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Tying the Storm Crow

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The bigger the better

Most anglers and flytyers will be of the opinion that wet flies in size 12s and 10s are the go to flies for Loch Style fishing especially in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. However the more fishing books I read and after talking to other anglers as well as from personal experience too,  sometimes big bushy patterns in size 8s and even 6s are what is required to lure the trout up through the waves.  Lately I've neglected tying  big flies and been more focused on the more common sizes. However while organising my boxes for my much anticipated stravaig to the Outer Hebrides next month I realised I was short of a few Big Flees. So over the last couple of days I've addressed that situation by filling a few rows with some big size 8s which I must say are a real joy to tie!   

Filling my box!

As well as the odd flyfishing trip up to Hillend I've been as busy as ever at the vice tying in between the Euro football matches, numerous patterns for the local Loch as well as further afield in mind! Heres a flavour of what I've been tying!

Satisfied but annoyed!

When I arrived at the loch tonight it was blazing hot with not a breath of air and the surface was like a sheet of glass. I really need to get rid of the weather app on my phone as its predictions are getting increasingly wrong .  I sat for over an hour contemplating whether it was worth fishing or not!  Then unexpectedly a westerly breeze picked up and blew down the Loch. So I got myself ready and headed down the south shore to the wee moss area. By the time I got there the wind had changed to a North Eastetly which made casting a little bit difficult but I was coping working a big muddler and a midas through the waves!  Then just as unexpectedly as the change of wind direction, three guys appeared  from behind me and waded into the wee moss area to the left of me but slowly made their way over to the right until all three were standing In front of me which left me bewildered and casting into the area at the back of them. It's a shallow area and usually holds fish.  Rather than co

Tempting Trout

After a couple of recent disappointing nights at the loch I was delighted to get in among some trout action at Hillend on Sunday night!  Conditions were just about perfect with lots of fly life about including the famous Hillend Big Sedge which made an appearance late on.  However when the light westerly  breeze dipped the midges were absolutely hellish!  But I was suitably protected by applying my new midge repellant Midge Los from   which I am very pleased to report has worked very well now on two ridiculously insane midge nights at the loch and is highly recommended for anyone looking for a reliable midge repellant.  My success on the night was down to a fly pattern called the Midas, recommended to me recently by  Hillend regular Phil aka Toad! It's a rather unusual and messy looking pattern which is intended to be fished dry and has a very good reputation in the competition scene in England. I'm not entirely sure if my interpretation

Third Time Lucky.

As mentioned in my previous blogpost, on my last two visits to the Loch I frustratingly hooked played and lost a troot on both occasions. However last night I faired better. But it didnt start well as within the first fifteen minutes or so I managed to lose another trout which was fooled by a wee mini lure I tied up the night before and is pictured here! For the next few minutes I started thinking this night was gonna follow on just like my previous two visits up the Loch. The reason for the failure on this occasion was I had made up my leader using a dropper ring! The mono must have cut through the ring which must have a sharp edge as all I was left with was a 6 foot piece of mono and my flees gone! The packet has now been binned!!! However it proved to be third time lucky!  A short while later I changed tactics  by using a couple of old favourites A Conamara  Black on the tail and a 80 shilling Sedge on the dropper! The old Irish Pattern fooled a nice blueback and later on a rather s


My two most recent visits to Hillend have been rather frustrating!  Last Wednesday night I had the boathouse bay to myself, probably because it was a rather murky night with a brisk cold easterly wind blowing down the loch. As a result there wasnt much fly life around and I only saw a couple of fish showing all night.  However I did fool a troot with the fly pictured top here. Never the less i only managed to hook  play and lose it,  much to my ire as it was the only troot action I encountered all night!  On Friday night I ventured down to the wee moss area where I once again hooked, played and lost a troot this time fooled by a suspender buzzer pictured here. On close inspection of my flies I noticed that the hook got straightened.  Since then I've tied a few more SBs on good strong kamasan hooks.  Heres hoping that my next time up at the Loch proves to be more successful.