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Saturday, 14 September 2019

What Is SGAIC?

SGAIC Scottish Game Angling Instructors Certificate

When learning something new becomes a little difficult, you'll seek out advise and help from those who are more experienced in what you’re trying to understand. When it comes to the likes of single hand fly fishing or Spey casting for Salmon, a qualified instructor is the simplest way to ensure you're getting the best advice. However you learned to fly fish, if you're looking to polish your skills or learn a new style a casting instructor is probably the most efficient way to level up your casting.


We've got several SGAIC qualified casting instructors in the Glasgow Angling Centre, the Scottish Game Angling Instructors Certificate is awarded to anglers who prove their knowledge and expertise through various Assessments, as well as passing a first aid training course, a Safeguarding Children course and passing disclosure checks. Once instructors have passed these necessary courses, they are awarded an SGAIC and become a fully licensed Instructors.

SGAIC Instructors Assessment Weekend

Some instructors seek to become independent and tailor their knowledge and expertise into 1-to-1 sessions. Others become instructors simply to improve skills they already possess whilst helping friends and family in the sport.

If you are looking to find an instructor, you can visit the SGAIC website and search for instructors across Scotland.

If you're in Glasgow and looking for some advice, pop into the shop and ask Jim, Dougie, Davie or one of the other instructors we have working instore and check out some of their blogs online.

https://blog.fishingmegastore.com/2018/03/fishing-streamers-with-jim-lees.html
http://blog.fullingmill.com/choosing-spots-fly-fishing-predators/

Anyone who has attended our Open Weekend events will know we have SGAIC and AAPGAI qualified instructors like John Milne and Scott Mackenzie on hand to help you with your Fly Fishing questions.

John Instructing at the Glasgow Angling Centre Open Weekend
John is usually out at the casting pool all day, while world champion casting champion Scott has timetabled masterclasses across the weekend.



Becoming an Instructor:

As well as finding an instructor, you can also investigate how to become an instructor just like those listed on the SGAIC website.

The courses to become an instructor involve both single-Handed fishing and Double-Handed fishing techniques mostly across the close season October - April.


On successful completion of the course candidates will be awarded the Scottish Game Angling Instructors Certificate (SGAIC). The certificate is widely recognised as a prestigious instructor’s award and allows candidates to register with SANA as a licensed Instructor. After successfully achieve your SGAIC, you can further your progress to more advanced qualifications such as the AAPGAI.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Tying the Downhill Fly Wet Fly with Davie McPhail

The Downhill Fly can be found on the trucks of many different trees or posts along or near the water waterside. Once these Flies land on the trees they turn their heads downwards. Once they have run their cycle, they get blown onto the water and sink. This allows any cruising Trout to simply pick them up and enjoy a quick meal. Davie made this Fly from the book that he references in his video: "The Fly-Fisher's Entomology". He mentions that this fly can be set up with different variants and it's always a great idea, to have a variety of patterns in your tackle box.

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 Small Bait Fish Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium size 14 Thread: Grey Pearsall's Silk or Similar Tag: Grey Silk Body: Yellow Floss or Orange Wing: From the Secondary Feathers of a Woodcock Wings Hackle: Whiting Furnace Hen

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, 6 September 2019

Tying a Small Bait Fish Pattern with Davie McPhail

Anglers can't go wrong with a large assortment of baitfish flies in their fly boxes. Baitfish are a common food source for freshwater and saltwater species, making them essential patterns for all fly anglers. Baitfish and Fry patterns come in a variety of colours and sizes, however, a simple pattern is all that's needed in many cases. Baitfish and Fry Flies are designed to mimic baitfish in fresh and saltwater environments. They are particularly effective with Trout, Salmon and Pike in the Autumn.

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 Small Bait Fish Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Tiemco TMC811s Saltwater size 6 Thread: 6/0 White Tail: Natural White Indian Cock Hackles and Pearl Krystal Flash Body: Green Pearl Lite-Brite Sides: UTC Opal Mirage Tinsel Large Gills: Glo-Brite Floss No.4 Throat: White Bucktail Wing/Back: Natural or Faux Fur Fabric Hair Eyes: Diamond Fish Eyes 4mm Clear

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, 29 August 2019

Tying a CDC Spent Caddis with Davie McPhail

As the evening rise processes, the Spent Spinners and Caddis having completed their cycle drop on the surface making an easy meal for hungry trout to gulp down at their leisure. These spent insects have wings splayed out flat on the water, in this pattern, Davie uses CDC feathers for the wings, providing a wider profile as well as making it much more delicate to splay out rather than using Deer or Elk hair. Fished static on a well-degreased leader this is a great fly to try as the sun is setting on any river with Caddis, Upwings and Sedges floating around.

