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Showing posts from 2012

Hillend Photos.

As the sun sets on another year I thought I would make one final post before then New Year begins. Well its actually an appeal to anyone out there with old photos of Hillend who would like to share them with me. I have quite literally got hundreds and hundreds of photos of Hillend. Most are from the last ten years or so therefore I would be very interested to receive older photos. The older the better. It would be especially interesting to see photos from the area where the Club House now stands and also pics of the loch before the cycle track was constructed etc. I recently got a new camera so I will be out and about at the loch taking photos of the surrounding area. I'm hoping to put together a slide show of photos throughout the years from Hillend so if anyone could assist by contributing any old photos I would be very grateful. If you would like to helpyou can contact me through facebook, twitter and of course email. Happy New Year When it comes.

Wonderwing Sedge

A number of years ago in a a well known flytying magazine I came across a style of wing which I thought looked stylish and realistic. This style was called the wonderwing. I then went on to tie a few patterns in this style which I thought would be good for sedge style flies. As you can imagine these patterns caught a few fish and I continued with this style for a couple of years until I turned my attention to cdc patterns. Today I decided to have a go at tying these flies again. I really like the look of these flies . They might look a wee bit tricky to tie but once you get the hang of them they are actually not too difficult to tie. Hope you like this example.

Hillend Loch Xmas Day

  Well I woke up this morning to discover that the White bearded yin  didnt leave me any fishing or flytying related goodies. But I did get a new cameara . So off I went this morning up to the loch to try it out. Its not a top of the range model by any means but I do quite like the video camera mode. That feature is much better than my last camera which was starting to look a bit battered after ten years or so of outdoor use. Although it was rather cold today the weather has been quite a change from the last few years as the Loch has been frozen over at this time of year. Once we get New Years Day over and done with next week it will be then the time that we anglers can start thinking of hatching flies and rising fish. Only 79 days to go until the brown trout season starts. The countdown begins.

The Lecturer

I picked up the latest copy of FFFT magazine a couple of days ago. This months issue is full of features which interest me. Among the articles which caught my eye was a feature on that old fly the Professor. It was interesting to get an insight to the history of this pattern and how its developed and been used by different styles of anglers over the years. Go get yourself a copy and have a read I'm sure you will enjoy it. I decided to have a go at tying the said fly but as is the norm when I set out to copy a pattern I always end up deviating away from the original dressing. I thought I would share with you the result and as some readers of my blog like to point out in no uncertain terms whenever the exact materials arent used - That isnt a Professor. I therfore named it the Lecturer.

Three Today!

  Today The Hillend Dabbler is three years old Im not sure what age that is in blogging terms though. I'm still enthusiastic now as when I typed out my first article three years ago . During that time I have watched my viewing figures steadily rise and rise until they reached a peak back in August. Which was very pleasing indeed as when I first started the blog I was aiming it at friends and fellow Hillenders. I have to be honest here and say that since the end of the fishing season my viewing figures have made a dramatic turn and are well down on what they were during the course of the fishing season. This is a wee bit concerning as this hasn't happend before since I started blogging. Infact if anything the viewing fufures usually went up during the close season.I would be interested to hear from any other fishing bloggers what their experiences are  with this matter. Anyway like I said Im still as enthusiastic now as when I first started out and will endevour to try and

Armchair Fishing

Ive not been been fishing or tying these last few weeks as Ive been rather busy with other matters and at this moment in time this has really felt like the close season.. Now that the winter weather has taken a hold with frost and ice most days this has been the ideal conditions for the pursuit of the lady of the stream. I was intending to get out after the grayling this winter but I just haven't had the time these last few weekends and anyway once I actually gave it some thought I reckon its just been far too cold for me. Maybe I'm just getting old but standing in a river in the severe cold doesn't appeal to me just right now I'd much rather get on with some armchair fishing with a glass of wine or malt near to hand. Therefore I just thought I would share with you a few second books I recently acquired in a fantastic sale. They are My Way with trout by Arthur Cove. Fishing's Best Short Stories by a selection of authors. Fishtales, again by various authors and W

Tying a basic nymph

Its been a while since I last put up one of my tying video. I don't claim to be any great expert tyer, there are a few out there on you tube etc who are experts and who's videos are quite simply the best and will never be equalled in quality of tying and production. This is just my attempt at giving the few who follow my posts on here an idea on how to tie a very simple yet very effective nymph pattern for any loch or stillwater. Hope this is of use to anyone having a go at tying for the first time.

