you guarantee me that I could catch at least one fish on each trip I make as it does really get embarrassing coming home empty handed time after time and having to make up excuses, such as, the water was too low or the water was too high or that the wind was that strong that I couldn’t get my line out far enough to reach the fish. Could you also make sure that when I’m fishing I’m always within sight of my friends so that they can see me when I connect with a fish. For a joy shared on a riverbank is a pleasure doubled I would also like it not to be raining every time I go on a fishing trip, you see this beautiful country of mine has a climate problem - its always bloody raining, In the last few years, my fly fishing travels have taken me to some truly awe inspiring locations bit it is always the same scenario, lovely all the way on the journey until I almost reach my destination, you guessed it down comes the mist down pours the rain or if its at the start of the season an easterly gale might come thundering in and just for good measure bring along the snow for company. Like I already said we have a very serious climatic problem and I can think of only one solution “ we need a roof “ I’m getting a bit flippant now I know that’s impossible, even for you Santa, I’d be happy if you could just stop it from raining every once in a while. This is Christmas the time for goodwill to all men and all that stuff. It’s not a lot to ask for, is it? Santa? I don’t suppose I’m the only applicant but I’ve been extremely good this year and after all it is Christmas.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Hillend Palmer!

I've had a lazy weekend this week and never ventured out much as the weather has been pretty horrible with it snowing off and on all day today. As well as doing my usual reading etc I spent a few hours at the bench this afternoon tying some more flies. I got an unexpected compliment today from non other than Davie McPhail who I regard as one of the best tyers in Europe if not the world.He commented that he liked one of my patterns which has encouraged me greatly because to get a compliment from Davie really is high praise indeed.I therefore went on to tie more of the style of fly he liked. Lets call this the Hillend Palmer. Here is one of those patterns which I really do enjoy tying and also like to use at Hillend on a cast of three while drifting the Loch from a boat.
The pattern is as follows Hook size, 10 Kamazan. Thread, Brown Uni. Tail, Yellow floss. Body, Copper holographic tinsel. Body Hackle, Brown grizzle cock. Rib, Copper wire. Head hackle, Hen neck Dun.