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 CDC Spent Caddis fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Tiemco 2487 size 14 Thread: Uni-8/0 Rusty Brown Body: Dark Cinnamon CDC Feather or Dubbing of a similar colour. Wing and Thorax Cover: Dark and Light Cinnamon CDC Feathers or Deer Hair of a similar colour. Horns: Bronze Mallard Fibres Thorax: Dark and Light Cinnamon CDC Fibres or Dubbing of a similar colour.

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, 23 August 2019

An Introduction to Kayak Fishing - Part 2

With more and more anglers taking to the water on Kayaks, it makes sense to know what you need aboard your new craft, to stay safe and be prepared for the worst. Many want to just paddle to where the Mackerel are schooling up, but some want to go further out from the shore. This is where things start to get a bit more serious since you won't be close to the shore, you'll be in much deeper water and possibly placed into much more unpredictable situations. In Part 1 we explained what you'd need to stay safe; a PFD, Kayah Leash and basic safety items such as flares, a whistle and a rescue knife. Part 2 will detail what you'll need for more serious, deep water kayak fishing.

One of the safety aspects of kayak fishing is that wherever possible, and certainly whilst you are fishing, you shouldn’t do it alone. Fishing alone on a kayak is risky, as you are by yourself on open water, with no one around to help in the event something goes wrong. We mentioned having a VHF radio is a crucial part of your kit and this will save you in many circumstances. However if the situation arises where you for example faint or lose consciousness, you won't know what will happen. Having another member or friend with you on fishing sessions on open water will make everything far safer and you can rest assured that if something unexpected happens to either yourself or partner(s) there is someone in the area to help. It's also nice to have 1 or more people there to show off your catches.














Now that you have your a partner or a group of anglers on their own Yaks, the next thing you'll be concerned about (especially if you want to fish evenings) is if you get lost on your kayak on Open Water. You can rest assured that t technology is here to help you ease that lost feeling, with a Geographic Positioning System or GPS to you and me. A Waterproof GPS system will allow you to see exactly where you at any given time. GPS systems also allow you to log routes and travel maps of where you have been. This is perfect if you are planning to go long sessions on open water and you can't tell which part of the mainland you came from. Match with a GPS, you should also carry a trip plan, a small map, charts and a compass. This is essentially a backup in case the GPS system you have fails or shuts off due to low battery.

Your list should be starting to look a little bit longer now, especially with all of this technology at your fingertips. So far we have the following items ready to go:
  • PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
  • Kayak Leash tethered to your Kayak
  • A Whistle attached to your PFD
  • A Rescue knife for cutting away line/cord if you capsize and get tangled
  • A Waterproof VHF Radio capable of calling for help and Mobile phone in a Dry Bag
  • A Selection of Day and Night Flares
  • A fishing friend or group
  • A GPS System with backup Trip Plan, Charts, Small map and a Compass
The last parts of your kit will involve a Tow rope. The reason for this is if you catch yourself in a current and get pulled out from where you were originally fishing, if you radio for help, there is a high chance that another boat will be able to reach, preferably one with an outboard. A Tow rope will allow you to tether your kayak to another boat and be towed back to where you came from.

A Waterproof watch, this seems silly but it can make the difference between getting back to shore and staying out longer than you intended. A Watch will allow you to keep track of the tides. If you research your tidal times prior to going out on your kayak, you can plan for when you want to come back in with the help of the tide. It will also give you a better indication when to come back to shore, to beat nightfall.

A basic first aid kit - In the event that you hook yourself or hurt yourself at sea, you can quickly patch yourself up. Remember to also keep a bottle of suncream to hand as well as prolonged exposure to the sun can cause sunburn. It's also advised to bring food and plenty of water with you.


We highly recommend that you visit the RNLI website and read up on the leaflets, checklists and dangers that come with Kayak fishing on Open Water and in Sheltered bays. We would also recommend that you seek and take part in courses designed to keep you safe on a Kayak at sea and on inland waters and you can find that information on the RNLI website as well.

