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Thursday, 21 March 2019

Tying a Golden Olive Wet Fly by Davie McPhail

Olive Wet Flies in all their variants are some of the most common wet flies in the UK. catching fish in Rivers, Loch and Stillwater venues. This particular Golden Olive Wet Fly is a great weapon when targeting more established trout, as well as stalking the elusive Brown trout. Due to their popularity and diverse use across different venues, it's certainly a fly to have ready in your fly boxes.
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 the Golden Olive Wet Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Fire Orange Tag: Fire Orange Thread Tail: Golden Pheasant Tippet Natural or Dyed Golden Olive Rib: Small Oval Gold Tinsel Body: Olive and Yellow Seals Fur Blended which gives you a nice Golden Olive Hackle: Grizzle Hen dyed Sunburst a modern Golden Olive.. Wing: Natural Bronze Mallard or Dyed a light Brown Olive

Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Varnish, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly.

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

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Large Dark Olives - An Early Season Essential


As the new trout season begins, it's important to be aware of what's hatching so you can align your tactics and make sure you have the right flies in your fly box. The March Brown is synonymous with the new season and is one of the most important patterns to have in your fly box, however, Large Dark Olives adorn our early season rivers and offer a good chance of a trophy trout.

Large Dark Olive

Of all the upwing species found on rivers, large dark olives (Baetis Rhodani) are perhaps the commonest and most predictable when it comes to pinning down a hatch. Often referred to as a ‘foul weather fly,’ they’re happiest emerging in miserable conditions too.

Although March, April and early May see large dark olives (LDOs) at their most prolific, a second brood can be expected in Autumn with September and October considered prime months.

Large Dark Olive Nymphs 
Life starts when female LDOs deposit their eggs, which develop into tiny nymphs weeks later. As they grow, these nymphs undergo several moult stages (instars). Maturing nymphs spend their time amid stones, or aquatic weed and frantically dash about when disturbed. It’s with good reason that they are known as 'agile darters.'



Come the following year, nymphs ascend to the surface in open water. Inevitably they’re extremely susceptible to predation from trout and grayling now. Once at the surface, nymphs lever themselves free of their shuck before pumping fluid around their bodies to unfold crumpled wings. Waiting for their wings to harden (not dry) so they can become airborne, the duns (sub imago) perilously ride the surface for several minutes. Again, trout are quick to take advantage.

As duns (sub imagos) are incapable of mating, they undergo a final transformation into a sexually mature adult, known as the 'spinner' (imago). A curious dark mahogany colour now, male and female spinners don’t waste time in mating. This literally takes place in days as these adults typically live for 24-36 hours and are unable to feed or take on liquids.

Adult LDO Spinner (Imago)
Following mating, female spinners deposit their eggs along the margins. Unlike mayflies or blue-winged olives that egg-lay en masse in open water, it’s thought large darks return in dribs and drabs, so nothing much in the way of a full-blown spinner fall occurs.

Tactics As mentioned above, fish will target ascending nymphs, making subsurface tactics worthwhile. However, as hatches of LDOs tend to be dense, then the prolonged activity is frequently experienced at the surface. Given this, dry fly methods are not only productive but are an extremely enjoyable way to fool trout.

Fulling Mill Olive Paradun
With its low-riding profile and conspicuous wing post, you won’t go far wrong with a size 14 Olive Paradun pattern. What’s more, as it sits in the surface film, a Paradun passes off as a struggling emerger or drowned adult. For presentation purposes, a single fly is best knotted to a 14-foot tapered leader. Such a leader has sufficient length to help avoid drag, yet is not overly long to make it a nuisance in a breeze. Also fish with a floating fly line such as an Airflo 2019 Sixth Sense, Greys Platinum Extreme, or a Rio Mainstream.

Aim the Fly Upstream of Rising Fish
Aim to create a loop that will sufficiently and gently land the fly slightly upstream of rising fish. Also, position yourself opposite and just downstream of a feeding fish (see diagram above). This way both accurate and economical casts are achieved. It’s no use letting your fly drift several yards away from the target area, as a fair amount of line retrieval and false casts are required to get it back to where the fish are seen rising.

So don't ignore the large dark olive at the start of the season.  Become familiar with its lifecycle, try to identify them on the bankside, make sure you stock up with plenty in your fly box, and enjoy the satisfaction of catching a trout by matching the hatch and fishing imitatively.

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

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Tying the March Brown Wet Fly with Davie McPhail.

The natural March Brown (Rhithrogena haarupi) hatches are extremely localised and may occur on very few rivers, however, The March Brown pattern is a fly that is fished throughout the UK. Many areas of the UK have their own variants. The natural March Brown is found on wild, rocky rivers and not chalk streams. In Ireland, the March Brown is a good early season lough pattern, probably taken for the water louse (Asellus).

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 the March Brown Wet Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Kamazan B170 size 12 Thread: Uni 8/0 Orange Rib: Flat Gold Tinsel Body: Hare's Ear or Fox Squirrel Dubbing Hackle: Brown Partridge Wing: Hen Pheasant

Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Varnish, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly.

