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Showing posts from 2010

A Guid New Year tae Yin an aw.....

That's it folks this year is almost over . All our fishing trips of the year gone by will now become memories in the burning embers of camp fires of future fishing trips.For me the highlight of my angling year was my trip to the North West of Scotland in July to Loch Watten. Of course I have had many many enjoyable angling experiences this year but none can compare to my trip to Caithness. Great fishing and good company are the perfect mix for unforgettable fishing outings. This will be my last post of the year as tomorrow, Hogmanay I will be very busy in preparation for the Bells.For any overseas readers of my blog who do not understand the term "The Bells" this is the phrase we use here for bringing in the New Year at midnight on New Years Eve.All the family wait till the stroke of midnight toast the New Year usually with a fine Malt in hand then we get all sentimental and have a good greet as we remember the year just past and absent friends etc. I would like to end my

Merry Christmas

A Very Merry Christmas to all my visitors. I trust each and everyone of you are having a great day. I will not bore you with all the usual stuff you read in angling magazines etc at this time of year about how great a time it is for the keen fly tyer as there will be a hell of an amount of tying materials lying about the house what with all the tinsel etc. Instead I thought I would celebrate by tying one my favourite style of flies.Rudolph the Red Nosed Dabbler!. It was about time I posted a pic of one of these style of flies. I believe Dabblers first originated in Ireland and were originally dressed as bob flies but I reckon the Dabbler is a good all season pattern. It can be used from the first day of the season to the last.It can represent and be used in a variety of styles and conditions. It can represent small fry it can also be utilized as a sedge pattern as well as its original function as a top dropper pattern. To be honest I would be Happy to fish it on any position on my cas

One Year Old Today!

I can hardly believe it. My blog is one year old today.I know I'm only an infant in blogging terms and I have much to learn but when I set out one year ago and typed my first words on these pages I could never have never have imagined how many people would be interested in anything that I had to say about my fly tying and fishing exploits. I have had visitors to my blog from all over the world as well as all over the UK.How they found out about my blog is beyond me. I suppose the Internet makes the World a global Village.My blog might not be up there with the likes of Davie McPail's etc in numbers but over this last year I have watched with interest as my hit counter has been steadily recording a pleasing increase in viewers month by month. I am currently sitting at just over a thousand visitors a month now. I set out originally to publish photos and articles of my fishing trips and also somewhere to publish pictures of my fly patterns. I hoped at first that my blogging would

A Simple Fly!

Tonight I was listening to the Hearts v Motherwell match on Radio Scotland and while listening to the game I tied the above fly which is a variant of that well known Traditional wet fly , Black Pennel. I must have been subconsciously influenced by the colours of the Edinburgh club's team colours as on this occasion the variant I have tied has a maroon/claret theme. I think the colour combination will be one that works well as I have had quite a bit of success with claret coloured flies over the years. I am reliably informed by Stan Headley that claret coloured flies should be the anglers first choice in poor light eg, as darkness approaches. Not that I have ever met Stan . I got that bit of information from the Gospel according to Stan..... The Loch Fishers Bible. The pattern I have tied tonight incorporates black tying thread, Orange tippets for the tail, claret peacock herl body with a silver tinsel rib and of course that all important sweeping claret hen hackle.I look forward t

Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine!

As I mentioned in a Blog post in November, this months edition of the excellent fly tying monthly has a page dedicated to this months Essential Challenge fly tying competition winners. I was one of the lucky winners to have my flies included in the article which I called the Hot Orange Grizzly. The above photo is taken from the magazine with a brief description of the fly from Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine contributor Magnus Angus. It was really pleasing to have my patterns photographed and have them included in such a well known national magazine. As if this was not enough I also have a picture of one of the flies I posted on the Magazine forum and there is a picture of this on page 12 which carries an article promoting their forum. This months mag also carries a brilliant feature from fly tyer and mag contributor George Barron who I met at the British Fly Tying Fair at the end of October. in this feature Gorge Barron delves into Emrys Evans "Plu Stiniog" which has bee

Grounded but Flytying!