Orchil Loch

  Yesterday I visited a fishery for the first time in a while.I don't normally visit fisheries these days as they do have a bad press and usually attract the type of angler that makes me despair. However this fishery isn't your usual hole in the grun type. Orchil is a very picturesque fishery just a few miles from Gleneagles and is well managed and cultivated. Scott and I arrived early in the morning. It was bitterly cold and numbing on the hands. Regardless we set up and made our way round to the area we fancied fishing. I was soon into the first fish of the day a 3lb rainbow fooled by a wee harelug nymph which had the unusual material of wild boar fibres for a tail. I was using my sink tip line at the time too. Soon after I got another solid take but sadly lost the fish during the ensuing fight.While all this was going Scott got his first fish then after a wee while he got another. Then the moment I had been dreading happened. He arrived at the loch in ful

The Black Loch

  Imaging my surprise this afternoon when visiting the Glasgow Angling Centre for  various flyting odds and ends when just as I was leaving the store I came a across a flyer for the Black Loch which is near Limeriigg just a few miles north east of Hillend. Rather than me try to describe the loch and the ambitious plans for the loch its best just to visit the website which has everything you need to know about this potentially great fishing venue. I certainly would like to visit this new venue in the coming season. Have a look

U C A P A River Clyde permits 2013

  United Clyde Angling Protective Association Ltd Permit Proposals for 2013 Having increased the price of permits in 2012 to bring them to a realistic level to meet all the financial commitments and plans of UCAPA LTD, we also found ourselves in a deepening economic recession which may have affected the sale of permits. At this stage, this has not happened and it is clear that the true Clyde angler values his fishing and more importantly recognises the costs of maintaining the fishery and continues to support the Association. With these points in mind, the Association has recommended a “freeze” on permit prices at the 2012 levels for a further year.   “Universal Permit” The price of the 2013 Annual permit will be set at £140.00 for Adult Anglers with concessionary prices for Senior Citizens at £115.00 and £60 for Juveniles under 16. This permit will enable the angler to fish in UCAPA LTD waters all year round and will suit those who like to fish for Sa

How To Fish

  Thought I would tell you which book is resting on my bedside cabinet right now that we have reached the season of dark nights.This book is not as the title implies an instructional book its a book for anyone who appreciates the burns ,  becks and rivers which flow through our beautiful landscape. This book by Chris Yates is a collection of his thoughts and experiences as he sits by the riverside. Each chapter is chronicled by each cast of his rod as reminisces of days and memories of caught and lost fish and of deep pools filled with expectation. His ability to convey his thoughts in such a poetic and lyrical way is a joy to read and really makes you want to get down by the waterside all be it by a loch or burn,  river or lake. As you may have guessed I highly reccommend you get yourself a copy of this wonderful book. Even the dust cover is a delight.

Another Variant

  Not been fishing this weekend.But managed to tie a couple of flies. I have to admit whilst tying this variant I forgot to tie in the blue beard/ jay hackles. I suppose its called a gold invicta variant. I now have to think about what name I give to my flies as I received a few complaints about the names I give to my fly dressings.  I tie for fun and dont take it too seriously so therefore for someone to take umbridge at my fly dressing baffles me as Im not a serious fly dresser. Anyway enough! Here is my latest fly.

Silver Invicta

  Been tying a a couple of silver Invictas tonight which I have a reasonable amount of success with on highland lochs. Its a great pattern to use at Hillend when the sedge is on the water and it makes for a good fry pattern at the loch too. Once again these examples I tied are not tied to the exact original dressing. You can only use what you have at your disposal and anyway I dont believe Its that important if they are only fishing patterns as opposed to a fly tied for display.

