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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

First Flies on the Line?

Everyone is locked down just now but we were looking for some inspiration to tie up those early-season year-round patterns while we're all in the house at the vice.
We were looking for those ones you've got confidence in March but have a place on your line right through to November. It's not just that pattern though it's how to fish them to keep you catching so we asked some of our game anglers in Edinburgh Angling Centre for their first flies on the line.

----------------STILLWATER TROUT----------------

Callum is our go-to stillwater Trout angler, he had a couple of patterns that he would never leave home without. They're staples in but with some tweaks you can make sure you're getting the best out of them.

Hot Headed Damsel

As most stillwater anglers will know, fishing the right lure when the temperatures are still low can be a devastating tactic when targeting rainbow trout.
One of the flies I'd suggest having in your box if you don’t already, is the Hot Headed Damsel, this is an extremely effective damsel nymph imitation, most of which will feature a brass bead to help gain some extra depth. This version has an orange or red bead to provide the trout with a hotspot to hone in on.

This is an excellent fly choice in late winter and throughout spring until it warms up, as these small damsels are often found in huge numbers in stillwaters, and they tend to stick around decaying weedbeds or sheltered bays. The fish get turned onto these aquatic insects so they are keyed in on them throughout the year, this makes it a superb searching pattern counting down through the depths to find feeding fish,

My favourite way to fish a damsel, would be to use a 3 or 6 foot sink tip fly line, a single fly on a mid length leader, with a steady figure of eight retrieve, with a couple of pauses and twitches thrown in to ensure that you are accurately imitating the nymphs natural movement.

Diawl Bach

One of my favourite nymphing tactics is to fish a team of two Diawl Bachs with a heavier nymph on the point of a long leader with either a full floater or hover intermediate. This is because Diawl Bachs are excellent imitations of Corixa (an aquatic bug found in most stillwaters), and the heavier nymph allows me to ensure I am reaching the correct depth.
Generally, I will use this method around the margins in an attempt to successfully imitate the real thing, as Corixa will most often be found feeding around weeds and reed beds, looking for algae and other vegetation.

This is especially useful for anglers who are new to fly fishing, as there is no need to cast your full line out into the middle of the pond. You can shorten the leader down, fish two flies and as most fish taken on this method will be quite close to the bank it puts Trout well within a short cast. My retrieve when fishing this method is to twitch back quite fast and erratic, which can result in some brutal takes up close!


Grant took on the river patterns, if you want to know about nymph and small stream fishing then Grant is definitely the man to ask.

Micro Glint Perdigon

My go to pattern all year round, as it seems to be deadly no matter what conditions you are fishing in. Most of my larger fish over the last few seasons have been caught on one of these flies and they are  a perfect example of what I look for in good fly design.

They are simple to tie and due to their slim profile and size, they sink like rocks. This makes them especially effective in fast water, as you’re able to ensure that you’re reaching the depth the fish are sitting at.

When you are looking for a killer pattern in lots of settings, the one that goes on first before you know what the hatch is like or what the Trout are feeding on, is one that really is a generic imitation that passes for many forms of aquatic insect. It looks like nothing specific but it looks like everything in general so Trout and Grayling are always pretty keen on them!

Pheasant Tail Bomb (PTB)

When the water is cooler the fish are normally still found closer to the bottom of the river and any time the water level is up on the rivers, you will need something heavy to get down. Perfect for nymphing your way up a pool on a traditional or Euro Style leader this is more than just sacrificial weight to get your flies down and fishing.

This is why I like to use a PTB, it’s heavy enough to knock a cow out on your backcast and given the changeable weather we’ve experienced in recent years, that’s exactly what you need for when conditions aren't ideal. Ensuring that your flies are reaching the appropriate depth at this time of year really can be the difference between blanking, and managing a few fish to the net.

As most fly anglers will know, the Pheasant Tail Nymph is one of the oldest fly patterns in the sport, originally developed by English river keeper Frank Sawyer. Variations of his pattern have been created over and over again in the years since then, and it is still one of the most popular flies for stillwater and river fishing to this day. I would never leave the house without at least a few variations of them in my box.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Tying an Olive Adult Midge with Davie McPhail

With the UK Trout Season in full swing, its time to get your Fly Boxes filled and ready to go fishing. The Olive Adult Midge is a classic wet fly that works very well throughout the entire season. This green bodied wet fly is often used in the middle or on the point of a wet fly cast and it works well as a single fly on stillwater venues. These Midges are most commonly found when it starts to rain and throughout the year, there will be plenty of that especially in the UK, so get tying a few of these all-season flies and get out fishing.

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 Adult Midge, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.

Materials Used:

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!

Friday, 13 March 2020

RNLI Clinic Results

Glasgow Spring Open Weekend Life Jacket Clinic:

We'd like to thank Alan McLaren and the team from the RNLI Roadshow who attended our Open Weekend recently, we got time to catch up with Alan to see how the event went. They had one of the best turnouts to any of their Clinics in recent years and these safety checks really could save your life.

Every year, around 200 people drown in the coastal waters around the UK and Ireland. These tragedies happen to people taking part in a wide range of water-based and waterside activities. Whatever your activity, wearing a well-fitted, well-maintained and suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid could save your life.