This article was brought to you in association with Sea Angler.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Tying an Ally Shrimp Temple Dog Salmon Fly with Davie McPhail

Developed by Alistair 'Ally' Gowans from Scotland, the Ally Shrimp was created to simulate the translucent, shrimp-like crustaceans he had seen in the trawler catches. This is a real all-rounder and something every Salmon Angler should have in their fly boxes. In this variant, Davie McPhail has taken the pattern and added a Temple Dog style. He has done this by taking the traditional Ally Shrimp tail away and making it into a long flowing wing and adding jungle cock for eyes. This particular style of fly is best suited for fast-flowing rivers and streams.

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 theAlly Shrimp Temple Dog Salmon Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Tube: US Silver 13mm and Clear Inner Tubing Thread: Uni-8/0 Fire Orange Rib: Oval Silver Tinsel Body: Chinese Red and Black Uni-Floss Under-Wing: Dyed Hot Orange Golden Pheasant Tippet and Grey Squirrel Wing: Hot Orange Artic Fox, Krinkle Flash, Hot Orange Goat and Silver Fox Body Hair dyed Hot Orange Eyes: Jungle Cock Hackle: Hot Orange Hen or Cock Head: Small Silver Turbo Disc.

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, 15 August 2019

Tying a Snake Fly with Davie McPhail

Snake flies are large fly patterns made from a long length of rabbit zonker strip. They're not to be confused with the snake flies fished by sea trout anglers, which are very different. Snakes first became popular in the Midland reservoirs during fry bashing season, several years ago. They quickly caught on elsewhere, as they proved effective for targeting larger fish - Browns and Rainbows - but it's said they were initially one of those secret patterns that competition anglers tried to keep under wraps to prevent them losing their effectiveness. Traditional Snake Flies are tied with silver bead eyes, but as Davie McPhail explains, you are free to use any colour bead eye you want.

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 CDC Chocolate Drop/Brown Caddis, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Line: 20lb Braid Hooks: Size 8 Thread: Black Uni-8/0 Body: Black Rabbit Dubbing Wing: Black Rabbit Zonker Strip, Silver and Gold Flash Eyes: Silver or Chartreuse Chain Bead Eyes Head: Black Glister Dubbing

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, 13 August 2019

Which Is The Right Type Of Fly Line To Use


As fly anglers, we face a wide variety of waters to fish. From deep reservoirs and lochs to small rivers and stillwaters. The question is, when should you use different fly lines like floaters, intermediates and sinkers, and how do you find out which line works best?

Ultimately, there is no 'best' line, only the line that's most suitable for the method on any given day. This will be based on your style of fishing and the depth the fish are holding at.

Generally speaking, a standard floating line is the most versatile in your box. With a floating line, you can fish on top of the water or in the surface film. You can also fish depths of 20 feet by using a long leader, and a weighted fly provided you employ a slow retrieve and wait for the fly to get down.

Airflo Superflo
When deciding on which line to use, try and gauge how deep the water is that you will be fishing, and what method you will be using. For example, when fishing from the bank at any water (large or small) an excellent first choice would always be a floating line. This is because your fly will very rarely be in water deeper than 20 feet. By changing your speed of retrieve and the weight of the fly, you can control the depth you are fishing. A floater allows you to explore the depths.

Cortland Competition Medium Sinking Line
The exception would be when fishing Boobies early season when you would need a fast sinking line such as a Di-5 or Di-7 to pull the fly down and hold it there.
Airflo 2019 Di5 - Di7
If you can imagine that fish are holding at approximately eight feet deep, but want a lure pulled quite quickly, then you should opt for an intermediate or a medium sinking line. A moderate to fast retrieve on a floating line would pull your fly up on the retrieve. It will also pull the fly up and out of the 'holding zone'. By fishing an intermediate or medium sinking line, you would retrieve on a level plane, keeping your fly at the correct depth for the length of the retrieve. This gives you more opportunities to induce the take.
Cortland Competition Fo-Tech Intermediate
When boat fishing, the 'go-to' line for many anglers is a Di-3 or a Di-5 Sweep because the water you are fishing is generally deeper - between 15 and 35 feet. These medium sinking lines allow you to fish the greatest range of waters and methods without continually changing lines. If you were to chose just three fly lines in a session, a great choice would be a floater, a fast intermediate and a Di-5 Sweep.