As the weather situation here in Airdrie appeared to be eventually getting better over the last couple of days I arranged to have a holiday from work today as I had some business to attend to in Motherwell and Glasgow.Last night I cleared the snow from my car in preparation for venturing onto the roads for the first time in over a week. Then when i awoke this morning and looked out my window I couldn't believe my eyes. The snow had came back with a vengeance and was still falling and piling up at an alarming rate. With the entire town of Airdrie in a gridlock situation my plans scuppered for the day there was only one thing for it. I made a big pot of Scotch Broth and then while that was cooking and simmering away in the kitchen I pulled up a chair at my tying desk and got to work in tying even more flies for the forthcoming season which is only 98 days away. I tied various flies, mainly Loch style flies, no change there then I hear you cry. Well its mostly loch fishing do. Caith

The Dirty Weeker

Tonight as I look out my tying room window the picture is of a winter wonderland well not quite as after all I'm from Airdrie. My car lies buried beneath quite an accumulation of snow and my thoughts have been drifting back to hot summer nights fishing wild Scottish Lochs so I thought I would share a fly I had success with at Loch Watten back in July, the very amusingly named Dirty Weeker. I have wondered for some time about where the name comes from,Well it apparently is a corruption of a phrase the evolved during the town of Wick's Herring days. It was not as you might think a derogatory term which pokes fun at people who dinnae wash. The original word was "Dirdie" a Caithness word meaning busy. Over time it was corrupted to dirty and somehow adopted by locals endearingly referring to each other as "Dirty Wickers" meaning a real Wicker. The Dirty Weeker is a fly that originates from Caithness in the extreme far North of Scotland.This pattern was devise

Essential Fly Tying Competition!

A couple of months ago I participated in a tying competition in the national magazine... Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine, called The Essential Challenge. The format of the competition was that the tyer had to send off to a fly tying company called Essential Fly UK for the Free! tying materials. Then obviously tye an original dressing with the materials provided.The comp is divided into monthly rounds where there was three winners for each round, then at the end of the comp all the round winners will enter into the Essential Fly Final, for want of a better phrase and then from the successful patterns an over all winner will be chosen and the winner will be given a £500 gift voucher to spend at Essential Fly and on top of that the winning pattern may go into mass production and the lucky winner will receive 5% in commission on sales. Well then, much to my surprise a parcel arrived at my house yesterday and once I opened it I learned that I was one of the winners of round two of the c

Synthetic Hackle Material

I recently purchased an interesting synthetic hackle material with a brand name of Krystal Hackle. It comes in an assortment of colours. I wasn't sure how best to use the material I just got two bags of it in claret and golden olive colours.I wasn't happy with my first experiments with it and just resigned it to the rest of my kit which never gets utilized at the bottom of my tying trunk. Then one night when I was tying my mind turned to this stuff again as I really thought it could give a very subtle hint of flash if used in the correct manner in conjunction with natural feather fibres. When I fist experimented with it I didn't like the way it looked on the hook it just looked a complete mess but once I got the hang of it I realized that after every turn I had to sweep it in a backward motion, then after about four turns I then tyed on a natural partridge hackle all be it dyed in a dark olive colour. The result was the above fly. I am pleased with the results as it does g

The Loch Fishers Bible

Anyone who knows me will be aware of my love of angling books especially a publication with a Scottish flavour. In my possession I have many which I treasure from such angling luminaries as Sandison,Stewart,McEawan, Robertson, Bridget Reid, Sharp, Inglis Hall,Stoddart and Lawrie to name but a few but one man I have for some reason overlooked up until now is Headley, yes I do have his Flies of Scotland book but up until today when a parcel from a well known online book company landed through my letter box I didn't have .... The Loch Fishers Bible. Which has been folly on my part . Of course I have heard from others about this book but didn't realize until this afternoon what I had been missing.I have had a look through some of its pages this afternoon and this evening and I can tell already that this is a valuable reference source for my fishing library. It has a lifetimes worth of knowledge within its pages and I have grew very fond of this work already. I like his style. The

