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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Tying a Floating Fry Fly with Davie McPhail

Autumn is the season of the fry. During the Autumn months, Trout become aggressive feeders in an attempt to fatten up for the coming Winter. Baitfish flies are known to be a favourite during this time of year on rivers, streams and even Stillwater reservoirs. This Floating fry is sure to make Trout turn their heads towards the surface and strike!

The materials used or equivalent alternatives needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre check out the links below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Time to tie his Floating Fry fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.

Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Barbless Size 8
Thread: Uni-8/0 or 6/0 Fire Orange
Tail: Pearl Krystal Flash
Body: Egg White and Safety Orange Fritz
Wing: Olive and Black Tip Rabbit Zonker
Eyes: Small Silver and Black
Foam: 8mm Yellow Booby Cord

Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of  Varnish, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly and Glue which he used for securing the eyes.

Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Greys All Weather Jacket - Tackle Testers Choice

This three-quarter length jacket is ideal for bank anglers as it can be worn over thigh or waist waders or waterproof trousers to give a perfect shield against the winter weather.

The Greys All Weather Wading Jacket has a heavyweight Climatex (Polyester) outer layer with a DWR finish to maintain a high level of waterproofness. It is also breathable and windproof. A breathable Thermatex Polyester-fibred insulated layer is next, trapping and retaining body heat. The third layer is a Polyester lining which allows the jacket to slide seamlessly over your base or mid layers.

Velcro Cuffs
The full-length double zip is protected by a wide baffle behind it and a deep storm flap over the top which secures with Velcro closures. The zip tucks into a fabric chin guard to prevent chafing. The integral hood has toggle lock and cord adjustments around the face and on the back of the head to give a custom fit. A stiffened material peak gives excellent protection from the wind and rain without obscuring too much of your peripheral vision.

Double Cuffs
The sleeves taper down to the wrist with a slight articulation at the elbow. The double cuff design consists of a soft neoprene inner with a Velcro tightener to give a good seal around the wrist, and then the outer cuff pulls over the top and can be tightened with another rubberised tab and Velcro closure.

Tapered Sleeves
There are two vertical zipped hand warmer pockets set at a comfortable height. These have a fleece lining on one side and benefit from the Thermatex lining on the other so are very warm. Inside the chest pocket, which has a vertical water-resistant zip, is a short webbing lanyard and quick-release clip for keys and accessories. In addition, there are two large waist pockets with zips and protective storm flaps. These pockets will easily take a large pocket fly box and a few other accessories.

Elasticated Cord
There are elasticated cord and double toggle lock adjusters around the bottom hem and on the inside of the jacket around the waist which can be pulled tight to exclude draughts and chills. Additional features include an internal open top pocket with Velcro closure and a large D-ring on the back of the shoulders. Available in M-XXL.

Trout Fisherman Testers Choice Verdict:
The combination of the substantial outer shell and the insulating layer does make this jacket quite heavy, but you’ll reap the benefits on those bitterly cold and windswept autumn and winter days. It is quite a stiff material to start with, but this may soften with use. Good hood and cuff design.

This article was brought to you in association with Trout Fisherman Magazine.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Tying A Chartreuse Baitfish Fly with Davie McPhail

Autumn is the season of the fry. During the Autumn months, Trout become aggressive feeders in an attempt to fatten up for the coming Winter. Baitfish flies are known to be a favourite during this time of year on rivers, streams and even Stillwater reservoirs.

All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Time to tie a Baitfish fly in a Chartreuse colour, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.

Materials Used:
Hook: Mustad O-Shaughnessy Size 1
Thread: Uni 6/0 Chartreuse
Tail: Krystal Flash Chartreuse
Body: Chartreuse Lite-Brite
Throat: Flu-Yellow Hen or Cock
Wing: Dyed Chartreuse Grizzle and Chinese Cock  and finish off with some Peacock Herl on top
Eyes: Silver Chain Bead
Head: Chartreuse Chenille

Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of  Varnish, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly and Glue which he used for securing the eyes.

Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

Friday, 28 September 2018

Try Family Fishing For FREE at the GAC Autumn Open Weekend 2018!