The Hillend Dabbler Pattern

  I cant believe I haven't tied a fly pattern yet and called it the Hillend Dabbler up until now that it is.I tied a few of these today. Lightly dressed dabblers which I know are reliable fish catchers. Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist about me calling this pattern the Hillend Dabbler and I know there a few people out there who will be untangling the elastic in their undergarments as I type. I have had complaints you know? please don't take this too serious as there is not much in flytying that is original these days. Its only a bit of fun. I give you the Hillend Dabbler!

Up the Clyde.

  I was sitting reading this mornings papers and was deciding what to do today. Mrs Dabbler was hinting about the two of us taking a trip down the Clyde this afternoon only thing was she had Ikea and Braehead in mind. At about 2pm I decided I would go up the Clyde rather than doon. Car packed flask filled off I went.The weather was glorious. I used the trotting rod for about an hour then switched to the fly rod with weighted bugs. I didn't catch a grayling but I did manage a couple of s mall trout and also hooked a trout which I reckon was of about 3lb which after an initial thumb shot right out the water about two or three feet in the air came back down with an almighty splash and it was gone. I called it a day when the mist started appearing above the surface of the river. Great day to be by the river. Absolutely beautiful.

Practice Day on the Clyde!

Lets just say I had a great practice day on the Clyde yesterday! lol. Im a bit of a novice at the trotting lark. Conditions were far from ideal as the river was high and running fast but it was good to try and get a feel for this style of fishing again and give the floats a try that I got from George Lockhart who very kindly made them for me. You can see George's work and read about his fishing exploits here at  . Next time I would prefer to have an experienced float fisher with me as sometimes I was wondering if i had the line set too long or too short etc and also I havent a clue if it was worth fishing the river today in these condiions. I went with John T last November and his help was invaluable as he was always ready with advice, we both had a teriffic day so I think I will get in touch soon John about a day on the river eh?

The Five Month Wait Begins!

  This being the sixth day of the tenth month of two thousand and twelve I decided to end the trout fishing season this afternoon by spending a few hours at my local Hillend Loch. Needless to say I didn't manage to fool any trout what so ever. Apart from the flytying and the occasional grayling outing to look forward too I will have to endure the dark nights of winter, Halloween, Guy Fox Night, Christmas and New Year before I can start thinking of the new fishing season on the fifteenth day of the third month of two thousand and thirteen.

Return to the Secret loch!

  Today a desperate character demanded of me the location of the secret loch. Well Keeping true to the secret location reposed in me I answered that the location of this loch was known to only three men in the whole of Airdrie. namely Scott, Tam and myself and that without the co-operation and consent of the other two I neither could or would divulge the location. So I blindfolded wee wullie and drove him through the countryside until we got there lol! Seriously! My old fiend Willie and I have climbed many mountains together but something we had not done together for many years was go fishing. So we decided to make a trip to the Secret Loch which may well be the last trout fishing I will do this year. On the way there I was telling Willie all about this little gem of a place. When we arrived at the loch shore the wind was blowing right down the loch in a westerly direction but it was a bit strong. I gave Willie a couple of flies to tie on while I fished with a wet dadd

Claret Kate McLaren

It was suggested to me on my recent fishing stravaig that a claret version of the very successful Kate McLaren can be a very effective pattern on Scottish lochs. I have tied a few variations of the Kate before but never a claret version . On this pattern the body and body hackle are claret. I hope to try this pattern out on Monday when I intend to revisit the secret loch which i featured on my blog a few weeks ago. I'll let you know how I get on.

Wet Daddies

Here's a pic of the pattern which caught most of my trout on my recent fishing trip to the Highlands. It was tied on a size ten B175 hook. Very easy to tie which is just as well as they do tend to get a bit bashed up once you have hooked a few trout with them. For the legs I used pre knotted pheasant tail fibres which are readily available from all good tying sources. I prefer just to purchase these as I'm useless at trying to form knots on these fibres. Anyway hope you like this pattern.