Fishing For Poetry

Over the years I have become a fan of the poems of Norman McCaig. My first introduction to McCaig was by way of a book of his poems borrowed from the local library. Inside the book was a rather splendid CD of a collection of his poems recited by the great man himself which I like to listen to sometimes on my mp3 player especially when I'm fishing at a remote highland location. You may have noticed a few months ago on my blog I did an article about Andrew Greig's deep and meaningful book The Loch of the Green Corrie. Well then such was the popularity of the book and the subject matter there in the BBC have got to be praised for producing a couple of excellent programmes for radio and TV. The subject of the programmes is of course, Norman McCaig arguably Scotland's finest post Burns poet. The radio programme was broadcast last Saturday morning and is still available on iplayer here. www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vrwvn/Out_of_Doors_06_11_2010 The TV production titled ,Fish

Golden Plover Spider

I have been busy at the bench tonight tying various patterns. I thought I would share this very simple to tie pattern incorporating a golden Plover Hackle. This style of fly lends itself to river fishing but I have had great success with these in varoius colours etc on various Lochs and hill lochs. Spider patterns or as the yanks are fond of calling them....soft hackle flies have a great tradition in fly fishing history dating back centuries.It has to be said if this style has stood the test of such vast time I see no reason why we should continue ti tie and fish these old dtyle dressings as they were originaly tied. Of course some tyers might add some modern synthetics or flash etc to sex them up but I believe the success of these flies is probably down to their simple and basic dressings. These are one style of fly that should perhaps not be tinkered with.

Mallard and Claret

Tied a few of these last night. My favourite style. I really do enjoy tying traditional Scottish and Irish style wet flies. This pattern is a variation on a theme. You may have noticed that when I'm tying I very rarely tie exact copies of tried and trusted patterns I like to tinker with the pattern a little,not too much though as that would render the fly a completely different pattern altogether. The above dressing is basically a Mallard and claret but I have incorporated SLF dubbing as a substitute for seals fur. Its not that I'm against using seals fur dubbing or the like it's just that I actually like the translucency of the synthetic material and dare I say it might even be better than the original natural fur. You will have to excuse the colours in the photo as they as they have taken on a form of their own and I cant quite get them to look like they do if you had to actually see the fly for yourself in your hand. I think I will have to invest in one of those wee por

Four Flies

I have been busy at the bench for the last couple of days using some of my newly acquired materials which I purchased at the Tying Fair at the weekend. Above are a few examples of my latest work inspired by some of the tyers at Stoke. Top left is a Blue Zulu. Top right is a Kate McLaren variant incorporating a new red game hen cape I purchased from Dun Fly at BFFI.Bottom left is a variant of a sea trout fly I came across being tied by Steffan Jones at the Tying theatre.Bottom right is a fly I tyed using some new thread I got from Lakeland tying materials called sheer and hen Pheasant wing acquired from Cookshill. Still got a bit of a wait to give them a soaking though as there are still 131 days to the start of the season. I am finally getting into my winter tying mode now and fully enjoying my time at the vice. Think I will be buying a new fox box this weekend which I will start to fill and hopefully fill by the start of the season.

BFFI Trentham Gardens 2010

I travelled down to Trentham Gardens for the biggest fly tying event of the year with Elvis Costello, Paul Weller and my brother as companions. Well not quite, “Wild Wood” and “My aim is True” were the cd's of choice for the in car entertainment while my brother was the driver as we motored down the M6 to the BFFI at Stoke. We got there just after opening time. We paid our entry fee and were immediately accosted by a whole bunch of folk thrusting flyers, cd roms and all manner of leaflets and brochures into our hands. No matter how much I tried I could not resist a browse round all the trade stands before spending some time in the Tyer’s Row Tent. The first stall I halted at was Coch - y- Bondhu Books. I could have spent a fortune at this stand but I resisted and anyway they didn’t have the book I was looking for which was Stan Headley's , Loch Fishers Bible. As I wanderd among retailers such as Lakeland, Pearsalls, Cookshill etc etc I noticed a few well known faces such as M