Would you like your kids or friends to try fishing but not sure where to start? Then book in for a taster session with our Get Hooked on Fishing coaches and find out more about this amazing sport. Glasgow Angling Centre, and GHOF have teamed up to offer one on one coaching for kids on the Forth and Clyde Canal, just 2 minutes walk from the GAC, on the 29th and 30th of September 2018 as part of the GAC Autumn Open Weekend Event - Scotland's largest FREE angling event!
Learn how to catch Roach, Perch and many other species using simple tackle and techniques and learn about waterside safety and fish welfare from qualified angling coaches. Each session is suitable for under 18's and places are limited so pre booking is recommended, all fishing equipment will be provided but suitable clothing should be worn - please wrap up warmly!
Book now or find out more by ringing Heather Lauriston on 07544 066974 or visit the GHOF stand at the GAC Open Weekend between 10am and 3pm to sign up for your FREE SFCA annual membership and book your coaching session! Qualified angling coaches will be on hand all weekend to answer all of your fishing questions so don't be shy and come down to meet them!
Get Hooked on Fishing is an angling programme which helps provide positive opportunities for young people and communities. They deliver fun and interactive training around the sport of angling and their programme is especially designed with the help of young people to give the participants more confidence and to demonstrate that there are alternative pathways and better opportunities available to them. For more information check out the GHOF website!
There really is something for everyone at these events, that's why they are the biggest in Scotland - and this one promises to be the biggest ever! With FREE parking and FREE entry, there will be loads of things to see and do on the Open Weekend dates as well as some amazing bargains on all types of fishing tackle. Keep an eye out on FacebookTwitter and instore for more info on what's going on at this event! Plus don't forget to register for your FREE GIFT on the day! Click HERE for details!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Fishingmegastore Reward Card Members Only Pre-Sale @GAC Thursday 27th of September 2018!

As a special thank-you to all our loyal shop customers who joined our rewards Reward Card Scheme, we will be offering all of our Autumn Open Weekend deals a day early to all of our Fishingmegastore Reward Card holders!
Join the 1000's of customers already reaping the Reward Card benefits!
From 5.30pm until 9pm on Thursday 27th of September 2018 Fishingmegastore Reward Card holders who come to the store will beat the crowds and still qualify for all of our amazing deals and offers that we were keeping for the weekend!
Even if you haven't received your card in the post yet, simply show a staff member a recent receipt with your unique barcode on it, and they can quickly verify your membership so you can qualify for all the deals!
Over 75,000 of our customers are already benefiting from the scheme by earning points every time they shop with us that soon add up to money off future tackle purchases!
Don't have a Reward Card yet? You still have time to sign up, just ask any member of staff instore any time or apply online HERE! Beat the crowds and still benefit from the Autumn Open Weekend deals, plus you never know what angling celebrities just might be hanging around, setting up for this weekends big event!
See below for just a few of the hundreds of deals we will be giving Reward Card holders exclusive early access to from 5.30pm until 9pm on Thursday 27th of September 2018, and of course these offers will be available to all of our customers instore on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Open Weekend Event, along with demonstrations, tuition and previews of this years up and coming products from all the big suppliers in what has become the UK's largest FREE angling event!
There really is something for everyone at these events, that's why they are the biggest in Scotland - and this one promises to be the biggest ever! With FREE parking and FREE entry, there will be loads of things to see and do on the Open Weekend dates as well as some amazing bargains on all types of fishing tackle. Keep an eye out on FacebookTwitter and instore for more info on what's going on at this event! Plus don't forget to register for your FREE GIFT on the day! Click HERE for details!

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Wychwood Distance Casting Competition at the GAC Autumn Open Weekend 2018!

Back by popular demand, Glasgow Angling Centre will once again be hosting our very popular distance fly casting competition at our next Open Weekend event on the 28th, 29th and 30th of September 2018 - in an all new format sponsored by Wychwood who will be putting up some great prizes on each day!
Can you cast like Cullen?
To enter this competition simply fill out an entry form with a Wychwood representative to enter on the day, and you will have two minutes to make as many casts as possible with the all new, top of the range 10ft #7 Wychwood RS Competition Fly Rod inside our casting court. Your longest cast will be verified and submitted for the competition and the customer with the longest cast on the day will win £100 worth of Wychwood products of their choice!
Click to enlarge!
There will be two casting sessions per day, one at 11am and one at 3pm. Plus we will have a special junior section for under 14's with more great prizes!

There really is something for everyone at these events, that's why they are the biggest in Scotland - and this one promises to be the biggest ever! With FREE parking and FREE entry, there will be loads of things to see and do on the Open Weekend dates as well as some amazing bargains on all types of fishing tackle. Keep an eye out on FacebookTwitter and instore for more info on what's going on at this event! Plus don't forget to register for your FREE GIFT on the day! Click HERE for details!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Tying an Olive All Rounder - An Emerger Dry Fly with Davie McPhail

As an All Rounder, this Olive Emerger Dry Fly pattern is able to act both as an Emerger Dry Fly and similar to a Popper.
All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Time to tie an Olive All Rounder in the shape of an Emerger Dry Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.