The Stravaig

    It started up in Caithness on Tuesday on loch Sarcalet in decent fishing conditions you know the kind of thing not too bright and a nice wee ripple on the surface however my stravaig didn’t get off to the best of starts as I didn’t raise or hook a fish on this loch. After a couple of hours we moved over to loch of Yarrows but it was blowing a hooly so we never wet a line there and decided to bank fish Watten but it proved difficult as I only managed a couple of small trout for several hours of trying. Next day I gave Watten a go from the boat. I was out for a couple of hours in the morning and after some lunch had another couple of hours. However I never got anything from the boat but did manage three from the shore which were again quite small. I was surprised by the amount of colour in Wattens water it had a green tinge to it which I believe is the result of the phosphates from the fields on the loch shores and which builds up as the season progresses

I've been flytying again

Over the last few months I haven't been tying at all but as I have a forthcoming stravaig to Highlands to look forward to before the season ends I thought I would stock up on some patterns that I was short of. The flies above are Kate McLarens which are tied on a Kamasan hook B160 size 14. Its actually a short shank size 14 and the spiders are tied on straightforward kamasan B175 size 14. I'm off to Caithness on Tuesday so the Kates will come in handy for Watten and Sarclet. Then on Thursday we cross country and head for Wester Ross where I will be fishing lochs and lochans I am unfamiliar with which is all part of the fun.

A Secret Hill Loch.

  All I can say about the location of my day out fishing today is that I went South. Scott and I set off this morning but got caught in heavy traffic as we tried to get out of town. So later than anticipated we managed to escape the rush of people going to work and doing the school run etc. It was pleasing to watch the urban sprawl turn to winding roads, green fields and purple and brown hills as we travelled onwards. It was about ten o'clock when we arrived at out secret hill loch. This location is a real gem of a place and would hate to see it get popular . I know it might be a bit snobbish trying to keep this place to myself. Don't get me wrong others do fish it but not many and its better that it stays that way. I set up with a muddler and a Kate McLaren and got a few offers but nothing stuck. I changed several point flies and put on a pink tailed Loch Ordie on the dropper. The change of dropper worked on its first cast as I caught a nice 1/2 pound brown trou

Going Back To Ma Troots!

For the last day of my three and a half week holiday from work I had fancied a day at Glengavel but I had stuff to do this morning so I decided I would go back to ma troots in the afternoon at my local Hillend. I opted for a few hours out on the boat on my own. Conditions were favourable as it was quite cloudy and there was a lovely wee wave on the loch. I made my first drift in line with the point of the woods all the way down to the mound however I never saw or touched a fish. I then decided to head right up into the corner where the big moss meets the cycle track and then had a wonderful drift all the way down to the narrows. On the way I hooked and landed a nice brown trout then about an hour later I managed to fool a rainbow. Both fish were fooled by a Kate McLaren on the top dropper. My favourite fly. During the course of the afternoon I got soaked twice as I encountered a couple of really heavy showers. This might sound mad but I rather enjoyed it sitting the

Tinto Revisited

I do apologise for taking a few days to get this up on the blog but my mind was on other things on Saturday and it was imperative that I visited a dearly loved place that I hadn't been to for many a year. After visiting Tinto last month I told my friends all about how wonderful it was That was why Scott accompanied me at Tinto fishery on Friday morning. The weather wasn't looking too great but we were determined to have a day at this ideal location. We started off with a coffee in the bothy then strung our rods and tied up our casts.We started off on the bottom loch in the drizzly rain. We fished for a few hours here and we both caught a few small brown trout each. I hooked into a fine looking rainbow which after a brief fight leaped from the water and managed to evade me. In the afternoon we took a walk up to the top loch. There was trout rising everywhere on this loch all be it the small brown trout. Once again we caught numerous wee yins and as usual the b

Totey Trout

Last Friday as I flew in over the Scottish Countryside from my holiday abroad I was scouring the landscape below me trying to recognise any features that would give a clue to my whereabouts. Then all of a sudden my attention was drawn to a well-known feature which normally looks like an upside down phallic symbol when seen from the M74. However on this occasion from my seat aboard an aeroplane heading for Glasgow it was the correct way up (so to speak) If you are wondering what I’m havering about? The next time you are fishing the Clyde between Abington and Crawford have a look towards the slopes of Tewsgill Hill and you will see a straight line of trees with a bulbous shape of trees at the top. Whoever designed the layout for these trees had their tongue firmly in their cheek. Anyway I digress Once I realized where I was I began to survey the land below me. It was fantastic to see the River Clyde twist and turn through the hills and fields from the air and I made a men