Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Opening Day 2023.

At last its here! The Glorious 15th.
Its been a long dark winter.
The rods are ready. the reels have been greased and the flies have been tied.
This is always an exciting time for anglers as we are full of optimism and dream of red letter days by the lochside.
Hillend is once again open for trout fishing for the next 8 months and I wonder what the coming months have in store for me? Memorable days and most probably forgetful blanks!!!
Last year my first cast of the season was thwarted  by my time in the covid Jail and this year its been delayed again by work commitments and icey weather.
As I left for work this morning the temperature gauge was showing -3°
However I'm hopeful  that the temperature will rise and I'll get up to Hillend for an hour or so after work at the weekend..
As well as the bread and butter of the club water fishing this year Ive got a cuple of fishing breaks  arranged to the Outer Hebrides and Caithness as well as day trips to the highlands so there is a lot to look forward to.

Sunday, 26 February 2023

A Colourful Bumble

Its been a while since I last made a tying video. Heres a link to a wee pattern you may have seen pics of recently on my blog.

Thursday, 16 February 2023


Just a quick post to mention how inspired Ive been to spend some time at the vice after visiting the BFFI last weekend.
At the risk of repeating myself it was wonderful to meet up with like minded people who are as passionate about flytying as I am
Heres some pics of my recent time at the vice!

Monday, 13 February 2023

BFFI 2023 ( part 1)

Sunday12th of February I attended the British Flytying Fair International @ Stafford.
However I travelled South the night before for an overnight stay in Penrith at my brothers place to break up the journey to the West Midlands.
We then travelled down on Sunday morning to the Stafford showground.
It was a fantastic day of flytying indulgence with oor George and meeting a couple of fishing and flytying friends such as fellow Hillendener Ian Drummond who was tying on the FF&FT stand and also a surprise meet up with my fishing/Stravaiger friend Robert MacDonald-Lewis who is a fantastic tyer in his own right but on this occassion he was assisting Corsican Dave at his stall.
As always it was great to see the flytyers in tyers row.
In particular Melvyn Wood who's flies and style I'm a big fan of. He not only gave me one of his flees but also a nice wee peaty dram of Ardbeg while I chatted with him as he displayed his skills  on his vice!
It was also great to meet and talk to Peter McCallum Flyfisher and Desmond Paul  another two flytyers whose work I'm a fan of.
I enjoyed looking at the trade stalls too in particular my attention was drawn to a vintage flytying stall which was very impressive and also some of the stands displaying framed flies and prints etc.
I also took a welcome rest of a seat for an hour or so in the fly tying theatre watching Barry Ord Clarke.
Another good thing was I didnt spend too much on materials and much to my surprise also resisted the temptation of the coch-y- bonddu books shelves but I did treat myself to a new pair of flytying scissors.
It was my first time back at the fair in over 10 years and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Looking Ahead

Recently I've had horrible  thoughts of visiting a local bashery just to remind myself of what its like to hook and land a fish! 
I even turned to the dark side one evening and tyed up some lures!
However common sense prevailed and my thoughts soon turned to the new season ahead. 
We are now into February and don't have too long to wait until the trout season begins.
I'll be picking up my membership from the A & DAC at Hillend in a  couple of weeks and I have to say that I'm not happy with the price increase, it's a bit steep especially in the current financial climate. I look forward to hearing the reasons for it.
All could have been explained and debated at the AGM last week but the meeting was cancelled and will now take place in April when the season is well underway and all the members will have purchased their memberships. That just doesnt sit right with me.
I'm fortunate I can just about manage with the increase but I'm sure there will be many who cant! 
Anyway I digress. I'm really looking forward to the season ahead at Hillend as the water levels are at the best they've been for many a year. I just hope that the level can be maintained and that the fly life has not been affected too much by the record low levels at the Loch last year.
I've also got a  couple of trips to look forward to, a weekend away to Caithness in July and a week on Benbecula and N & S Uist in August.
So as ever I've been busy at the vice tying with these trips in mind as well as patterns to use at Hillend.
Heres a few of the flies ive been filling my boxes with.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Hats Aff!

As you may be aware I'm a bit of a flytying enthusiast! 
And I do enjoy watching fly tying videos.
However there is something that irks me about American flytying vids! 
Why in the name of Bloody Butchers do most tyers from across the pond wear baseball hats in their flytying vids?????
C'mon!! they are indoors sitting at a table in what I can only imagine is a comfortable and warm room without the sunlight in their eyes and cold winds bothering their baldy heeds!
Perhaps I'm being naive and maybe its just a sponsor thing!
And while I'm having a bit of a rant! Am I the only person that hates the phrase of trout "eating flies" ??? its seems to be an American thing that's creeping into UK flyfishing writing, podcasts and videos! 

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Straight Outta Hillend

Yesterday I had a walk up by Hillend Loch to see for myself that the water level was back at capacity for the first time in many years.
It was interesting and pleasing to see that the much discussed dam repairs had been successful and repairs made to the footbridge below too to assist with the flow of water. I now hope that Scottish Canals dont not let the dam fall into such a state of neglect ever again.
I'm actually very surprised that the Loch has returned to normal levels again so soon. The Loch was almost dry in the summer and in a real sorry state.
Time will tell how much the fly life and fish habitat has been effected by the low levels.
After yesterdays walk I'm encouraged and look forward to the 2023 Hillend  trout fishing season which is only 71 days away.

Opening Day 2023.

At last its here! The Glorious 15th. Its been a long dark winter. The rods are ready. the reels have been greased and the flies have been ...