Materials Used:
Hook: Tiemco 2487 Hook
Thread: Uni 8/0 - Light Cahill
Body: Peacock Quill dyed Olive
Leg: Knotted Pheasant Tail Fibres
Under-Wing: Dyed Olive Deer Hair
Thorax: Olive Squirrel Dubbing and UV Lite Brite Dubbing Mixed
Wing: Natural CDC Feathers

Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of  Varnish, which he applied to the thread before whip-finishing.
Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Scotland's Top Fisheries At The GAC Autumn 2018 Open Weekend

At the GAC September 2018 Open Weekend, we are focused on the needs of today's angler. From fly casting instruction, rig tying, bait preparation, fly tying and lure demonstrations, we want to help you become a better angler. We also want to promote the huge variety of fishing on offer in Scotland's rivers and lochs. That's why this year we have invited representatives from some of Scotland's premium Trout fisheries to showcase the facilities on offer to fishermen at their respective venues.

Lake of Monteith
The Lake of Menteith, or Loch Inchmahome, is set in the Trossachs amidst magnificent scenery where the highlands meet the lowlands. The 'Lake' is 700 acres and is regarded as one of the best locations in Scotland for fly fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout.

Boat at the Lake of Monteith
Its central location (Glasgow 45 mins, Edinburgh 60 mins, Perth 50 mins) makes it ideal for meeting with friends for a day's or evening's fishing.

The Lake is stocked weekly with 1000 to 1500 quality trout, and yields an average landed fish weight of over 2lbs. In 2016 the average 2 man boat (8hr) catch was 5.9 trout for 13.9lbs. The catch and release percentage was 63%.

The 30-strong fleet of Lomond (Sweeney) Boats has recently been upgraded, and all are equipped with Yamaha or Suzuki outboards. The impressive fishery cabin, with permit office/tackle shop, Fishers Cafe and wood burning stove howff area are available to the anglers.

The Lake has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its exceptional fauna and flora. Historically, the lake has much to offer, with the impressive and tranquil ruins of the 13th century Inchmahome Priory situated on the largest of the Lake's three islands.

These attributes make the Lake an outstanding venue for some of the most prestigious fishing competitions and a great day out for all anglers.

Carron Valley
Carron Valley Reservoir, created in the nineteen thirties by the flooding of the upper valley of the River Carron, is one of the most scenic trout fisheries in Scotland. It is situated high in the Campsie Fells and is only a ten-minute drive from Stirling, half an hour from Glasgow, and forty minutes from Edinburgh. The loch offers boat and bank fly fishing for rainbow trout & wild and stocked brown trout in magnificent surroundings.

Carron Valley
Facilities at Carron Valley include a fishing lodge, an office and tackle shop where you can purchase permits, snacks, and refreshments. You can also acquire any items of tackle and life jackets from the office to ensure a safe and productive day's fishing. In addition, there is plenty of parking available, a ghillie service, tuition available on request and plenty of breathtaking scenery.

Since its completion in 1939, the 1000 acre reservoir has proved to be an ideal habitat for the Carron's indigenous wild brown trout population which have thrived on the rich feeding in the newly flooded river valley. The wild brownies of the Carron Valley Reservoir are now well and truly established, providing some of the best brown trout fly fishing in Scotland. In addition, Carron Valley Fishery stock grade A quality rainbow trout to enable the angler an all-round trout experience to remember.

The trout fishing on the loch is managed by Carron Valley Fishery Ltd. Through a careful policy of regular supplementary stocking of top quality trout, the fishery management has built on the loch's well-deserved reputation as one of Scotland's premier trout fisheries.

The area around the loch is very popular with walkers, ramblers, mountain bikers and nature lovers and boasts a wide variety of wildlife, all thriving in breathtaking surroundings. In addition to some of the best brown trout fishing in Scotland, the fishery at Carron Valley also provides a free information service to non-anglers who wish to learn about and enjoy the local area.

Loch Fad
Loch Fad, or the ‘long loch’ as it is more commonly known, is situated on the lovely Island of Bute off the west coast of Scotland and lies directly along the Highland fault line. It is classified by Scottish Natural Heritage as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) for its scenic beauty and its huge diversity of bird life and vegetation. The loch is surrounded by wooded hills, including one of the first commercial Douglas Fir plantations dating from the 1840’s.

Loch Fad
The loch is 175 acres with a maximum depth of 36 feet at the narrows. The ends of the loch have shallower areas which are ideal for fly fishing and although fish can be taken all over, the south end does tend to fish better as the water temperature rises.

There are two routes to loch fad: the scenic route and the principal route. The scenic route takes you along the shores of Loch Lomond and through the Arrochar Alps in the heart of Argyll - some of Scotland's most stunning scenery. You then skirt along the top of Loch Fyne and head south to Colintraive where you can make the 5-minute crossing to Rhubodach on Bute. The principal route to the Isle of Bute is by car and passenger ferry from Wemyss Bay, a crossing that takes half an hour with sailings every 45 minutes at peak times. Wemyss Bay can be reached by car or train from Glasgow and Paisley. The loch is only a ten-minute drive from Rothesay's main town centre.