RNLI at the Open Weekend

Of the checks carried out, there were a variety of failures and faults that could potentially put the wearers life at risk.

18 Loose Gas Bottles, this can allow the bottle to unscrew upon activation and under inflate or fail to inflate the life jacket.

20 Out of date Auto Firing Mechanisms, there is a date stamped on the mechanism that needs to be checked and replaced as necessary. Expired mechanisms may fail when you need them and one of the jackets checked had a mechanism that expired in 2004.

2 Jackets with corrosion on the Gas Bottles, this corrosion leaves a rough surface that can act like sandpaper wearing a hole in the bladder which can cause a failure to inflate.

1 Jacket with a Manufacturer's Recall that was destroyed by the RNLI with the owner's consent.

One thing Alan and the RNLI wanted to emphasis was that 15 Lifejackets checked had NO CROTCH STRAP.

It's not a failure at the clinic check but a crotch strap is a very simple addition that can make a huge difference.

The video below illustrates the importance of a properly fitted lifejacket with a crotch strap, it's pretty funny in a controlled environment but the thought of this happening in the water is terrifying.

With and Without a Crotch Strap

Here's an RNLI demonstration on how to fit a crotch strap correctly.

Some other recommendations were flagged up.
33 Lifejackets checked had No Light: A light, whistle and reflective strips will all make you easier to find if you do fall in the water.
34 Lifejackets checked had No Spray Hood: which will keep wind-blown spray away from your airways, making it easier to breathe and reducing the risk of drowning.

Research has proven that wearing a lifejacket can increase your chances of survival by up to four times if you’re immersed in cold water.

Your lifejacket may save your life one day, but only if you maintain it properly. If your lifejacket is faulty, all you’re wearing is a dead weight.

These free lifejacket clinics, and specially trained RNLI volunteers will show you how to maintain your lifejacket to keep it fully functioning. Don't wait till you're in trouble to find out your lifejacket is not working properly. We'll be running a clinic at the Edinburgh Open Weekend in July and the Glasgow Autumn Open Weekend in September.

You can also find out where your nearest lifejacket clinic through the RNLI. REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Tying Robin Twm's Small Sedge with Davie McPhail

The Robin Twm's Small Sedge was first tied in late 1949 to 1967 in Wales and was darker in colour to most other Sedges. A wing made of partridge tail, with a slip of red-brown feather tied in first, one of the speckled feathers tied above. This small sedge is excellent when fished as the top or middle drop on a cast during a night fishing session. These flies also excel in windy day-time conditions. An excellent traditional fly to have a few of 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 Robin Twm's Small Sedge, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.

Materials Used:

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, 5 March 2020

Tying a Claret Bob's Bits with Davie McPhail

The Bob's Bits Fly has been a favourite with Stillwater fly anglers for several years. Originally it was created by Bob Worts for fishing the Grafham Water when reservoir trout fishing was in its infancy. It was not long before its popularity spread to other Stillwater venues and eventually became a fly that you cannot do without.
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 Claret Bob's Bits, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.

Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium size 10 Thread: Uni-8/0 Black Rib: Uni Mylar in Pearl Body: Seals fur in Claret
ThoraxSeals fur in Claret
Hackle: Dark Red Indian Cock Feather

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!

Fishingmegastore Reward Card Members Only Pre-Sale @GAC Thursday 5th of March 2020!

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 Spring 2020 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 the 5th of March 2020Fishingmegastore 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 weekend's big event!
See below for just a few of the hundreds of deals on offer.  We will be giving Reward Card holders exclusive early access from 5.30pm until 9pm on Thursday the 5th of March 2020, 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.  This is an addition to demonstrations, tuition and previews of this year's 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!   

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Trout & Salmon Recommends 2020 - Stillwater Fuze

The Reel Deal

In a recent edition of the Trout & Salmon Magazine, around page 100 you will find their segment for the latest fishing gear for discerning game anglers. As of last year, Stillwater released a brand new fly reel called the Fuze. A lightweight, high-quality Aluminium fly reel that features optimised spoke design and a reliable disc-drag system. Well, the good folk from Trout & salmon decided to review the reel and give it their seal of recommendation. Below you can read the review:

"While we'd all love to own a beautifully engineered fly reel, something we could appreciate as a piece of angling art every time we fixed it to our rod, many of us cannot afford to invest in such piscatorial pampering - especially when a more reasonably priced reel will do more or less the same job.

The Fuze from Stillwater meets the main needs of a modern fly-fisher: it's made from light aluminium, has a large arbour and reliable disc drag. True, it doesn't have the Swiss watch detail or Space Age finish of the prestige brands but it is strong and durable. The reel foot, handle, drag knob and captive spool-release nut are aluminium, not plastic and are finished in an eye-catching green. The drag knob has more travel on it than a top-end reel, but it has plenty of range and the drag is surprisingly smooth with plenty of stopping power.

The Large arbour spool picks up line rapidly and provides ample capacity: 5/6wt 100yd/20lb; 7/8wt 180yd/20lb. It is supplied in a protective cloth bag."

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