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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Tying a Dark Claret Peter Sedge with Davie McPhail

The Sedge is an alternative name for Caddis flies. These flies in nature are mostly active during the early hours of the morning and towards evening times, however, during the day, most adult Sedge will be hiding in vegetation, away from the water. At dusk, Sedge flies will usually begin mating in flight or on vegetation close to water. You will often see Sedge skating across the surface of rivers and stillwater venues throughout the year. Davie McPhail's variant mixes it up slightly, by replacing the Wing with Roe Deer hair, where it would normally be Hen Pheasant.

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 Dark Claret Peter Sedge, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Wine Tag: Dark Red Seals Fur or SLF Dubbing Rib: Oval Gold Tinsel Small Body: Dark Claret Seals Fur or SLF Dubbing Body Hackle: Furnace Cock Saddle Wing: Roe Deer or Similar Front Hackle: Furnace Cock Saddle

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!

Monday, 24 June 2019

Summer Fly Set-Ups For Large And Small Stillwaters


Stillwaters are truly 'on song' right now with insect hatches in full flow and the fish gorging themselves at every opportunity. But it's best to make the most of this situation before the summer heat warms the water and slows sport. Inevitably, when the temperature rises, it reduces oxygen levels in the water and fish become less active so having a few leader set-ups at your disposal will ensure that you can fish with maximum effect when conditions are favourable.

Therefore with a focus on mid-summer fly fishing, here are a few leader set-ups for large and small stillwaters for you to try, so make sure you have these patterns in your fly box!

Set-up 1: Kingfisher Damsel
At this time of the year, with climbing temperatures, abundant weed growth and long sunny days, damsels are out in force! Fishing this fly on its own in water from five to twelve feet deep would be an ideal choice. Use a long leader keeping the fly well away from the fly line (if possible, try to use 14 feet minimum). If you feel a single length of tippet is too much, then use a tapered leader to aid your turnover.

Set-up 1: Kingfisher Damsel
A short, sharp, pulled retrieve works best, letting the bead-head do its job helping the fly to duck and dive with each pull and pause. This fly is probably the number one 'go to' pattern on most stillwaters – ignore it at your peril.

Kingfisher Damsel


Set-up: 2 UV Crunchers and Boobies
A team of three will often score highly on venues. You're giving the fish various choices, and often this can be more fruitful than the single fly approach.

Set-up: 2 UV Crunchers and Boobies
This set-up – two UV Crunchers and a Booby (tequila) – tends to work best during early and late summer. The UV Crunchers are a great choice as the fish are locking onto pinfry. You'll often see them boil at the surface on overcast, warm days, a sure sign that they're on the pinfry!
UV Cruncher
As soon as the flies hit the water, rip the line back with two or three long, one-metre pulls to make the Booby work. It'll cause a major disturbance, and bring the preoccupied fish in for a look, where they'll often fall victim to the nymphs!
Tequila Booby Blob
Set-up 3: Egg and Snake
Often when there is a bit of heat in the water, the fish may not want to chase, and in this instance, focus on fishing your flies on the drop. Two of the best are an Egg Fly and a Snake. Why are they so effective? They just look different!
Set-up 3: Egg and Snake
Keep them spaced well apart (eight feet if you can), cast them out and let them fall through the water. You may need to keep tension on everything with a very slow figure-of-eight retrieve.
Snake Booby Viva
This set-up can be fished on a floating line if it's flat calm, and a sink-tip if there's any wind - you can just feel things a lot better this way.

Stillwater Egg Flies
You may feel plenty of knocks and taps, but don't do anything. Keep up the slow retrieve until the line locks up solid.

Set-up 4: Klinkhammer and Buzzer These flies can be fished to great eff ect in both flat calm and on waters with reeds and weed beds. Quite often when the water is calm with no ripple, repeated casting can ruin the swim. A better option is to cast only occasionally, and this set-up allows you to do just that. It's an ambush set-up but one that is often very good in these types of conditions.