There are many options available when it comes to fishing loch fad. You can fish from the boat or bank, you can spin, fish for pike, and bait fishing with maggot, worm and wasp grub is also permitted.

Carbeth Fishery is a family run trout fishery in Central Scotland within 15 minutes of Glasgow and 20 minutes from Stirling. Established in 1997 they specialise in providing the very best trout fishing whether you’re after a memorable family day or some serious competition.

Carbeth has three trout ponds which have been developed to provide great fishing for experienced anglers, beginners, families and children. You’ll also find everything you need in their well-stocked tackle shop, from very reasonable priced equipment hire to expert advice on what’s catching.

Carbeth is a family friendly fishery providing both bait and fly fishing excitement for parents and children. Their bait pond (pond 1) is particularly suitable having large grassy banks which let families spread out and relax. Excellent visibility around the pond makes it easy to keep a watch over your children. There are two wind shelters around pond one offering protection from the elements, plus the shop/ cafe area.

A complete novice can be bait fishing within 10 minutes and experienced tuition in the art of fly casting can be provided by prior arrangement. You’ll find articles on successful fishing methods employed at the fly and bait sections on-site.

Carbeth's loyal core of friendly regulars are always more than pleased to welcome and assist new faces. They pride themselves on their warm welcome and their provision of facilities caters for the more experienced angler to the complete beginner.

As highlighted, Scotland has some fantastic fishing available, some of it right on our doorstep, and at this year's autumn Open Weekend we want to make sure anglers are aware of the opportunities available to them.  Therefore we are delighted to invite the representatives from Scotland's top fisheries along to this year's event and we are excited about working in partnership to support and promote trout fishing in Scotland.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

GAC Autumn Open Weekend 2018 - Fly Tyers Row Confirmed!

One of the most popular attractions at our Open Weekends is always the fly tying demonstrations, and our next one coming up on the 28th, 29th and 30th of September 2018 will be no different! Our new improved instore format will be bringing you some of the UK's top fly tyers, sponsored as always by Veniard and supported by Partridge of Redditch - making this the premier fly tying event in Scotland! This time around we are focusing on quality not quantity. All of these fly dressers are at the very top of their game and will gladly go out of their way to show you how to perform the latest techniques and how to tie any style of fly you can think of. They will even take the time to guide you round our massive fly tying department during their scheduled 'floor time', helping you to choose the right equipment and best materials from our extensive range, plus you can take advantage of some great deals on hooks and materials as well as a few new product launches over the weekend and the launch of a great new fly tying initiative for kids to get involved too - so don't miss out and come to Scotland's biggest FREE angling event, right here at Glasgow Angling Centre!

Barry Ord Clarke
Born in England, Barry Ord Clarke is an internationally acclaimed and much published photographer and writer. His work as a fly fishing photographer has taken him to over 40 different countries and 4 continents. He is a regular contributor to numerous fishing magazines world wide.  He has written, Co written and contributed to more than 35 books about fly tying. He has won medals in some of the worlds most prestigious fly tying competitions, and his own flies can be seen in the 'Fly fishers club' collection in London and soon in the ‘Catskill master fly collection’ in the United States. For the past twenty years he has lived in Norway where he works as a professional photographer and a fly tying consultant for The Mustad Hook Company. Barry’s fly tying blog has nearly 6000 followers and over 2000 visitors per day!

Peter Gathercole
Peter Gathercole
Peter is a photographer and writer specialising in fly fishing and fly tying. He has written articles for magazines not only in the UK but also in Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and Australia. He has also written a number of books including three on fly tying. Fly fishing is more than a passion for Peter, and through photography and writing it has become a major part of his life. It has also given him the opportunity to fish in some wonderful parts of the World. Apart from the sheer pleasure that this brings it has taught him just how important this natural environment is to us all and how vital it is to protect it. Peter actually learned to tie flies before he could cast one. A few months later saw him on the banks of Eyebrook Reservoir where he learned to fly fish under the tutelage of a physics teacher from his Grammar School and a couple of old Scotsmen who had retired from the local steelworks. He soon became fascinated by the link between entomology and fly fishing to the extent that, in addition to the angling photography, a large part of his income came from taking photos for Oxford Scientific Films. Taking the photos for so many articles means that Peter gets to fish in a wide range of locations, giving him such a well-rounded take on all things to do with fly fishing so he can quickly adapt from casting a 12-weight for Sailfish to a four-weight toothpick for Trout!