Claret & Partridge

I thought it would be best to get a blog post up before I leave later on today for the BFFI at Stoke and will be away for a couple of days. I got my monthly edition of Trout and Salmon magazine through my letter box a couple of days ago. An article by Stan Headley , he of Loch Fishers Bible and Trout and Salmon Flies of Scotland fame was drawn to my attention. It was an article about the middle fly on a traditional cast of three flies for Loch fishing. There is mention of a few flies in the piece but the fly I liked the look of was the Claret Partridge. It looks and has all the properties that I like in a fly.Nice and bushy and brilliant for retrieving through a good wave not only that but it is in a style That I find aesthetically pleasing to tie.Well that's all for now folks. I will be back early next week hopefully with new ideas and materials and look forward at getting busy at the vice next week and give my winter fly tying a much needed kick start. Hook:Kamazan 10 Thread:Re

British Fly Fair International 2010

All being well I will be attending the British Fly tying fair 2010 this weekend at Trentham Gardens, Stoke on Trent. This event is organised by Steve Cooper from Cookshill Fly Tying Materials.Steve's company is in my opinion simply the best supplier of flytying materials in the country and it's safe to say that I will be purchasing something from his wide range of materials this weekend. Some of the best flytyers in the world will be at Stoke demonstrating their skills and passing on information to mere mortals like myself. Last year I spent quite a considerable time in the Fly tying in Focus theatre watching and learning from such luminaries in the art of fly tying as Oliver Edwards and Hans Wilenmann. They were absolutely brilliant in demonstrating and communicating with the public. Fly tyers row is fantastic where about fifty tyers are all lined up and you can get one to one information and instruction. Last year I got to meet Mike Harding and got him to sign a copy of his

Patience is a Virtue

Thought I would share this pic I created the the other night in between tying flies.If there is something that I enjoy as much as flytying it's being creative with my photographs on my pc. I'm sure you are all aware of the importance of patience in fly fishing. Waiting in anticipation is one of the many pleasures connected to fishing. I do know of some anglers who are impatient. I wonder if they actually realize that they are missing out when they disregard one of the fundamental laws of angling. A patient angler can more readily appreciate the beauty and ambiance that one can experience from angling. Impatience leads to frustration which inevitably leads to lack of success and enjoyment. After all we anglers participate in our sport for the delight and the joy of pitting our wits against our quarry and which can only be truly savoured by exercising that virtue which we as devoted anglers profess to admire...... Patience!

Wet Loch Ordie

This is a fly my two friends Tam and Scott have been asking me to tie all season. The two of them have had great success with this pattern for a few seasons now. This is my first attempt at trying to copy the version they have now ran out of. It does appear a bit overdressed but that was the intention. This variation of the Loch Ordie originates from The Orkney Isles where it has been used to great effect in a big wave.We have found it to be successful on Hillend Loch as well as Highland lochs too. It's surprising how tempting it is for the trout as it hangs in the surface film just as it is about to be lifted for another cast. I know Tam will like this pattern and I know I will be getting pestered to tie more of these over these winter months.

The Royal Hillend Dabbler

With my tongue firmly placed in my cheek. I had been thinking lately how I could try to promote my blog to a wider audience.I had thought and tried of all the conventional ways of advetising etc then in what is best decribed as uirekkkkkka moment I made a call to Charlie Windsor you might know his mother better,she's called Liz. After a few more phone calls they arranged for my Blog Logo to be beamed up on the frontage of Buck House. It wasn't cheap having that done but I hope you will agree that it's a worth while venture.