Set-up 4: Klinkhammer and Buzzer
As fish are cruising just below the surface, sipping at hatching midge pupae, fish the Buzzer only a couple of feet under the Klinkhammer fly. Make sure the Klink is buoyant enough to hold up the Buzzer.

Klinkhammer
This set-up can be fished static ( fish will take both dry and nymph) or you can twitch the line causing the Klink to bob under and back again – this method will take fish on the nymph!

3D Glass Buzzer
Set-up 5: Shipman's and Midas
When it comes to fishing dry flies, a lot of anglers don't have a lot of confidence, however, they are essential patterns that do work so you must persevere. You just need to know what to do! Here are two proven fish-catchers that work well together on the same cast.

Set-up 5: Shipman's and Midas
At this time of year, you want flies that will sit in the film not really on it – flies riding high come later on in the year. Fish the Shipman's on the dropper and the largest Midas on the point, it's a great method for targeting fish when it's overcast and there's a little bit of breeze on the water (the fish certainly love it).

Shipmans Buzzer
You can fish this cast 'blind', with speculating casts or indeed to rising fish. However, don't expect splashy rises, fish taking these flies will be sipping them down, so make sure you are prepared!

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



Angling On Loch Lomond And Its Rivers


Loch Lomond is Scotland's best known and most loved Loch and is renowned throughout the world. It has inspired songs, works of art, and there are many legendary tales of record salmon caught, the largest of which was a 44lb fish caught in 1930 by Mr Edward Cochrane. The Loch is steeped in history, and anglers who get to know its waters intimately eventually hold a deep affection for the place.


After spending almost 40 years fishing the Loch Lomond system, a Clydebank-born man has decided to share his love affair with the Loch that provided "many wonderful angling experiences and memorable days in beautiful surroundings." "Angling on Loch Lomond and its Rivers" by Richard Dickson chronicles the stories of its most famous anglers, and through his intimate knowledge of the place, its seasonal cycles, ecology and beauty, peels back the layers to reveal the magic and majesty of Scotland's jewel in the crown.

Richard Dickson
Richard has fished throughout Scotland, but for the past 40 years has spent most of his fishing time on Loch Lomond and its rivers. Since retiring, he has been the angling columnist for the Lennox Herald, West Dunbartonshire’s best selling local newspaper. His ‘Angling Angle’ column has been published weekly during each fishing season for seven years, with an impressive list of articles in excess of 200  written about fishing in the Lomond system. Dick also contributes monthly to the national ‘Trout and Salmon Magazine’, with reports about the fishing on Lomond and its rivers.

River Fruin
For an angler who has never fished Loch Lomond, it is understandable to feel over-awed by its sheer size. Stand on the top of either Conic Hill or Ben Lomond, and you get to appreciate its vastness - all 22.6 miles of it. It appears almost impenetrable, dark and nearly inaccessible. Granted, you can glean information from friends and anglers who can point you in the right direction about where to fish, what baits or lures to use, and where to locate specific species, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Through the book's easy-going style and almost poetic narrative, Richard helps the reader navigate Loch Lomond's murky waters and islands to reveal a magical loch, offering a first-hand account of fishing its many channels, bays and tributaries. From the Fruin to the Endrick, you will get to explore the variety of fish species in the Lomond system, its distinctive features, topology, geology, and historical sites.

This beautifully written book will resonate with anglers of all ages and abilities but its most significant triumph is that anglers will fall under the spell of Loch Lomond. You will not only be mesmerised by its natural beauty but also enchanted by its whispers and perhaps igniting your own love affair with the place.

You can meet Richard Dickson at the Edinburgh Angling Centre Open Weekend on the 29th and 30th June where you will have a chance to chat to him about the book, and also the opportunity to buy a signed copy.  Glasgow Angling Centre dates to be announced.