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

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Tying a March Brown Dry Fly with Davie McPhail

The natural March Brown (Rhithrogena haarupi) hatches are extremely localised and may occur on very few rivers, however, The March Brown pattern is a fly that is fished throughout the UK. Many areas of the UK have their own variants. The natural March Brown is found on wild, rocky rivers and not chalk streams. In Ireland, the March Brown is a good early season lough pattern, probably taken for the water louse (Asellus).
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 the March Brown Dry Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Size 12 Barbless Thread: Light Cahill or Orange Uni-8/0 Tail: Coq de Leon Fibres or Ginger Hackle Fibres Body: Wapsi Natural Fur Red Squirrel Wing: Hen Pheasant Quill Hackles: Brown Partridge and Ginger Cock Saddle or Neck

Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Varnish, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly.

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

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

It's Not Always About Distance Casting


We've all been there before. You pull coils of line off your fly reel, grit your teeth, and tell yourself you are going to cast out as far as you can. There's maybe even a hint of competitiveness in there and the desire to out-cast your contemporaries at either side of you. But have you ever asked yourself what am I going to achieve with this cast? What am I aiming for?

It is a misconception to believe that casting further means more fish in the landing net. Granted, when the fish are rising beyond the realms of your casting range, it does help if you can smoothly and efficiently land your fly across the path of fish feeding. But here's the rub. By 'trying' to cast out further, you are discounting and spooking the fish that are within range.

Focus on Good Technique
However, if you focus on improving your technique and presentation, you will create minimal disturbance and will increase your chance of bringing more fish to the net. Essentially, you will be fishing effectively at a moderate distance.

Regarding fly lines and distance casting, unless you are competing in casting competitions, the line you want is a weight forward of some description - the clue is in the name. All the weight - the thickest part - is in the front section; not dispersed over a long length.

Royal Wulff Triangle Taper
Some of the best fly lines for distance include Airflo's 40 plus series, Lee Wulff Triangle Tapers, and Greys Platinum Shoot. These lines are designed with heavy front sections and are backed up with an extended rear taper which aids turnover.  The thicker line pulls out the slimmer rear taper and running line during the cast.
Distance casting is all about turnover and maximum transfer of energy from the fly rod into the line. To improve your distance, concentrate on getting the turnover correct then gradually try and extend your cast. Another factor in developing your distance is to use tapered leaders.  A tapered leader will improve the transfer of energy from the fly rod, through the fly line down to your fly and will roll over and straighten out with greater efficiency and presentation.
So if you want to improve your distance casting, focus on developing your technique and learn about the proper mechanics of casting. Seek out a qualified casting instructor who can analyse your technique and diagnose problems.  More importantly, put the advice into practice. Then, when it comes to fishing, you will be much more confident and efficient which will subsequently improve your presentation. Ultimately, it's fish you want to catch, not a prize for the longest cast.

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

Friday, 1 March 2019

Meet Shimano at the March 2019 Open Weekend


Meet Graham Monteith at the March 2019 Open Weekend.  Graham is the Area Sales Manager for Shimano and will be available at the event to promote the new Shimano STC Travel Rods, the Shimano Yasei Predator Rod Range, Baitcasting and spinning reels, and the new Isolate /TX Boillie and Pellet range.  

Graham will be showcasing all the latest Shimano products in a huge trailer which will be parked outside the front of the store and will be offering advice on any of the products.  

Shimano Trailer at the GAC Open Weekend
Graham is a surf fishing fanatic and his favourite species is Smooth-hound. He fishes the beaches of Co Wexford and Wicklow in Eastern Ireland.  He as also caught Carp to 30bs and Spurdog to 19lbs.

Founded in the early 1920's by Shozaburo Shimano, Shimano started off as a company known for precision engineering. Today the company is regarded as one of the forerunners in product innovation and a leader in the industry. In short, a Shimano purchase - be it rods, reels or accessories - is like being granted your own personal security system. It's up to you to tempt the fish to your bait, safe in the knowledge that your precision engineered kit will perform to the required standards over and over again.

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 Facebook, Twitter and instore for more info on what's going on at the event! Plus don't forget to register for your FREE GIFT! Click HERE for details!

Meet Century At the March 2019 Open Weekend


Meet Paul Johnstone from Century Rods at the March 2019 Open Weekend.  Paul is a tackle Consultant with Century and will be available over the weekend to help and advise customers about all aspects of shore fishing, casting and will be promoting the Century rod range.

Paul is mainly into shore fishing and his favourite species is skate and flounder.  He is a three time UKSF Champion, Scottish Surfcasting Champion, and Scottish Distance record holder.  He fishes all around the Scottish coast from the deep waters of the West Highlands to the rough ground of the North East of Scotland and fast flowing waters of the North West of England.

Century lives to push the boundaries of performance. Their rods are manufactured in a state of the art factory based in the UK that is equipped with the most up to date technology and machinery. 

They are in their fourth decade of investment in research and design and purely focused on making the finest tackle.

Century rods are used by the world’s longest beach casters to seek out far horizons, and by specialists who patrol rocks and shorelines with finesse and sensitivity.

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 Facebook, Twitter and instore for more info on what's going on at the event! Plus don't forget to register for your FREE GIFT! Click HERE for details!
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