Allan Liddle
Allan Liddle
Based in Morayshire Scotland, GAIA qualified Trout instructor Allan Liddle has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine since 2001. Allan specialises in wild Trout from wild places throughout the scottish mainland and the outer isles in both running and still water and is equally as happy on the largest rivers and lochs, through to the smallest streams and lochans. Although he enjoys all forms of fly fishing, Allan has a special passion for fishing dries, claiming 'The anticipation and visual thrill of the take is by far the most exciting and satisfying aspect of the sport.'

George Barron
George Barron
George has fished for over fifty years. Born in Scotland, he began his fly fishing life on the River Tay before moving to Wales in the late 1970s. About thirty years ago he became involved in competition fly fishing with the highly successful Llanilar Angling Association. During the last three decades he has represented Wales in numerous International Loch Style matches, winning a team silver medal in the World Championships in Ireland and captaining the Welsh team in 2003 at the last International match ever fished on Loch Leven. He has also coached to the Welsh Senior team and was nominated as Performance Coach of the year in 2007 at the Welsh Sports Awards. If he no longer went fishing, George say’s he would be just as happy tying flies and prefers to tie in the traditional style using fur and feather in the time honoured way. He writes regular monthly articles for FF&FT magazine and Field Sport’s Quarterly. He also ties at the many fishing fairs around the UK and in Ireland in particular, where there is still a huge interest in traditional fly tying methods.

Darryl Mooney
Darryl is the UK and Ireland Sales Director for Partridge of Redditch and has been tying for over 36 years. He grew up fishing for wild brownies on his local River Lagan in Northern Ireland and this remains his passion to this day. A committed advocate of catch and release, he has a particular interest in all aspects of Euro Nymphing and will be demonstrating tying his Woven Czech Nymphs as well as being on hand to offer advice on the range of Partridge Hooks and Sprite Hooks on all three days.

There really is something for everyone at these events, that's why they are the biggest in Scotland - and this one promises to be the biggest ever! With FREE parking and FREE entry, there will be loads of things to see and do on the Open Weekend dates as well as some amazing bargains on all types of fishing tackle. Keep an eye out on FacebookTwitter and instore for more info on what's going on at this event! Plus don't forget to register for your FREE GIFT on the day! Click HERE for details!

Claim Your FREE Golden Ticket for the 2018 GAC Autumn Open Weekend Event Now!

Fancy getting your hands on a freebie at the next Glasgow Angling Centre Open weekend? Register online now to receive your Golden Ticket for the GAC Spring Open Weekend Event on the 28th, 29th and 30th of  September 2018, and pick up one of these handy Fisheagle Diamond Sharpener and Scissor combos worth £9.99 absolutely free of charge!
Click Here!
An essential tool for any angler, this handy sharpener is triple diamond plated and puts a fine edge on almost all types of blades and hooks with it's flat, curved or grooved faces.It even stows away inside it's own pen shaped handle until you need it! The micro serrated, spring action scissors will snip through mono and braid with ease and fold away to go in your pocket safely. Simply take a minute to fill out our registration form and use your Golden Ticket collect yours on the day – for FREE!
Register your interest in the GAC Autumn Open Weekend Event 2018 by filling in this online form, and we will email you a Golden Ticket with your own unique code to print off or keep on your smartphone - then use the Golden Ticket instore between 28th and 30th of  September 2018  and get your free Scissors and Hook Sharpener- simple as that, no purchase required!
Please remember that it's one Golden Ticket per customer, and the Golden Ticket can only be redeemed instore on 28th, 29th and 30th of  September 2018! You do not need a Golden Ticket to attend this event, the Golden Ticket is only required to collect your free gift!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Mull of Galloway Sea Angling Festival 2018

The inaugural Mull of Galloway Sea Angling Festival, supported by Glasgow Angling Centre, took place over the weekend of the 25th and 26th August.

Unfortunately the weather forecast was not good for the Sunday so the event was extended on Saturday, increasing fishing time to 10 hours. 34 boats participated with 81 anglers catching 36 species, with the winning boat "Mako Wish" from Coatbridge landing 24 species.

Selection of Prizes
Tim Macpherson the publisher and editor of Salt Water Boat Angling also took part in the event and there is a 4 page article planned for the next edition.

The festival was a great success with excellent feedback, and booking enquiries for next year are already on the increase.

Supported by Glasgow Angling Centre
Les Weller of Mull of Galloway Sea Angling Festival Committee was very grateful to Glasgow Angling for going the extra mile by providing prizes, gift vouchers, and a varied selection of sea fishing tackle, including rods, reels, line and various other items of fishing tackle.

We would like to congratulate Les and the team, as well as all the anglers who participated and look forward to next year's event.

