Email Signup

Do you want to be emailed about our latest offers?


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!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Tips and Techniques for Catching Tench

With summer well and truly underway, this is the perfect time to bag a tench. But if you are a seasoned carp or predator angler, how do you go about landing your first tench? Here are a few hints and tips to help you catch your first 'tinca.'

Believe it or not, in terms of weight, tench equal carp and barbel for their fighting power, and the male tench, which have larger fins, can put up a significant fight.

One of the critical aspects of tench fishing is understanding their habitat. You can locate specimens in clear waters where dense weed beds promote rich, natural food larders. Also, look out for features such as bars, plateaux, islands and margins where they feast on tiny snails and other sub-aquatic organisms such as bloodworm.
Dynamite Baits Sweetcorn
Tench can easily be caught using large baits intended for carp, however, smaller baits that mimic their natural food menu can often produce more bites. For example, crunchy little casters are unbeatable; as is hemp. Tench also love sweetcorn.

Dynamite Baits Hempseed
With regards to gear for tench, make sure it is balanced, and you will reap the rewards of the scrap far more than if you were to target them using carp tackle. To this end, using a lighter Avon rod, specialist rod, or even a pellet waggler balanced with a medium-sized reel loaded with 6 to 8lb monofilament is ideal.

Nash BP4 Fast Drag Reel
In locating tench, tiny fizzing bubbles are a tell-tale sign that tench are on the feed and nothing beats catching them with sturdy float gear.

Korum Twin Tip Rod
Hook size very much depends on the bait used. For example, use a size 16 for caster or maggot, and size 10 for 6mm pellet, bread, lobworms and double corn.

Use A Mix of Pellets
One of the most popular approaches for catching tench is using the lift method float rig. To set up a lift method float rig properly, make sure you plumb the depth accurately and then slide the float up to the line (from a few inches to over a foot). You then need to place some bulk split shot the same distance from the hook.

The method float rig itself is straightforward to set up. Use 6lb mainline, waggler float, a 4lb fluorocarbon hook length, one SSG shot, and a size ten hook.

If you ensure the line is tight when fishing, you will observe bites when the float lifts out of the water as a tench takes the bait. Also look out for 'fizzing.'

Float Lift Method for Tench
Another popular method is to use a dotted down 3AAA float correctly shotted and set about 4 inches over depth. The dotted down float can out-perform the lift method if there is a lot of tow on the water and you can anchor the float down.

Being prepared to experiment with hook baits can turn a challenging session into a good one. On some occasions, tench will feed aggressively, and you'll catch them on a size ten hook with double sweetcorn, bread or luncheon meat. Other times they will prefer a double red maggot, caster, or 6mm pellet on a size 16 hook.

This article was brought to you in association with Angling Times.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Tying a Quilled Yellow Owl Emerger/Dry Fly with Davie McPhail

The CDC Bubble Fly is a representation of a variety of flies such as Midges, Duns and Caddis. They can be tied in different patterns which will allow you to fish a variety of venues, from streams to stillwater. The CDC Bubble gets its name from the way it's tied: When adding the CDC Feathers, you bend them into the eye of the hook and it creates a natural bubble shape which will trap the air in the fibres and create a natural floating appearance whilst the hook remains under 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 Quilled Yellow Owl Emerger/Dry Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.

Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Super Grub size 14 Thread: Uni-8/0 Lt.Cahill Body: Light Olive Peacock Quill Wing: CDC Feathers and Roe Deer Legs: Knotted Pheasant Tail Fibres Thorax and Head: Rabbit and UV Lite Brite Dubbing Mix

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, 9 July 2019

An Introduction to Kayak Fishing - Part 1

It’s that time of the year; Summer, when everyone is out fishing the coastlines, LRF’ing and surfcasting. Occasionally you see kayakers paddling around, but they aren’t just paddling about, they have rods protruding from their craft. Watching a group of kayaker’s fish about in sheltered bays and moving up estuaries got me quite interested. We’re happy to stand on Harbours and fish out the odd Mackerel, Blenny or Goby, but watching these groups get access to Cod, Mackerel, Pollack and Wrasse that are beyond casting range, makes us want to get afloat.

