Monday, 24 September 2018

A fisher in the hills

Warning this report contains no tales of rising, catching or losing troot!
I was keen to get to Galloway  yesterday for what I imagine will be a last day at the broonies this season!
It was a disappointment troot wise as I returned home piscatorially challenged!
The 100 mile road trip South West, took longer than anticipated as did the extremely boggy climb and walk up to the loch which sits at over 1,000ft above sea level.
I was concerned about the cattle with calves blocking my way on the upward path which runs along a dyke. I seriously thought about turning back. Then I  noticed more of them coming up behind me sounding not best pleased. I had no option but to carry on. Much to my relief they moved sideways up the hill to let me past.
Eventually I made it to the  loch which looked absolutely stunning in this wonderful location.
I arrived at the back of twelve then had lunch, strung my rod and tried to find an area that was comfortable to fish.
Fishing was tough from the bank as the underfoot conditions were difficult with rutted bog, high slopes and rock. I was informed a few day earlier that the next loch further up was better for bank fishing however it took me long enough to get to the first loch. I couldn't get to the area I wanted to fish as I couldn't get across the burn as it was running fast and high and I was just in my wellies. Eventually I reached  the West shore where a big burn rushes in and managed to spend some time around that area starting off with a floating line then switching to a sink tip but all to no avail.
I really didn't  fish it hard and was just contented admiring the wonderful scenery.
Time was limited as It was a two hour walk for me back down  to the car.
On the way back I saw two mountain goats which bolted when startled!
Thankfully and much to my relief there was no sign of the Coos!
The walk back was horrendous I slipped and fell all over the place on the way down until I made it back to the forest track and then the car!
The scenery on the other hand made it all worthwhile!
Hope to return to this area next year in the early summer and hopefully have a tale or two to tell of troot!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

At the vice again!

I'm yearning to travel to the southwest corner of Scotland to have a last cast at the troot before the season ends.
With this I  mind I've being tying a few flies for a trip to a couple of hill lochs that are on my radar!

Monday, 17 September 2018

A Zulu from Orkney!

Came across a pattern called the Orkney peach tailed coch zulu (which is a bit of a mouthful for a human never mind a troot) online tonight. Its  a pattern I don't have so I tied one up however I didn't have any peach so a light orange tail will have to do! Looks like a useful and  interesting pattern to have in the box!

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Fiery Brown Bumble

I'm really quite keen to get another fishing trip in before the season ends but don't know where or when I'm going to get the opportunity to do so as I'm a bit busy at present. In the meantime I'm trying to temper my enthusiasm by spending some time at the vice.
Today I tied a couple of fiery brown bumbles.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Claret Dabbler

I've been trying a few flies over the weekend and today I was at the vice again. I've been trying a lot of deer hair flees recently but today I turned to Dabblers. Here's two Claret Dabblers from the Dabbler's vice. This pattern is based on a Davie McPhail pattern I watched him tie at a Glasgow Angling Centre flytying demo a number of years ago!

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Kate McLaren Muddler

This afternoon I'm tying Kate McLaren Muddlers #KMM  I very pleased with the first one off the vice today!  A style that is really enjoyable to tie!

As I've said recently I haven't really fished Hillend this season and right now it's even less appealing as it looks so industrial and abandoned with the water levels being so low.
However I'm up at the loch quite frequently cycling the pathway and surrounding backroads and often nip into the clubhouse for a coffee.
Even though the loch doesn't look it's best at the moment I managed to capture some stunning scenes. You just need to be there at the right time.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

How low can it go?

I've never seen the Narrows look so narrow. Its a bit worrying that it's so dry. Its gonna take a helluva lot of rain to bring the loch back up to normal levels

Up the Heelins with obliging trout

Had a good day out at the Spey Dam with my fishing buddy Scott! On arrival conditions weren't great as the loch was like a mirror with zero wind. We were therefore in no rush to get started!
Once out the low cloud cleared and a gentle breeze started. We had a few casts in the areas that had a ripple but with no success. Then the weather changed. A strong wind got up along with heavy rain. Scott got two trout in that drift.
Next drift Scott got another and I was still fishless. By this time the wind reduced and the rain cleared We had  another drift  without success. We went back ashore for lunch. After lunch we started getting frequent trout action  on various drifts between the boat moorings and the island. In total we managed 17 trout between us. Scott managed 11 and I fooled 6. The most successful flees were Loch Ordies and muddlers. The sedgehog created a lot of interest with trout splashing at it and getting numerous takes with it  however only two troot were caught with it.
All in all after a slow start we had a very satisfying and enjoyable day among some lovely scenery and obliging troot!

Sedgehog Day

Had a most enjoyable day at a Perthshire lochan with Bobfly last week.