Friday, 24 August 2018

How To Tie The Hare's Body Diawl Bach with Davie McPhail

Autumn is a great time of year for the fly fisherman. Stillwater trout become aggressive and start to hit protein-rich fry, packing on weight in anticipation of the winter ahead.

When you see a large 'bow-wave' and dozens of pin fry jumping out of the water, these are tell-tale signs that fish are chasing fry. To get involved in the action, it's worth having a few fry imitations in your fly box and a really effective pattern to use is a Hare's Body Dial Bach.  It not only imitates fry exceptionally well, but also Buzzers and Corixa. It's a pattern worth learning to tie, and Davie McPhail shows you how.

All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always, if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. But now it's time to learn from Davie McPhail. Time to learn how to tie the Hare's Body Diawl Bach.

Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight Size 12
Thread: Uni Thread 8/0 - Red
Tail: Hare's Body Fibres
Rib Silver Wire
Sides UTC Opal Mirage Tinsel Medium
Body: Hare's Body Fur & UV Lite-Brite Mixed
Thorax Hare's Body Fibres
Eyes:  Jungle Cock
Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of some Varnish to finish the fly using a dubbing needle for a more accurate application.

Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

Friday, 17 August 2018

Time For Change In Salmon Management In Scotland

Ian Gordon is regarded as one of the world's leading salmon fishing guides, and casting instructors.  He runs one the country's top fishing/casting schools each spring on the Tulchan and Macallan beats of the River Spey.  Ian's view is that Salmon Management in Scotland is failing, and after 20 years there is nothing positive to show.  With the salmon population in our major rivers declining, this is a view shared by many ghillies, estate owners and salmon anglers.  In his article below, Ian contends that experts are pulling the wool over people's eyes and concealing the extent of their failings.  So he is looking for divers to gather information about what is actually happening in the river, and to get stakeholders increasingly vocal and engaged in this vital issue.


The 1980s saw the first fishery Biologists make an appearance on the big rivers of Scotland. Their remit or goal was to understand more and ensure the long-term sustainability of the fishery. As someone with a deep interest, personally, at the time, I thought this could and would be a good thing for the future of salmon fishing.

A.  What has happened in the meantime:
  • The species has depleted to levels never seen before.
  • After more than 30 years of scientific input, our/their overall understanding of stock levels are based around pure guesswork using catch stats as a base.
  • Biologists feel Juvenile numbers are generally in good health on most rivers. However, most living and working on the river say the opposite.
  • Numbers of Predators such as Seals, Dolphins, Goosanders and Cormorants have increased to levels never seen before.
  • The scientific community offers nothing but more of the same as they have over the past 20 years. Something which obviously has made no difference to the overall decline.
  • Catch and release. Unfortunately, this was only ever going to buy time. Rational/logical thinking would let anyone come to this conclusion. From the early 1960s and onward, we have continuously banned every effective method (drift nets, net and cobble, prawning, shrimping, spinning, worming etc, etc) for catching salmon, so how can anyone think that catch & release will do anything but slow the decline?  We’ll, just think about it?
  • The Scientific community base their stock assessment on a rod catch of between 10% and 15%. This is seriously dangerous, given that rivers in Canada and Iceland regularly catch 50% - 70% of all fish entering them with rod and line.
  • Whether Einstein said it or not, “The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting the same result”. 20 years or more of the same on all our rivers with nothing positive to show must mean time for a change! Especially given that the business of Salmon Fishing appears to be in free fall!!


Firstly, we must accept the problem! Unfortunately, this is something our managers are not willing to do. However, change has to come and the following will be a good starting point:
  • Accepting that we have been catching nearer 50% of what’s there will bring us much closer to the number of fish actually in the river, particularly in the last 10 years where the average catch will be nearer 8k than 10k. So, a year with 6k caught will be nearer a total of 12k in the river, well below Dr Butler’s critical figure of 20k. (see point v below).
  • Accept that C&R has distorted catch stats, and with this, our understanding of how many adults are actually present.. We know that a great many fish are recaptured suggesting the problem may be even worse than even the worst case scenario!
  • Use divers to count the fish in our rivers physically. This method is accepted by both the Norwegian and Canadian Government to evaluate the stock in a river system.
  • Once this is done and we finally have an accurate figure, compare this with what our experts have told us.
  • Take this “revised” figure and work back to find out whether we have enough juveniles or not. With regard to the Spey, former Director, Dr James Butler, maintained that juvenile output would be compromised should adult numbers dip below 20,000. My own belief is we have not seen 20,000 in the Spey since the nets were taken off in 1993. Possibly with the exception of the years 1995-6.
  • If we take this figure (The one we find via the divers) as worst case scenario then we will “know” both juvenile and adult fish are in trouble and we are way below the point Dr Butler and many others felt would be “critical” for the fishery.