Equipped with a range of weighted, unweighted and buoyant flies, you could then cover just about every scenario on every water with these lines, allowing you always to catch a few fish.

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

Friday, 9 August 2019

Shore Fishing Over Rough Ground


It's an age-old problem that every shore angler has experienced at some point. That is the loss of sea fishing terminal tackle over rough ground. So what adjustments do you need to make when fishing over rough or weedy ground to minimise tackle loss?

Firstly, try using a stronger mainline, say 30lb. You can add a rubbing leader for extra strength and it will give you some abrasion resistance when casting harder, but if you are just lobbing lead weights, you can use this straight through. Much of the time it's the sea fishing hooks that are becoming trapped in kelp or rocks, so using a hook that can bend a little, may help too.

Rotten Bottom Rig
A rotten bottom link is also a good idea. This is used to dump the lead weight by using a weaker line when the sinker is snagged, allowing the sea rig to be retrieved.


Rotten Bottom Example 2.
Rotten Bottom Clips
Another tactic to consider using a spiked sinker where the spikes prevent the weight from becoming lodged in the cracks and crevices.

Gemini Casting Weight
Finally, a pulley rig works well because when you retrieve, the sinker rises in high water, avoiding any potential traps on the seabed.
Pulley Pennel Rig
With these minor adjustments, you will decrease the chances of losing your gear, and prolonging the time you spend fishing; and less time making rigs.

This article was brought to you in association with Sea Angler Magazine.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Tying the Pot Scrubber Nymph with Davie McPhail

Originally tied by Dick Wigram, this is a nymph in the classic looks like everything and nothing style. The Wigram Brown Nymph, commonly known as the "Pot Scrubber" for the Pot Scrubber Copper wire used in the pattern, is probably Tasmania's most famous nymph pattern where it was used as an imitation of Red Spinner Mayflies but it has been successful all across the world in various colours and guises with its slim natural streamlined silhouette.

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 CDC Chocolate Drop/Brown Caddis, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Dk.Brown Tail: Brown Cock Fibres Rib: Copper Tinsel from a Copper Scrubbing Pad Body: Brown Wool and Brown Seals Fur Mixed Together Thorax Cover: Brown Raffia Thorax: Brown Wool and Brown Seals Fur Mixed Together

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, 1 August 2019

Tying a CDC Chocolate Drop/Brown Caddis with Davie McPhail

A CDC Caddis, although quite simplistic in its appearance, is a proven fish-catching fly. These flies imitate an emerging adult insect which makes them perfect for just about any venue when the Trout are on the rise. The CDC Caddis is quite adaptable and can be tied in a variety of different patterns; one of which is this Chocolate Drop/Brown from Davie McPhail. Not only is the pattern a great option for a caddis imitation, but it also doubles up as a great-searching pattern in between other fly hatches.
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 CDC Chocolate Drop/Brown Caddis, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Medium All-Rounder size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Dk.Brown Tag/Egg Sack: Yellow Seals Fur or Sub Body: Dark Brown Seals Fur or Sub Underwing: Brown Deer Hair Wing: Brown CDC Feathers or Natural Hackle: Whiting Hebert Minor Brown Dry Fly Hackle

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, 30 July 2019

Transform Your Method Feeder Fishing


The Method Feeder is an amazingly successful tactic, used by many anglers. However, believe it or not, there are many ways to transform it from a great technique to an incredible one.

The Method is so effective at putting fish on the bank that some anglers would be happy to use it 365 days a year. Apart from fishing the long pole to the shallow margins of an island, few other approaches place the loosefeed and hookbait with such precision.

Preston Elasticated Flat Method Feeders
The Method also provides the angler with the best chance of a bite because it always offers a perfect presentation. It never tangles, and it covers the feeder and end tackle when the payload breaks down. It is also child’s play to set up and fish. What could be better?

There are many different ways to approach a session, and all are very good on their day, but you have to go a long way to beat the Method. It will help you to catch fish from all waters in all conditions with the minimum of fuss.

Method Feeder Rig
The positive aspect of feeder fishing is also its simplicity. There are no complicated shotting patterns to consider, and everything is pinned down, so there is little to spook the fish. Of course, there are still a few tips and wheezes you can adopt to turn something great into something incredible.

The following five points are things that some of the most successful anglers in the country have developed over the years.

Match Your Payload To Your Target Species
Groundbait or pellets? It’s a question as old as the Method itself when it comes to which bait you should load the feeder with and something that causes a lot of confusion.

