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Showing posts from 2016

The Falls of Clyde

I recently visited the River Clyde. Not in a fishing capacity though as I just went for walk down by the falls of Clyde to try shake off a recent sciatica attack and try to get some pics as its particularly nice down there at this time of year with all the Autumn colours at their best just now. I started the walk from the conservation village of New Lanark and walked along the Clyde walkway up to Bonnington Linn then walked back down the other side for a mile or so where I brewed up a hot drink before retracing my steps back to my starting point. I intend to get back down there again soon once we've had a great spell of rain an get the falls in all their gushing glory! 

There is More to Fishing than catching Fish!

A slideshow of recent fishing stravaigs! 

Is it a fly? Or perhaps it's a lure?

Went into GAC this afternoon for a few flytying odds n ends and ended up with a new rucksack too for next season's flyfishing daytrips. Anyway I digress the flytying season has started in ernest tonight. Heres the first off the vice tonight!

Last cast!

Last Cast! I wrote in my blog last week that my season was over, however during the week an opportunity to take my float tube  arose at a loch I last fished a few years ago. Therefore I arranged a holiday from work on the 6th, the last day of the trout fishing season. On Thursday morning I travelled through the County and passed through the town of Lanark towards a couple of lovely wee lochs nestling below the summit of Tinto Hill. Once I parked up the car I shouldered my tube and accessories and headed up the hill to first try Loch Cleugh which sits at 1020 feet above sea level. I finned about the loch in the tube fishing various areas without success and then decided now that the wind had picked up that it would be a better idea to head off that loch and descend down to Loch Lyoch which sits at a mere 960 feet above sea level. It was a bit disappointing to leave Loch Cleugh as it is reputed for its lovely brown trout however it just wasn't to be. The decision to fish the

My season is over!

My season is over now we're in October As the sixth was fast approaching I just had to have my last flyfishing trip of the season to the edge of Rannoch Moor to Loch Na H-Achlaise. On this Occasion I took along my float tube as that was something I'd been intending to do all season and was keen to get about the islands and huge boulders that are scattered about on this most scenic of lochs.  I arrived at the loch on Saturday morning and was soon working the fins out towards the rocky features where I had high expectations of encountering trout. As expected I caught numerous brown trout which are known in some parts as "Bandies" There is some debate as to where that name comes from but in essence it just means "wee troot"  I lost count of the trout I fooled with the two flies I fished all day, A muddler and a Kate McLaren variant.  It was a very pleasing way to end the season, with a tremendous day of sport in a most

Two more Loch Flies

Id rather be loch side but as Im temporarily immobile, vice side will have to do. I will hopefully get a chance to wet these before the season ends next week. SizRe 12 hook Black thread Tippet tail Mirage tinsel body  Silver wire rib Black body hackle Partridge collar hackle

Busy Tying!

Unfortunately I couldn't manage to get away fishing on the float tube this weekend. It's really frustrating  as the end of the trout fishing season is drawing ever closer. Therefore instead of being out and about as I had intended,  I've been busy tying flies today. This is the best fly from my vice today. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get away next weekend. Size 10 hook Black thread tippet tail yeĺlowish possum body copper rib amber body hackle french patridge collar hackle

Mostly Benbecula

I arrived at our excellent Stravaig Base Camp on Benbecula along with Lochan Load and our driver Highlander,late on Wednesday night after following a British Army convoy of various trucks and vehicles from Lochmaddy on North Uist all the way to Benbecula. Next morning after an awfy unusual breakfast for a WFF Stravaig I was off to West Olley with Bob Fly in search of my first trout of the trip, however I didn't get off to the best of starts as I failed to net any trout on the boat and the best I got was a swirl at my flies near the end of an uneventful day,which got even worse for me as just as we were on our last drift, my Rod got broken at a point on the rod which I got repaired a number of years ago. Bob Fly didn't net anything either, however he did hook and play around with a land locked salmon which got us into a rather messy tangle of line, weed, laughter and quite possibly tears too. I'm sure Bob Fly will describe his unsuccessful but memorable battle better

Blue is the colour!

This may appear a little crass to use in pursuit of Hebridian trout , however, although it may be rather unorthodox it has the same colour combinations of many traditional Scottish and Irish fly patterns, especially sea trout patterns. There is a lot of snobbery with regards to trout flies and fly fishing in certain in quarters, however I'm no snob and although I do mostly fish traditional wets, sometimes it pays to have something different in the box. 