However before we went off fishing I met up with Bobfly at his workshop where he customised my fins which I use with the tube. His alterations worked a treat. Hes very inventive is Mr Bobfly. Job done we then enjoyed a coffee and some lovely cake made by Mrs Bobfly. Then we set off!

Once at the loch we geared up and went out on the tubes! We were soon into fish. It's a lovely setting which looks sheltered but we encountered a good breeze which changed direction all day! As the afternoon got on the trout count was mounting! In the end we both  caught numerous trout. I fished most of the day with my red sedgehog which fooled all my fish with the exception of two wee trout which took a muddler. I believe Bobfly's most successful pattern was a sedgehog too.

As we were ending our day two other anglers arrived  who went out on the boat! So we called it a day and set off back down  the road. On the drive back home we picked up a bird and took her back to Bobfly's place!.

Its all quite innocent however as a poor unfortunate pheasant walked right out in front of us and met it's end! I got some nice fresh feathers for my flytying box and Bobfly got some meat for the pot! 

Four Fly Guys!

Last month I was fortunate enough to be one of four fly men namely, The Dabbler, Bibio, Soldier Palmer and Bob Fly who had a weeks fishing on Lewis and Bernera.
I was keen to go this year as I missed out last year due to a family bereavement therefore I was really looking forward to this trip as I haven't done much fishing over the past year or so.

The weather for our week was a mixed bag of wind, rain and sunny intervals, with  more wind, rain and sunny intervals in between.

Bibio and I arrived a day later than planned on the Sunday evening while Solidier Palmer and Bob Fly arrived the day before. We soon settled in and over a few beers we planned the week ahead

Monday. Bob Fly and I visited the Callanish Stones to pick up good vibes before going out on the tubes on a Lewis Loch further east. We both caught a decent number of troot, we lunched on an island and had a wonderful day bobbing about the loch Catching, missing, dropping and rising troot to various patterns!
Then it was back to the digs to meet up with the two other fly men for dinner, drinks and chatter about our respective days among the troot. On this occasion Bobfly made a lovely stew which went down well with every one!

Tuesday. I was on a loch near the digs with Soldier Palmer. I was on the tube while SP  fished from the shore!
Again another successful day with a good few fish with a couple of them being of a decent size!
Once we had our fill we both returned to the digs. While waiting on the other two fly chaps I went out for a walk around and above the nearby lochs and hills to take in some of the lovely views.
When all four of us got back to the digs I made a meal on a Stravaig for the lads for the first time and was  pleasantly surprised that my pasta bolognaise went down well. Afterwards we indulged in the usual refreshments and snacks followed by a wee bit of flytying!

Wednesday. I was on a boat with Bibio. I found this to be a really tough day as I didn't cope very well on the boat in the high winds. All my failings and inadequate casting ability came to the fore resulting in me only getting one nice small brown trout and a fingerling troot too!
However Bobio coped admirably In the poor conditions and made his casting style look effortless which brought him success with the fish. He was a joy to watch and at a level of fishing and casting that I should aspire to.
In the end I was a little embarrassed at how poor I coped with casting  in that wind as well as all  tangles.
I was probably a hinderence to Bibio and the boatman.
However it was a great experience in some truly outstanding remote scenery.
I may not have caught much fish but I did manage to capture some great photos that day!
Back at the digs Soldier Palmer had intended firing up a bbq but weather conditions dictated otherwise so SP rustled up some chicken, sausages and chips in the oven instead, followed refreshments, crisps and nuts. No flies were tied that night as I was shattered and had an early ish night!

Thursday.  Bob Fly and I were on the hoof to a couple of lochs up on the moors above the Pentland Rd. We both caught a good number of trout but nothing of any great note size wise!
Back at the digs Bibio made a nice big pot of haggis, neeps and tatties. Followed by the customary drinks and talk of our respective troot encounters!

Friday. Our last day fishing. I was out with Bob Fly while Soldier Palmer went elsewhere with Bibio.
Bob Fly and I were on the tubes again and on this occasion we wandered between four local lochs which were all connected by small burns. We started at the furthest away loch and made our way between them ending on the loch where our cottage was situated. This was an fantastic and interesting day! I caught a few dark trout from the first loch, nothing on the second loch, however Bobfly caught a cracker about the 1lb 3/4 mark on the 2nd loch which was rather windy, infact I was a bit uneasy on that loch due to the  wind on the exposed arm of this loch!
We then moved onto the 3rd loch which turned out to be rather weedy, however it proved to have lovely brightly marked trout in abundance which were a real pleasure to fool and release!
By the time we reached the 4th loch the wind went into overdrive so we didn't spend too much time out there. As much as we tried we never got an offer on the last loch and ended our day on the tube right in front of the digs!
And so my much anticipated fishing Stravaig to the Outer Hebrides was over!
Back at the digs over a few drinks I took stock and thought to myself what fantastic wild flyfishing experience that was
I had finally got my fishing mojo back!