Keep things simple. If you are specifically targeting silver fish and F1s, use groundbait. If the target is carp over 6lb, then these big boys need feeding, so use 100 per cent moistened micro pellets. For every other scenario, it is an 80:20 combination of ground bait and micro pellets. The groundbait creates a cloud in the water, which attracts the fish and encourages them to feed with confidence. The pellets then leave them something to eat and hold them in the swim for longer.

Swim Stim F1 Sweet
For example, you could use a mixture of Dynamite Baits’ Swim Stim F1 Sweet. Don’t let the name fool you. It is a range designed for F1s, but all fish, mainly carp and skimmers, love it. F1 Sweet is packed with all the same tastes, flavours, and attractors as the rest of the Swim Stim range, but with the addition of a sweet palatant. To increase the flavour, you could also add a glug of Sweet Tiger CSL Liquid to both the groundbait mixing water as well as the pellets.

Dip The Feeder
Once the feeder is loaded, dip it into a little more of the Sweet Tiger Liquid. Fish feed more confidently in a cloud, even in the highly-coloured water of commercial summer pools. The cloud also puts loads of smell and attraction into the water, which drives the fish wild, looking for something to eat - that something is your hook bait!

Dip The Method Feeder
Stop Baits Sticking To The Mould
With the development of moulds, Method feeder fishing has never been so easy. But you still need to prepare your groundbait and pellets correctly to prevent them from sticking in the Mould after you have loaded the feeder with either.
Method Mould
An easy way to stop this from happening is to cut a length of heavy-duty plastic, lay it across the Mould’s pan and then tape it around the base of the feeder. This means that the payload will never get stuck in the Mould and you’ll get a perfectly-loaded feeder every time. Regarding the plastic, use a strip from a big food bag because it is thick and will last longer, but any plastic will suffice.


Try Different Hookbaits During The Session
When it comes to hookbaits, always load up with a wide selection including dead maggots, corn, Dynamite’s Durables and their Slow Sinking Nuggets. The reason is simply that every day is different. Some days the fish want a small, light bait. Other days it’s a high-viz one or even a hookbait that matches the hatch. But, by carrying a range of alternative hookbaits, it is easy to chop and change to discover what is working best on the day. On some days you might decide to use dead maggots, but you can even change these from using a single one to two or three on the hook.

Dynamite Durables
Slow Sinking Nuggets
Also, it is even possible to change the same hookbait, and it is something that can make a massive difference at times. Dead maggots are really good because they are almost weightless, so the hookbait goes into the mouth of a fish without them even realising. The bites, therefore, always tend to be very positive.

Loosfeed Corn For Bigger Carp
When it comes to Method feeder fishing, most anglers fish a single line – either into open water or to a feature. This is great, and you will catch a lot of fish. To catch even more, fish a couple of extra lines to target the larger fish.

Using Double Maggot
On many waters, the Method seems to catch more of the ‘stockies’ as opposed to the bigger carp. To this end, you can use loosefeed corn either just over the marginal shelf or in the margins. These are both classic big-carp areas and places where they only ever encounter pole and waggler rigs, never the Method. By fishing a payload of pellets or pellets and groundbait, with a yellow Slow Sinking Nugget on the hair rig, you can get through to the larger fish in the lake because the particle-only approach made them bully the little ones out of the way.

Although there is nothing here that is radically different or mind-blowing, adopting these few little tips and tweaks will improve your Method feeder fishing immeasurably.

This article was brought to you in association with Improve Your Coarse Fishing.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Summer Sedge Fun


For many fly anglers at this time in the season, the evening gloom is eclipsed by the sound of hungry trout splashing - quite spectacularly in some case. The target? Sedges, skittering across the top of the water provoking aggressive takes from trout in hot pursuit.
Cinnamon Sedge


Red Sedge


The scientific name for the sedges is Trichoptera, which translates as 'hairy wings' and it's easy to see why. There are 198 species of Sedge in Britain including the great red Sedge, cinnamon sedge, grousewings and silverhorns, to name just a few.

Cased Caddis
From a fly fishing point of view, the evening sedge sport brings welcome relief during high summer. Anglers often don't even bother fishing until dusk arrives, because of the difficulty of daytime sport, especially on stillwaters, as the water warms and trout sulk due to lack of oxygen in the water.