The Connemara Black Bumble

I'm sure most fly fishermen are aware of the famous Irish fly pattern the Connemara Black and no doubt have had success with it, but I wonder how many have used the bumble variation of the fly? Tonight as I was reading "Tales from the angler's retreat" I noted that in the David Peutherer chapter there was mention of his favourite fly pattern for Uist, which happened to be the Connemara Black Bumble. It looks a lovely pattern and has all the attributes that a sucessful wet pattern should have. I really enjoy tying patterns such as these and as they are easy to tie, I set about tying a couple for my box. These two are tied on a size 10 B175 Kamasan hook, It might be useful to have it in a size 12 too. This pattern maybe of Irish origins but it is well known and used here in Scotland too. It is a pattern that I will definitely be using between now and the end of the season.

More Fly Patterns

Just another brief update to show a few of the fly patterns that I've been continuing to tye and gradually fill my box with!

Meddling with Muddlers

As a rule I tend to shy away from tying muddlers, as they are very fiddly and time consuming and to be honest they are a bit hit or miss as to whether they will turn out acceptable. Oh! and another thing, they make a bit of a mess, as that deer hair gets everywhere which doesn't go down too well with Swmbo. I find the trouble with Muddlers is that I never know when to stop trimming them as there is always some imperfection to be tinkered about with, then before you know it I will have cut far too much deer hair off and the fly is no longer going to be anything resembling a muddler, which results in the fly getting tossed into the waste bin. However today I thought I would have a go at tying them as I could be doing with a few for next months fishing trip.  I was actually pleased with these and actually started to enjoy tying them once I got the hang of technique of shaping the head. I look forward to using these as I believe they will work really well on the Lochs for w

Filling my box!

Those of you who read the Hillend Dabbler Facebook page will have noticed that I have been busy at the vice this week. For those of you who don't do Facebook, here is some of this weeks work.

At the Vice Again!

After my trip to the Highlands last weekend by appetite has been well and truly whetted. Tonight I have been at the vice gearing up for my trip to the Hebrides by tying a few trad wets in size 12s to gradually fill up my new box. So much for me taking only one fly box to the islands! 

The Spey Dam

Today I went on my first wild  fly fishing trip of the season.   I never thought it would take me until August to  catch my first wild trout of the year.  My friend Scott and I arrived early this morning at the Laggan Hotel to a arrange our days fishing which we had pre booked at the loch of the headwaters of the famous River Spey which is commonly known as the Spey Dam!  After paying our permit and picking up the oars etc for the boat we drove on up to the Loch.  Once we were organised and got the engine clamped on we manoeuvred up the loch to prepare for our first drift of the day. It didn't take long for Scott to catch his first trout which was fooled by a heather fly. It was cloudy and overcast for the first couple of hours and as the day went on the weather got better an better with the sun making appearances more often.  After numerous drifts Scott's tally of trout was mounting up and it wasn't until after he had caught half a dozen t

The Original Ballinderry

After looking through my book of Irish Fly Patterns I thought I would tie this fly as its a  bit more true to the original pattern although looking at pics of original dressing it should maybe be more heavily dressed. I don't suppose it will make any difference to the troot. I imagine the only time you need to stick to an original dressing is for display purposes and the like. Far too much is made of sticking to exact original dressings for success with troot.

The Ballinderry (variant)

Im often inspired by Davie McPhail's tying demos on youtube especially traditional wet patterns. His latest fly tying  demo which I watched  today was no different. It was a variation of an old Irish pattern called the Ballinderry. Therefore I decided to have a go at tying my version. I was quite pleased with my results. Im now gonna a tie another couple for my Hebridean box!

Finding my Mojo!

Fishing wise, this year has been a complete disaster for me. Somewhere along the line I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for fishing, especially at the local reservoirs which is strange as this year I took out a membership for the Clarkston Angling Club's Lily Loch too. I've only ventured out on the local club waters on a handful of occasions this season and have not been on any away trips to any of the wild waters up north either. However I aim to get my flyfishing mojo back as I've got a fishing trip planned to Benbecula and the Uists next month and I'm starting to get a little bit excited about that.  I'm also hoping to go on a road trip up north next week to a reputedly good Highland Loch with my friend Scott. I have cleared out all my fly boxes and started afresh by tying fly patterns that I will actually use. Far too many times Ive went  trekking over moorland and bog etc to reach lochs and lochans overburdened by the weight of my rucksack full of unnesce