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Showing posts from January, 2010

Fish & Flies On Film

I have to admit when it comes to collecting fishing and flytying videos and DVDs I am hopelessly addicted.I am a sucker when it comes to acquiring angling related tape and disc. My collection has too many titles to mention. I confess some are not brilliant as I can't resist a bargain but I do treasure most of my collection. My prized possessions are my collection of Oliver Edwards Masterclass DVDs. These are quite simply the best Flyfishing and flytying videos ever produced. I love nothing better than sitting down on a cold winters evening and watching the master at work. You may have noticed at the top of my post a photo of my mobile phone.Yes, what you see there is a video of Oliver Edwards.This might appear odd to some but sometimes when the fishing is dull at Hillend and I'm in need of a rest I will settle down somewhere in a sheltered spot at the Lochside and watch these clips until I'm ready to start fishing again.Some would say I was sad to have such a thing on my p

Nae Fish!

Well folks. I have been blogging for just over a month now and as yet have not entered many posts about the art of actually catching trout. Most of my posts have been about fly tying, moaning about the weather, rambling, books, lochs and burns but there hasn’t been much in the way of trout catching apart from the odd wee report from last year which I have been utilizing to get the blog up and running. Please don’t give up on my blog just yet as come the 15th of March I hope to start filling these pages with up to the minute reports about my exploits at Hillend Loch and wherever else my angling travels take me. Don’t get me wrong as I will continue to have blog entries about fly- tying and the weather etc and whatever else catches my eye. I believe that my blog is a great example of proving that there really is more to fishing than catching fish. Here is an account of a wee day out I had with my wife last year that helps explain that theory…. It had been a while since my wife la

Burns Day

This being the 25th day of the first month of the new year I'm sure you will be aware that this is the day that people from all walks of life the world over celebrate Burns. I felt it would be appropriate to mark the occasion on my Blog with some verse from Rabbie. Try as I might I could not find any poems in his collection with reference to trout or fishing. Maybe I didn’t research deep enough. There are tenuous links to fishing though if you think hard enough as he did pen some beautiful words about rivers and streams such as Bonnie Doon, Brigs o Ayr , Sweet Afton, Banks of Nith and The Banks of the Devon. The Tweed gets a mention in Such a parcel of rogues and a line from My heart is in the Highlands as follows…. Farewell to the forests and wild hanging woods, farewell to the torrents and loud- pouring floods. See, they had climate change in those days too. So by way of consolation I would like you to join me in a toast to Burns. Yes the Burns of Hillend Loch. Raise yer glass i

Hillend Loch Today

Went for a wee trip up to the Loch today to see how the place is looking what with all the ongoing construction work on the south shore in preparation for the new railway link from Airdrie to Bathgate. Much to my surprise the Loch surface is still covered in ice. Excuse the quality of the pic as my batteries ran flat in my camera just as I was composing a picture of the Loch,so had to make do with the phone camera. The other pics are of the Braco burn. The burn had to be diverted as sections of the south shore of the Loch have had to be filled in with thousands of tons of rock to accommodate the rail track and cycle path. It's a touch sad that instead of skillfully constructed bridges such as those in these pics are being replaced with plastic pipes to direct Hillend's burns. Time will tell if the meddling of the spawning burns will impact on the number of natural breeding trout in the Loch.

Desert Island Books

I would like to bring to your attention two books which I would consider to be my Desert Island Books. In many ways one can draw comparisons between the two but in other ways they are miles apart quite literally. One was written by a Lancastrian Englishman the other a Glaswegian Scotsman. Both men don’t really need an introduction as they are famous the world over. The authors in question are Tom Weir and Alfred Wainwright. Climber broadcaster author and all round Great Outdoors man Tom Weir wrote his first book Highland Days, in a tent during wartime service with the Royal Artillery in Belgium in 1946. The book begins with Tom explaining that he finds it hard to believe that the memories he began to put to paper in a guard tent in the summer of 1946 were thirteen years old. Tom’s first book recalls vividly his early years of exploration when he turned his back on the drab Glasgow tenements of the Great Depression and set out on a voyage of discovery of Scotland on the peaks, lochs,

Birds of a Feather

Last Night I told my lovely wife that I was off into Glasgow to spend some money on a bird.You should have seen the look on her face before I explained to her that I was driving into the Glasgow Angling Centre for a hen cape,some Partridge feathers and hooks. Anyway that's my poor attempt at humour out the way. I got a hold of some partridge Klinkhammer hooks to tie more of these klink style flies that I have been tying all week. The Klink you see above was tied with one of these hooks but to be honest I think I prefer the profile of the Kamasan B100 as I reckon the abdomen would hang lower in the surface film and ultimately be more tempting for the fish. What do you think?

Getting Better?

Been at a bit of a loose end today.That was a great excuse to spend a considerable amount of time at the bench trying to perfect my klink style tying. I feel I'm getting better. I feel this is an improvement on my earlier example. Let me know what you think.