Loch Dochard

Although we are only a week into the close season I have been thinking of possible lochs to visit and also to make return visits to. One such loch is Loch Dochard near Bridge of Orchy which I last visited in 2007. It's in a wonderful location and is a pleasure to fish. Here are a few words I wrote about my trip there three years ago. I hope you get inspired enough to fish it one day. You won't be disappointed if you do....... At long last I made my long awaited trip to Loch Dochard. My friend Jim and I set off from deepest Lanarkshire early on Friday morning at around 7am and arrived at Victoria Bridge a couple of hours later. On route we stopped at Mr. Brodie’s wee shop in Tyndrum where we had a coffee and a bite to eat before setting off again on the short trip to Viccy Bridge. We parked in the car park close by which is mostly used by the hill walkers who are probably bagging Stob Gahhahr and Stob a choire odhair. We began our walk and followed the land rover track by the F

Mouth Watering Trout!

I have to admit I'm not very keen on eating trout, probably because I'm a crap cook. I have had a few disasterous attempts at cooking trout, although with the help of my father[he did the cooking and I caught the fish] we once did turn a Hillend rainbow trout into tastey fish cakes. I have to concede that I do like the look of this simple recipe though. I have heard it said that when cooking trout it is best to keep it simple. This wee vid proves that point . Who knows I might even give this method a try. Now then where am I gonna get a trout now that the season is finished? Well, that's as good an excuse as any for visiting a commercial fishery, at least it would be a much better option than buying a trout from the supermarket

A couple of Jokes!

As close season blues are now starting to kick in and I'm at a loss right now with regards to blog content. I thought it was about time to share a couple of fishing related jokes with you. Don't worry I aim to get some articles etc prepared for the blog over the next day or two. I think my fishing friends Tam and Scott will appreciate these cartoons.

Last Cast of the Season

Today I made my last cast of the season at Hillend. Alas I caught no fish today just like I did on my first cast on the Loch back in March. In seasons gone by the last day of the season have always been bleak cold affairs but not today it was rather mild and sunny and you would have been forgiven for thinking that it was just like August. I made a visit to the club house before going along the South shore and fishing all the wee bays and promontories. I was fishing a Black wooly bugger on the point and a wee brightly coloured fly incorporating a very tempting UV straggle fritz on the dropper that I had tied last night. The fish showed no interest in any of my flies so after an hour or so I packed up and headed back to the clubhouse a drink and a bite to eat where I met Sandy who I got to know through the Wild Fishing Forum. The 2010 fishing season for me was very enjoyable and rewarding experience. It was also the first time I had shared my mixed bag of exploits on the Internet throug

Last Wild Fish of the Season

Fly Fishing gear and sea fishing gear was packed. Tent and sleeping bags were on board as well as enough food and drink to see us through from Saturday to Monday. Scott and I were off on our last wild fishing trip of the season. The destination was Loch Doilet and The Sound Of Mull. Off we went in the early hours of Saturday morning to catch the first Corran ferry over to Ardgour then drive over to Strontian to meet Peter the secretary of the Strontian Angling association who had arranged a boat and outboard for us to fish Loch Doilet. On arrival at Doilet conditions were terrible for fly fishing. Bright sunshine and a flat calm over the Loch.Regardless of the conditions we got afloat and got to work on attempting to catch brown trout and also in the hope of a sea trout or two. For most of the day a flat calm lay over the Loch but. The wind did get up a few times but we were forever maneuvering trying to get into the ripple. It was really frustrating continually moving from one dr

Winged Flies

Tonight I have been at the bench tying a style of fly I usually shy away from as I have always had trouble in the past trying to tie matched wing slips. I normally just use rolled fibres for wings but I do like the look of the slips. The above fly has woodcock wing slips in place . Its just a prototype and I will endevour to perfect this style of tying. I am actually quite pleased with this effort as I am usually never happy with my winged flies. Not quite perfect yet as one of the slips has slipped slightly. Will post another when I perfect the method.