Having established a major problem for the fishery, what options do we have?
    1. A restocking programme is an absolute must. For years now the run of adult fish to salmon rivers of Scotland, the Spey included, have declined to the extent they no longer produce sufficient juveniles to sustain a viable fishery.
    2. Like the river Jokla in Iceland, this gives the river a boost and will see the river once again producing, not just enough, but an abundance of juveniles. Only this will be enough to counter what may be going on at sea.
    3. Lobby government using historical data and video evidence to have predators, particularly fish eating birds, dealt with properly. Goosanders onto general licence for a period of time and have scientists monitor.
    4. Use the power of the media to bring the plight of the Salmon to the hearts and minds of more of the greater public.
    5. Video is a great tool here. Also, the “story” of the decline itself. As an emotive campaign, it must be led by passionate people, those involved day to day and whose lives are affected by the decline. The historical stereotype of salmon fishing being only for the wealthy and well-spoken is not only inaccurate, but divisive. Now, more than ever, we need salmon fishing to be seen for what it is, a sport enjoyed by people from every social background. Stereotyping it as "elitist” makes it too easy for the Scottish government to ignore the current problems, issues and local concerns. We must challenge this with facts. Interview local business owners, Ghillies and fishing clients to build a more realistic picture of what salmon fishing means and perhaps more importantly, what it could mean to 21st century Scotland.

The Spey Fishery Board recently declined the offer by a new Beat owner to help fund a restocking programme. The reason given was “on the Best scientific advice available”. The bottom line is, every one of those scientists giving advice is terrified to:

    1. Even try to properly count the fish in our river.
    2. Use the funds offered by the new owner to “prove” to everyone, myself and the millions of doubters, that in fact their theory is correct.
    3. Be proved wrong!

If Dr David Summers and Brian Shaw are so confident, the return of hatchery fish will be so small it won’t impact in the least on wild fish. I’d ask them this, put your reputation where your mouth is and use the money to “properly” answer the questions above. Resolve this once and for all, with a national case study funded by the new owner at Tulchan, other Spey proprietors, anglers and business owners.  They are willing to fund the project and have “wanted” in the past, but now are “demanding” those questions are properly answered.

The project would be overseen by independent experts with a track record in this field as our scientists focus on every negative they possibly can when dealing with the subject, painting as bleak a picture possible to the uneducated. It would seem our own scientists simply don’t want the questions properly answered. But why should this be? Well, in the first instance, it’s because they worry more about that old chestnut, genetic integrity because they know the return from the “properly run and managed hatchery” will be greater than the figures they feed the uneducated. They simply don’t want to know how many fish are in the river as it will prove the figure of 10-15% rod caught fish is total nonsense, again damaging their professional reputation. Personally, I’d love to be “proved” wrong in all of this, but, other than number 3, I know for a fact I wont be.

The Solution

The answer is to get the divers into the river ASAP. We desperately need this information.  It’s up to fishery owners, Ghillies and those with an interest to make this happen. Already I’ve had information back from a fishery owner who snorkelled his Beat and was flabbergasted at what he saw, or didn’t as the case may be. Given the water height right now (low water at the right time of year) we have never had a better chance to actually find out what’s there and have the information to set the ball of change rolling. Stop talking and get in there and gather the information. If anyone knows any Divers who would be willing to do this please get in touch with me here or simply get into your Beat and count.

Ian Gordon

If you are a diver, and would like to offer your support to this important study, please contact Ian Gordon:

Ian Gordon
11 Conval Street Dufftown,
Keith Banffshire

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

When To Strike When Fly Fishing

The sight of a fish taking your dry fly is what fly fishing is all about. However, there are days when you seem to hook everything and others, feel the hook point has disappeared. Success depends on the strike.

The term “strike” suggests a movement that is too vicious for hooking a rising trout, yet there are times when it is possible to react with a strike. For example, when too much slack has formed in your fly line as you scan the surface for a rising fish. For most rise forms, try to think that you are simply lifting into a fish that has your fly in its mouth.

For beginners, it is hard to reign in your instincts.  Consistently hooking fish depends on being able to identify the various rise forms, and by recognising their characteristics, you will be able to react with a controlled, methodical lift of the fly rod and floating fly line.
Airflo Super Dri Xceed Floating Fly Line
A splash at the fly
This usually happens when the fish is not totally convinced that your fly is what it thought it was, especially if it has risen from the depths.

The Splash
With the splash, the automatic response to “strike” is only natural but successful hooking is down to chance. If you do not hook the fish, immediately lifting off and re-casting to the same spot can sometimes result in a more confident and often unmissable take. On the other hand, the fish may have shot straight back down to the depths again. In this instance, try a smaller version of the same fly pattern and hopefully, the fish will take it with more confidence.