Feelin" Klinky

Over the last couple of days I have been dabbling in an attempt to tie Klinkhammer style flies. I have never tied this style of fly before as the style I enjoy and feel comfortable with is Traditional Loch Style flies. It's always a good idea to try something new as you will become an all round better tyer by learning new and exciting methods of tying. There are one or two things I need to brush up on in this particular example... First of all I will have to get the proper style of hook to give the pattern the correct profile for an emerging insect. A Kamasan B100 has been recommended to me by the Forumites on Wild Fishing Scotland.A smaller thorax and then I might just have nailed it. I'll be off to the GAC soon for some hooks and no doubt a whole load of other materials that I will add to my ever increasing vast collection of Fur, Hair and Feather.

Tying the Grouse and Orange

, Whilst at the tying bench tonight I thought I would make a video entry for my blog,demonstrating how I tie the North Country Spider.....the Grouse and Orange.I have had good success with this pattern and it's close relative the Orange and Partridge on the lochs around Loch Ba on Rannoch Moor I would normally tie this style of pattern on a size 14 hook but for the purpose of this video clip I used a size 12. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Black Cuillin, Trout and Clegs.

Today as I type this blog entry there are only 62 days to go until the start of the Brown Trout fishing season. This has me anticipating more days in the hills like this report of a fishing trip I made to the Highlands last July. My two friends Alex and Willie informed me that they were heading up North to acquire a Munro tick and thus complete the full set of Fannichs, Na Coileachan to be precise. They kindly asked me if I would be interested in accompanying them. I used to be a regular on their mountain days but bad knees and an ever-increasing beef mountain have put an end to my long treks into the mountains and now do lesser hills and shorter walks. I agreed that I would go for the weekend but would head into the Fannichs to do a bit of fishing instead as that would be less demanding. If I told you that I was on the Black Cuillin during the course of my weekend among the Fannichs you would perhaps think that I was deluded or quite possibly had got my geography mixed up but you wo

Thinking Ahead

I've been busy at the bench tonight.With a trip to Caithness in the summer planned my attention has been drawn to the flies that are popular in the far North. After doing some research it would appear that they like to have a light coloured collar hackle at the front of their patterns up there. White , cream or as in this particular example a light dun colour would appear to be popular.

North Calder Water

I was determined not to let the cabin fever set in this weekend therefore I went for a stroll down the Monkland Glen today and walked along the banks of the North Calder Water. The North Calder flows for 12 miles from it's source at the Black Loch near Limerigg then after a short distance it enters Hillend Loch then snakes it way into the River Clyde at Daldowie on the outskirts of Glasgow. I last fished the NCW a couple of years ago. Biggest fish I had was a half pounder but also had many more bandies. Came across a deer today down the Glen. That was the first time I had seen one down there although friends have been telling me that they are down there in considerable numbers. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to get a photograph of the beast. The NCW moves at a much slower pace than the deer. Hope you enjoy my photos.

Cabin Fever

The coldest winter for thirty years has me dreaming of balmy summer nights at Hillend Loch when the hatches of flies and free rising fish will be in great abundance. Feeling that soft warm breeze on my back as I cast my flies from the big moss into a hatch of the great red sedge seems like an age away. If you are anything like me I think you too might be feeling a bit of cabin fever coming on. It’s at times like this that get me looking forward to spring and summer and start planning trips for the forthcoming season. I love nothing better than pouring over my vast collection of OS Maps, angling books and magazines for inspiration. I could spend all evening with the OS sheet number 15 spread over the floor. There are enough lochs and mountains to last one a lifetime of fishing and hill walking on that particular map. There is a saying that “The journey is as exciting and important as the destination” I can empathize with that.I feel that is true in tying flies too.I find tying flies e

Tying a snatcher style fly

Here I am tying a snatcher style fly. I have found this pattern to be quite an effective fly at Hillend. One night in particular springs to mind when Colin and I could do no wrong with this fly in the boathouse bay

Hillend from above

Thought I would share this aerial photo of Hillend Loch as it won't look like that from above anymore because of the construction of the new railway.

Rock 'N' Roll Fishing

As the snow continues to fall and cause havoc all over the country it has pretty much made me housebound and as such has got my imagination going wild.... I prefer the company of friends whenever I go fly fishing don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed solitary outings in the past but for me they can often be lonely experiences especially when its cold, wet, dark and fishless. I had arranged to wet some flies at my local Loch with my mate Alex one evening but he decided at the Last minute that he was otherwise engaged. As it was June and the big sedge was on the water I decided not to let the chance of good sport go a begging so I reluctantly decided to go solo. Instead of fishing alone some people might perhaps take along their dog for company but since I’m not a dog owner I chose the unusual alternative of my Mp3 player for companionship. Normally when I’m fishing I like to enjoy the sound of the wind blowing through the grass and the music of the water as it laps against the shore so t

Welcome to 2010

Happy New Year to all my visitors. There are only 73 days to go until the start of the fishing season. Watch the winter nights getting lighter now.