Last Drift at Hillend

My last outing on the boat at Hillend this season turned out to be a very pleasing day of angling. Scott and I went afloat together while Tam and Craig were on another boat.Before setting out we could see that lots of fish were getting caught from the bank across fom the clubhouse along the narrows.I would imagine that these fish, since they were so abundant in this area were the newly stocked fish this week. We like to try to get in among the natural head of fish at Hillend so we moved as far as possible from the over anxious anglers at the narrows and headed for the west end of the Loch. We had a couple of drifts from the corner of the dam towards the Speirs Island two fish were caught a rainbow for Scott and a Broonie for me. We then moved to the other side of the island and drifted down towards the Shields Burn on this occassion I caught another broonie and a rainbow while Scott managed a perch.We both missed three or four fish each and I also had a fish on which eventually brok

Spiders for Lochs

I was recently asked if I would tie spider patterns for use on Lochs. It's well documented that black spiders work very well on lochs all over the country but the chap that contacted me was looking for something that little bit different. This request was right up my street because when I tie flies I like to come up with patterns in my own style so to speak. I do like tying tried and trusted patterns but do enjoy trying to come up with something subtlety different. Anyway this is the first of a number of flies I will be tying up over the next few days.I have no idea if this will be successful or otherwise. wht not tie one and let me know how you get on. I will be trying these out soon myself at Hillend.

Frustration at Hillend and Pottinshaw

Yesterday afternoon My friend Scott and I went up to Hillend to have a day out on the boat. Travelling past the south shore the conditions looked reasonable. but when we got to the clubhouse we were told that they weren't allowing anyone out on the boat because the wind was too high. To be fair at the narrows it did look quite wild. After having a blether for half an hour or so in the car park with another couple of anglers who were also denied a boat, the wind appeared to have eased and much to my surprise as I looked up the loch I saw a couple of anglers out on a boat drifting down by the point of the woods. I was quite annoyed with this but didn't bother questioning why this was the case instead we decided we would go to Pottinshaw Fishery as we didn't have our waders or appropriate footwear to fish Hillend. Off we went to West Lothian to fish the Whitburn venue. Pottinshaw is a catch and release only fishery and were warned that the fishing can be dour at times.As the

Jack Frost

I've been busy at the bench tonight and tied a few of this variation of the Jack Frost. When I first started out fly fishing about twenty years ago I used this pattern quite a lot.  These days I don't use lures much and prefer to use traditional Scottish wets but sometimes there are occassions when a lure is required. I am going to give this a soaking in the next day or two at Hillend.  The original is a great perch fry lure. The perch fry are in great abundance at Hillend at the moment so I thought it would be a good idea to tie some of these up. I believe this pattern might well be an improvement on the original as I have changed the body of the fly by using a pearly glister dubbing which adds translucency to the pattern.  My dressing is a follows. Thread. Fire Orange uni 8/0 Hook. size 12 or 10  B175 o Kamasan Body. Pearly glister Tail. Chinese Red uni floss: brushed out Wing . White Marabou Hackle. fluorescent red cock hackle

The Magpie Tail Fly

Tonight I have been mostly tying the Magpie Tail fly. The reason for this is that the subject of this fly came up in a fishing forum I regularly frequent. There was quite a discussion about this fly and the merit of this pattern on the River Clyde. A picture was requested of it so I had a look through my archived files and posted the pic of the pattern. I first tied the pattern up a few years ago and I have to admit it wasn't the best looking fly I have ever tied. Even if I do say so myself , I believe my flytying has improved over the last few years so I thought it would be good to tie up some new flies and do it some justice. Also I noticed yesterday that I had only one of these flies lefy in my box. I was first told about this fly by Hillend regular Bob Graham. He informed me that it is a great pattern to use from August to the end of the season. The first time I used this pattern at Hillend I got instant results. That was a few years ago and to be honest I had completely forgo

Clyde Style Fishing

If you associate the River Clyde with Glasgow and the shipyards you would be correct, but you would not be thinking like an angler. To the angler the River Clyde conjures up a very different picture. An angler will tell you of a river whose source is the rivulet of Crookburn which runs from Quennsberry Hill, which is then increased by the Daer Water, and then afterwards joined by the Clydeburn or as it is sometimes referred to as the Little Clyde. Thereafter its tributaries are the Elvan, Midloch, Camps, Glengonner, Duneaton, Garff, Culter, North and South Medwins, Douglas, Mouse, Nethan, Dalserf, Avon and the North and South Calders. All the Clyde’s tributaries contain trout, but the tributaries of most interest to the fly fisher are the Duneaton, Elvan and the Glengonner as these waters contain trout in great abundance. The finest fly-fishing to be had on the Clyde is in the Lammington, Thankerton, Abington and Crawford area. The fishing here has a tradition all of its own. The tro

The one that got away!