Of course, it may have been the size of the fly that brought up the fish in the first place – a splashy rise is often to a large Daddy Long-Legs or Sedge. If you are consistently lifting into nothing, pause for a few seconds, then figure-of-eight or take one long pull away from the rise. Trout often try to drown these big flies before turning around and mopping them up beneath the surface. It isn't uncommon to hook a feeding fish in the tail as it slaps down on your dry fly - particularly sedges.

The head-and-tail rise
If you are fully concentrating, you should not miss this fish. It has been totally fooled by your offering and a simple lift, rather than a strike, should set the hook. Your immediate thought process should be, “Yes, that’s mine”, and then lift into it.

Head And Tail Rise
The Sip
Again, the trout has taken your fly with confidence. These are often better fish that have learned to feed with minimum effort. Unfortunately, these are the rise forms where hooking success varies most. The most successful tactic is to think, “That was to me,” then gently feel for the fish with a draw of the line or slow lift of the rod.

The Sip
If the line shows signs of tightening, continue the lift to set the hook fully. If the fish has missed the fly or the sip was so gentle that your lift has drawn the fly out of its mouth, the draw away often results in a faster second rise – usually leading to a hooking. The smaller the fly, the more time you need to leave before lifting. A small hook simply needs longer to find a hook-hold.

So as highlighted, by recognising and understanding the various rise forms, you can react appropriately instead of 'striking' out of pure impulsivity. A methodical, controlled strike is what you are looking for, and with practice, it will result in more hook-ups. However, the key is to always be in contact with your flies!

This article was brought to you in association with Trout & Salmon Magazine.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Hardy Rocket Series Shooting Heads and Tips Review

For the Salmon angler, today’s vast choice of sinking fly lines can be bewildering. Some offer better sink rate, and others claim to increase distance; however, Hardy has developed a line system that can be configured to cover all water conditions.

Hardy’s new Rocket Head Series is described as a “Modular Density Head System”. It comprises of a Rocket Head (from single-density floating to dual-density S3/S4) sold with a matching 12ft Spey Tip (dual-density Float/Hover to S4/S5). The density at the end of the head matches that at the end of the tip. The heads are sold in five weights: 6/7+ up to 11+.

Hardy Rocket Head Series
The tips are interchangeable, and extra tips are very reasonably priced.  For example you can get a Standard Scandi Spey Tip or a Light Scandi Spey Tip.  Alternatively, you can get a set of six tips in a pocket-sized wallet. Fully equipped, the angler has a comprehensive range of density configurations to cover all water conditions. Potentially, you could carry a selection of different heads to fish on large rivers where long casts with big flies are required. Alternatively, if you encounter low water or smaller rivers, there is a configuration to suit.

Scandal Spey Tips
After extensive testing in early Spring, Trout & Salmon magazine's first impressions were excellent. They found the loops, sleeved and welded at both ends of bodies and tips, "are as neat as you'll see." The colour-coded lines are smooth and supple. Weight, sink rate and length are laser-printed on the bodies and tips, so there is no confusion. The combination of colour coding and printed information "makes setting up pretty straightforward."

How Do They Perform
Trout Fisherman Magazine tested the Hardy Rocket Series on the river Tummel in late April. The water was reportedly running high, and they evaluated the Int/S2/S2/S3 and S3/S4/S4/S5 lines. Using a spring set-up, 15ft rod, 6ft heavy leader and conehead or tube, "casts up to 30 yards went out satisfactorily with excellent loop formation." Any attempt to push for greater distance had a slight effect on the turnover, however, once the lines were out, they fished well, biting down into the current. Thanks to the phased densities, "rolling to the surface before recasting was easy."

In late May, with low water in the Tummel, T&S also tested the Rocket 8/9 full floating head with its Flt/Hov tip. With a working length of 37ft and weighing 36g, the set-up comprised of a 12ft 6in Guideline LPXe 8/9 rod with a long, tapered leader and a small double. The line lived up to its name and flew out to 30 yards-plus. As with most short Scandi lines, these results are achieved using a compact casting stroke with lots of bottom hand.

Hardy Floating Running Line
T&S also test two new Hardy floating running lines (Standard, and Tapered). The Standard is bright yellow, 0.37in diameter. Quality was reportedly excellent with a nice 6in loop at the line end. "It was supple, easy to handle and shot out well." The Tapered running line had the same yellow 0.37in material but with a tapered 10ft blue section towards the mainline end. Again, it "performed well."

Wallet of Tips
Overall, Trout & Salmon say that the Rocket Heads are excellent value. They did find them a little short, but if you are into Scandi casting in tight spots with shorter rods, they are well worth considering. The wallet of dual-density tips is especially good value.

This article was brought to you in association with Trout & Salmon Magazine.
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