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Tying the UV Skinny Dip Shuttlecock with Davie McPhail

The Shuttlecock epitomises the use of Cul-De-Canard in modern stillwater Trout flies. By combining a slim, quick-sinking abdomen with a dense plume of CDC Feather, the pattern imitates brilliantly the chironomid midge pupa as it transforms into the winged adult. These flies sit perfectly on the surface of the water, especially when Trout are rising. The way it works is the CDC plume keeps the fly sitting on the surface, whilst the body sinks and remains under the surface, imitating a hatching adult midge. Davie McPhails take on this fly, removes the Body of the fly and because of this, it allows the hook to self correct itself and display perfect for any hungry Trout.
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 UV Skinny Dip Shuttlecock Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Super Grub Heavyweight size 16 Thread: Uni-8/0 Black Body: None Tag: Red Holographic Tinsel Thorax: Diamond-Brite UV Black or Similar Wing: 2 Natural CDC Feathers

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, 18 June 2019

Dry Fly Tactics for Trout


Nothing beats the excitement of watching a trout take your dry fly, whether that's a fish head and tailing, splashing or sipping off the surface. However, there is a lot of uncertainty as to how long you should let your fly sit on top of the water, without a take, before you re-cast your fly line?

Stillwater 50 Assorted Dry Flies
The answer to this question might depend on several things. Generally speaking, if trout are not rising, whether you're drifting in a boat, or wading the shoreline, it's important to continually cover the water by fan casting with your fly rod.



A common approach is to cast out to one place and leave your fly/flies there for no more than 10 seconds, before lifting off to re-present elsewhere. The idea is that you methodically search the water.

In contrast, if fish can be seen dimpling in calm conditions, then the chances are these trout will be cruising close to the surface. If you now adopt the continuous casting mentioned above, then you are likely to spook some of the fish with this continued disturbance. In this scenario, you're better off trying to plot the path of rising fish and place the fly a little way ahead of them. In such circumstances, your fly might be on the surface for 20 or more seconds. Equally, where lots of trout are seen rising, say to a fall of terrestrials, then it can be worth casting your dry fly out and leaving it to its own devices for 30 or 40 seconds.

Loon Floatant and Sinkant

If you observe trout patrolling a particular beat while rising, this requires that you set up an ambush.


Wait for the fish to be a safe distance away before placing a fly into the path where you judge the trout will pass. It might be some minutes before the fish comes ambling along on its circuit so your fly will remain at the surface for well over a minute. With this, be mindful of greasing most of the leader so it floats for a clean, swift lift if a trout takes the fly. Only the tippet section should be de-greased.

Rio Powerflex Tippet Material




With a bit of thought and careful consideration about where and when to cast your dry fly, you will get your fly/flies in the trout's window of vision more often. It is then up to you to get your timing right and to strike at the appropriate time to set the hook.

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

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Tying a Copper Hare's Ear Nymph with Davie McPhail

The Hare's Ear Nymph's origin dates back to the 1880's and probably remains one of the most recognized flies out there. These flies are proven fish catchers even when there is no hatch on the go. They imitate almost any natural nymph and are ideally used on streams, rivers and stillwater venues. Davie Mcphail, instead of using thread to create the body of the Nymph, uses a fine Copper wire to give a more attractive profile.

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 Copper Hare's Ear Nymph, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight size 14 Tying WireUTC X small Copper Wire Tail and Thorax: Pheasant Tail Fibres Rib: Copper Wire Body and Thorax: Dyed Yellow Hare's Ear and Mask 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!

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Tying a Small Grey Duster (Parachute Style) with Davie McPhail

The Grey Duster is a broad spectrum dry fly pattern that imitates a variety of insects such as small moths or midges. The Grey Duster is a favourite on streams and stillwaters, as well as reservoirs. Davie McPhail's style of Small Grey Duster features a Parachute CDC wing which not only assists with floating this fly and making it more lifelike, it's also added to allow you, the angler, to see the fly sitting on the surface.

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 Small Grey Duster (Parachute Style) Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry Fly size 20 Thread: Uni-8/0 Black Tail: Dark Coq de Leon Body: Mole Fur Wing: Natural CDC Feather Hackle: Whiting Cock Badger

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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