I had another enjoyable evening fishing from the boat tonight at Hillend.We set off from the Lodge about half past five this evening and fished until about nine o'clock. It turned really cold for the last half hour of the session We went on over to the west end of the Loch near the dam. The wind direction was very changeable tonight and never really got any real good long drifts as we had to continually reposition the boat due to the wind being so varied. On the first drift we were moving from the North shore southwards to the Big Moss when Scott hooked an incredibly big fish.Such was the power of the fish we had to get the drogue in and use the outboard engine to catch up with the fish as it continually was taking line from the reel. The fish lead us a merry dance as we tried to keep up with it. Scott had been fighting this fish for twenty minutes and still it hadn't broke the surface. Then all of a sudden a fish splashed at the top dropper it was then that the fish which w

Hillend News Flash!

This afternoon while I was passing Hillend Loch I noticed a bit of a commotion near the Hillend Lodge . I pulled in to see why the group of fishermen were all huddled together by the loch shore. On closer inspection I realized that a bloke was playing a huge rainbow trout and was having considerable trouble landing it. With the assistance of one of the Hillend Bailiffs after which was reported to be a good twenty minute heart stopping struggle he managed to eventually net the fish. The fish weighed 13 and a half pound which was probably a personal best for the very happy and lucky angler. There is a big competition being held at the Loch tomorrow. This fish is believed to be one of a number of huge fish that were stocked this week I await with interest to hear if anymore get caught as I will be at the Loch on Sunday for an outing on the boat and wouldn't mind catching one of these brutes on the fly.

Mixed Bag at Hillend

Last night I had another outing on the boat at Hillend. I went out on my own while Tam and Scott went afloat together. The two boats motored up to the west end close to the dam. I drifted from here down to Speirs Island. I just had started fishing when a trout rose right next to the boat I put my flies over him but nothing transpired. I got my first take near the Island but it didn't stick. I maneuvered round the island and then drifted down towards the Shields Burn. I had no success. Meanwhile my two friends who had been making various drifts at the dam end suddenly appeared behind me. They instructed me to follow them back to the west end of the Loch as trout were showing and they both had caught several brown trout and rainbows. Once back up near the dam, Tam and Scott continued to connect and land fish, soon I was into fish too, only difference was I was catching bloody perch.And so it went on , I caught four perch in total but no trout. I felt such a fool as my two mates h

Fishy Story!

Just a wee reminder that this months issue of the Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine is carrying a tale in the Fish Story feature on page 86 of one of my short stories. I actually somehow managed to be chosen as story of the month for this months magazine and won a brilliant book called Bright Waters which is a collection of short angling stories from famous Irish angling luminaries.Take some time to read it and please leave a comment in the box provided.

The Sound of Mull

Yesterday Scott and I set off in the early hours of the morning on a journey to the Sound of Mull for a spot of angling in the salt. We needn't have set out so early because when we arrived at the Corran Ferry we found out that the first sailing departed at 8.45am. Once over at Ardgour we continued on the beautiful road trip down to Lochaline at the Sound of Mull.The weather on Sunday was absolutely stunning. On days like these you really have to wonder why some folk go on holiday abroad because when you see the Highlands of Scotland in such glorious conditions, nothing can compare. On arrival at Lochaline we had the place to ourselves but soon after another three or folk blokes appeared two of whom had been camping on the shore nearby. We were informed that the water we were fishing in was 350 feet deep and was famous for huge Skate and Conger eel. The information provided tuned out to be true as Scott broke his beach caster when he struck into what he reckoned to be a Conger