Sedgehog
However, come dusk, all hell breaks loose, and those anglers choosing to remain at home are missing out on some spectacular sport.

Goddard Amber Sedge
Sedges are at home on a river or lake, and it's one of the few times that poor fly presentation doesn't matter. A sedge creates a wake - or drag - across the water surface due to the fly line pulling against the current or the wind blowing your floating line. Trout see this as a sedge acting naturally, so be prepared for savage takes and proper hook-ups.

Peeping Caddis
It's not just the adult sedges that concern anglers. The juicy nymph and pupae are well and truly on the menu too. After mating, females deposit eggs into the water and after hatching, the nymphs – often referred to as caddis – create a protective case (mobile or static) made from glued-together debris from the bed. Anglers call these the 'cased caddis' and have many imitations. It's just as well really because the fish love them.

Dark Olive Hatching Sedge

Then there are the sedge pupae, which, before emerging into adulthood, betray their presence by bulging the water as they swim just sub-surface. Again, anglers have developed suitable patterns.

Fish the nymph or pupa with long or short draws on the fly-line as opposed to a continuous figure-of-eight. If you see a follow, stop the retrieve and then strike. The chances are that you'll find yourself hooked into a fish.  A positive lift of the rod is all you need.

World Class Fluorocarbon
But during summer it's the adults that interest fly anglers the most. Fish a floating line, long leader and a single fly. Sedges can be seen swarming close to the shore or in the sheltered side of boats. These are males trying to attract females. Occasionally, you'll see a pair break off from the swarm and disappear into a bush to mate. Then, you might see a female dipping her eggs into the water or crawling down a plant stem to deposit the eggs.

Fly Floatant
No season is complete without catching a trout on the Sedge. Armed with some knowledge about the Sedge's lifecycle, when they emerge, a basic understanding of how to fish the Sedge, and a handful of patterns, you will be surprised at how much fun you can have, and how explosive the takes can be.

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

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Smaller Flies For Salmon In Low Water


Around this time of year, rivers will be experiencing pushes of summer salmon, grilse and sea trout.  Conditions associated with this time of year are low and clear water, and fish will be eager to enter rivers in big tides and force their way upstream under cover of darkness or cloudy days. Although not the best conditions, you can still expect to catch fish if you use the 'appropriate' flies in the 'appropriate' manner.

Salmon can see better in clear water than dirty water, except perhaps on bright sunny days, when they may move into deeper or shaded water. Or even better, fast runs or the tails of pools where rippled water protects their eyes from the sun. Here they feel comfortable and safe.

In clear water, it's better to show the fish a small fly, which can be anything from a size 12 hook and downwards. Unlike a small fly, a big fly can be seen from a distance, and the fish might lose interest in it by the time it's close enough for them to take - usually five or six casts later as you move down the pool.

Have you ever watched a pod of salmon react as an angler fishes a fly over them? The first time, one fish may be interested in following the fly, quivering or snapping its mouth at the fly. But the more often the fly swings past the pod, the less interest they will show, even moving away to one side if the fly gets too close.

In clear, low water, you have a better chance of presenting a small fly close to a fish without it realising, basically bumping it on the nose and provoking an aggressive response.

Bear in mind, the well-known saying, "dull day, dull fly; bright day, bright fly," which is as true today as it has ever been, so choose your fly colour accordingly. Don't imagine that by using small flies you may be missing the chance of a fish - they have much better eyesight than we give them credit.

When it comes to smaller flies for salmon on low clear water, there are various categories to consider:

Hackled Flies
It's amazing how flies fall out of favour. Years ago, most folks would have a Black Pennell in their fly box for difficult, sunny days. It remains popular in the spate rivers of Scotland and Ireland. Many anglers prefer to tie them with cock hackles so that the stiff fibres can dance and kick as you work the fly back through the slower pools. Also, try them through the necks and tails. The extra movement of the hackle as it swings through faster water can make the difference. Another excellent hackled fly to use is a Lady
Edna (variant).



Standard Hook Flies
Possibly the most common fly style for salmon in summer, accounting for thousands of fish over the years. They look like little jewels as they dance in the water of swift pools. If the water you are fishing is fast, cast at a more downstream angle. This allows the fly to stay in the target zone longer, giving a salmon more time to take. As you move downstream, cast more squarely as the water starts to lose pace. Then begin to work the fly by tweaking or handling the fly line. Many salmon anglers think this quickens the fly's swing, but it also raises it through the water column, before it sinks a little, before being tweaked again. This three-dimensional movement can make all the difference. Small trebles are popular and can secure good hook-holds, digging deeply into a fish's jaw. But not everyone is a fan of fishing trebles in the UK. You may catch lots of parr with these techniques, and they are challenging to unhook.

