I have recently been trying to cut down on my food etc and getting some exercise under my belt as I have been spending far too much time at my computer desk all winter . I really do need to lose some weight if I want to get out in the wilds of the Highlands this season. Last week I decided to get my bike out the shed and go for a ride. To be honest It was a complete shock to the system as I thought I had nothing better to do than saddle up and get my legs moving. The trip I went on was cut short as I was out of condition but vowed to persevere so this morning rather than attend the GAC open day I decided to go up to the Hillend Lodge on the bike to get this years membership ticket. It was the first time I had been on the the new cycle track since it reopened after the construction of the new Airdrie to Edinburgh railway line. It is a bit disappointing that the new track doesn't start until until you have cycled by the not so beautiful village of Plains. The track follows the North Calder Water and runs along side the the new railway then cuts through the not so pretty village of Caldercruix then begins once again below the Hillend Dam. A short section behind the dam and the back of the Sailing club is still to be resurfaced. The tarmac begins once again when you reach the Eastercroft Bay all the way to the East end of the Loch. I arrived at the Lodge sweaty and breathless picked up my membership and a bottle of water and cycled back down the Loch to the area known as the cliffs where I sat for a wee while admiring the view and observed the water for rising fish. The ripple on the surface looked absolutely perfect for fishing. I was a stiff as a board when I saddled up and made my way back down to Airdrie. During the week I intend to do a bit of swimming not at Hillend you understand, The John Smith Pool in town will be a whole lot warmer and safer I think.
I have been at the tying bench tonight tying up a few Clan Chiefs. This fly is a favourite of mine. It is a modern day traditional fly created by an Orcadian man,John Kennedy. it was originally designed by him for migratory fish. It also has a good reputation on the mainland for brown trout. Its creator was clearly inspired by the Kingsmill - Moore bumble patterns. This version I have tied tonight is a little bit over dressed as it was originally intended to be tied sparsely. I will let the trout decide.