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Showing posts from August, 2010

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

Sad News from Camps!

Sad news reached me today that the Camps Reservoir's wee fishing hut which I visited only two weeks ago has been destroyed by fire. When I first heard about this my initial thoughts were that it was an act of vandalism but apparently not it was a terrible accident caused by a spark from the fire which ignited the big couch they have in the back room which then unfortunately set the whole hut alight. Thanfully no one was in the hut at the time. A fisherman had got the fire going then decided to leave it unattended and was out fishing on a boat. it's such a shame as it was a great wee facility and fantastic retreat whenever the weather turned nasty. I hope the club can recover from this and get another new facility soon. Here is a pic I took only ywo weeks ago

Small Lochs, Big Mountains.

It was only last month that I travelled to the far north of Scotland in search of true wild fish.But once again my heart is yearning to get away to the Highlands on a brown trout adventure to some remote lochan in amongst the mountains. I will have to wait a few weeks more though as my friend has arranged for him and I to go sea fishing this weekend. I do enjoy the occasional sea fishing outing but it does not compare to getting out into the hills with my fly rod and box of flies in search of wild trout. I came across this poem from my favourite Scottish poet , Norman McCaig. It transports me to places I daydream of everyday. SMALL LOCHS Six rods are dapping for sea trout On Loch Baddagyle. Their blowlines each make A bosomy downwind curve. Six bushy flies Ballet dance on sunstruck water. — See that boulder? In it’s toupee of heather There’s a wild cat watching me. Two topazes with ears. …I tilt up and pan along my trail of mountains From Ben More Coigach all the way down to Quinai

Hillend Brown trout.

Yesterday my friend Scott and I thought we would have an outing at Hillend from the boat. Engine packed etc , we went up to the Loch for the evening session from 5pm to 10 pm. We maneuvered up to the west end of the loch and began a tremendous drift from Eastercroft bay all the way down to Lowe's Bay. We were only fishing five minutes or so when I landed the first fish of the evening, a rainbow at about a pound and three quarters. I caught it on the top dropper with a pattern I devised for a fly tying comp.Another five minutes passed and I was into my second fish but this time it got away. Not to be outdone Scott was soon hitting fish but they wouldn't stick. until later. Scott hooked into a good brown trout but it got off at the boat, he also lost another couple of small brown trout.We made another few drifts then while on a drift near Speirs Island Scott hooked and landed the magnificent brown trout in the pic. To say Scott was very pleased with his capture is a bit of an

A Year on the Fly!

If you like art, yes art, and fishing , perhaps this interesting and unusual blog from across the pond might interest you.I came across this blog after the creator contacted me and expressed an interest in my blog and painted one of my flies which he came across while browsing among these pages. I was going to describe what, A Year on the Fly was all about , but thought it would be better to let the artist do the explaining instead.You can read all about what motivated and inspired ,Joel DeJong on his site. There is a link to his appealing blog,second from the top on my links bar.

Kate McLaren

There can't be many flies that are named after a woman,this very famous Scottish fly as you probably guessed is one, of only two that I can think of, the other being a Hairy Mary, I'm sure we all know one of them lol! So who was Kate McLaren? Kate McLaren was the wife of John McLaren who ran the Kinlochewe hotel in the Scottish Highlands. The Mclarens were good friends of the Glasgow tackle dealer, William Robertson. Mr Robertson devised the pattern in the 1930's for his friend John and as a nice touch named it after his friend's wife. Kate McLaren was also the mother of Charles McLaren who was the long time proprietor of that very famous Scottish angling retreat, the Altnaharra hotel on Loch Naver. The fly was first devised as a sea trout pattern for Loch Maree, that's another womans name,but it is now highly regarded as an essential brown trout pattern too. Wherever my fishing travels take me I always make sure I have a few in my fly box as I know I can fish conf

Return to Camps!

Yesterday I made the journey down the M74 on a return trip to Camps Reservoir. I last visited the loch at the end of May, this time I took along my friend, Scott. I booked a boat in advance and picked up my permits and key at the keepers cottage below the dam. We drove round to the fishing hut where we met Gerry aka Mr Camps. Before going afloat we had a good chat with Gerry who was very forthcoming with tactics flies and hot spots etc. He was an absolute wealth of information and even gave us a couple of his favourite flies to try. This was to be a day of my kind of fishing laze about,get afloat,fish for a while, repeat over and over again, until knackered. We caught our first brown trout of the day at the north arm of the loch then after we decided to have a break . Back to the hut for a blether with Gerry then back out again , this time on the south east arm.We were soon into fish again. Gerry's recommendation of small flies worked a treat, most of mine came to a size 14 s