There are many fans of single-hook flies tied in the old low water style. This allows you to tie your fly on a slightly larger hook with a wider gape (better for hooking fish) but keep the dressing on the small side. It's a great way to hook salmon when they're coming short or slashing at the fly, a sign of fast-moving, excitable fish.
Great examples of standard hook flies include Blue Charm, Executioner, Munro Killer, and March Brown.

Tube Flies
It's always useful to have a few small tube flies in your box. Many anglers tie them on plastic, aluminium and copper tubes in very small sizes. The advantage of a small tube is that you can use a short-shank hook behind it, which are better "hookers" and create less leverage for an energetic fish. Great examples of small tube flies include a Silver Stoat or an Alistair.

On spate rivers, where allowed, many anglers use a small copper tube-fly on the point with a hackled fly, such as a Black Pennell, on the dropper. The heavy tube-fly will sink and dig into the faster water, which helps to stop the flies from swinging too quickly. It's incredible how many times a fish come towards the movement of the Pennell but turn away at the last second, only to take the little tube on the way back to its lie.
Mini Monkey
The Mini Monkey is surprisingly useful when you are struggling to catch fish. Its success is due to its versatility because you can fish it as slowly as you like because its wing is so mobile, but it still has enough presence in faster water. You can even catch fish by casting it upstream into a waterfall and stripping it back as quickly as possible.

Mini Monkey
It is a fly well worth having in your fly box and using it any time of the year in bright, clear conditions.

Tackle for Fishing Smaller Flies In most situations, choose a rod to cover the river you are fishing, then select a line for that salmon rod to fish at a certain depth, and then select the fly to cover the pool you are fishing. If you were to use the same reasoning and add a small fly to the usual 14ft–15ft rods (10- or 11-weights), you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. Big rods and small hooks usually result in straightened hooks or pulled hook-holds. The rods are too powerful and stiff to protect and cushion during the take or the fight. That's why it is essential to choose your tackle from the fly "backwards"...

Small Fly As discussed, a smaller fly helps us to cover a fish without spooking it. Salmon also become more "trout-like" in rising water temperatures and are more aggressive towards smaller flies, perhaps a throwback to their time as parr.

Fly Rod To balance the outfit, use a light line rod. Depending on the river and conditions, Choose anything from a six or seven weight (10ft single-hander, 10ft-11ft switch or 11ft-12ft double-hander on spate rivers) to an eight or nine-weight (12ft-14ft double-hander) on larger rivers. Generally, these light rods are more forgiving and will protect a hook-hold if you get lucky. They also make it easier to present the fly without spooking fish.
Greys GR60 Switch
Floating Line
A lighter line will help to turn over a small fly, but not too much. It will create less splash when casting, less disturbance when mending, and less shadow on the river. Use floating lines in the summer but use different-density polyleaders to help with depth control.

Mackenzie DTX G3 Spey
Lighter Leader
A lighter breaking-strain leader will improve fly mobility. You could use Seaguar depending on water conditions and the size of fish expected. The thinner leader material will help the presentation and be less conspicuous.

Seaguar Ace Fluorocarbon

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

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Tying an Foam Hopper/Cricket with Davie McPhail

The Foam Hopper/Cricket is easy to spot on the water, it's easy to cast and Trout just love them so it's no surprise they've become a popular pattern amongst angler. These large flies come in a variety of patterns and are suited for when Trout are actively feeding on the surface and interested in chasing bigger morsels. Tied in a similar style to the big bugs thrown in Patagonia, this rubber legged hopper has caught some serious specimens in UK Stillwaters whether fished static or twitched and popped in the surface. Foam Crickets/Hoppers are also an ideal flies to be used as strike indicators as they float like a bung.

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 Foam Hopper/Cricket, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium Size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Rusty Brown Body: Tan 2mm Foam and Rootbeer Diamond Brite Wing: Elk Hair and White Aero Dry Wing Legs: Black and Yellow Rubber Legs Thorax: Diamond Brite Rootbeer Head: Tan 2mm Foam

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!
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