So, with so many anglers deciding to take the plunge and take up yak fishing, just what should you take with you on your fishing expeditions? When you do an Anglers Afloat training day, the instructors are adamant that they will not take anyone out for the training who did not have at least two items of safety kit – the first being some means of keeping afloat, the second being some means of attaching your paddle to your yak, so the two stay together if you fall in the sea. In the kayaking context, some means of staying afloat means a device known as a PFD (personal flotation device) and most of these look like a waistcoat with some form of buoyant foam lining. They differ from lifejackets in that they are intended primarily as a means of keeping you afloat, but enable you to swim, whereas the lifejackets you are likely to see used by yachties are mainly the self-inflating type. On a kayak, where you are very likely to get wet without falling in, this type of jacket is of limited use. Kayak PFDs are generally cut so that there is good freedom of movement around the shoulder area, so that you can still paddle, and are rated according to their buoyancy or lift, usually measured in Newtons, where more is generally better.
The second item that trainers will insist on is a paddle leash. This is simply a method of keeping the paddle attached to the yak if you fall in. If you then hold on to the paddle, you ensure that you will not become separated from the yak. Expect to pay around £15 for a decent paddle leash. At one end it will have a Velcro collar that fits the shaft of the paddle and at the other end, you find some method of attaching it the yak. Some leashes have plastic clips that attach to an eye on the kayak, stay clear of these as they have been known to come away from the kayak. It is recommended to for the type where you just have a loop and have to pass one end back through the looped end to secure it or go for one with a carabiner type clip. Cheap leashes are available and can be used to secure rods and other items to the kayak, but it is not recommended to use them for securing your paddle because this is such a vital part of your safety equipment when at sea.

What else should you be taking to the sea with you? The RNLI produces a leaflet outlining some of its thoughts on kayak safety. The RNLI kit advice is split into two sections, one for sheltered inshore paddling and one covering stuff you will need when you start to venture further afield. For inshore trips as well as a PFD, the RNLI recommends a suitable means of calling for help and mentions either a portable VHF radio or flares. Note that although excellent for back up, a mobile phone even the waterproof variety isn’t really up for the job. A marine VHF radio will tell everyone in the vicinity that there is a problem and will enable you to talk directly to rescue services. It also has the advantage that you can listen in to other boat users often other fishermen and can even talk to your friends in other kayaks, so you will find that almost all kayak anglers carry a handheld VHF.

The other item that would be recommended is a decent knife which should be attached to your PFD so that if you end up in the water, tangled in rope, cords or line you can quickly cut yourself free. A Proper rescue knife should be used as these knives have a rounded tip to the blade so you can’t stab yourself by accident. A folding knife is also beneficial if you can’t get a hold of a rescue knife. The RNLI advises that a whistle should also be carried on you, attached to your PFD in case you fall in and need to draw attention to your location. If you are going further afield the RNLI list of items gets longer, where it recommends having the following with you: A Two-piece Paddle, A waterproof torch with working batteries, a GPS, Compass and Watch, Tow Rope, Basic First Aid Kit, Sun cream/Sunglasses/Sun Hat, Spare Clothing and an Exposure Bag. Furthermore, they also recommend you carry a Trip plan as well as appropriate waterproof charts.

On the face of it, this seems like overkill and we are sure that there are some of you out there who just want to paddle out from the beach for an evening and catch a few mackerel. The problem with this approach is the sea is unpredictable and can change rapidly, even with a good weather forecast. If you really want to enjoy your kayak fishing experience then it makes sense to think, long and hard about the safety procedures and kit before you go out to the sea.

It is highly recommended that you seek the appropriate training and kit, that way you can relax and enjoy yourself, knowing that if the unexpected does occur during your session, you will have a plan to cope with the worst.

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

Monday, 8 July 2019

Lake of Menteith Youth Coaching and Summer Fishing

Lake of Menteith Fisheries are offering heavily discounted evening fishing for under-18s this summer, running until the 6th of August as well as free fishing a boat handling tuition from SANA coaches through their Cormorants Youth Fishing Team.
Plus if you're fishing the Lake and are fishing with a young person they fish for free! No better time to get them out on the water and into the sport this summer.
Get into the outdoors and catch your dinner!
Young Persons Fly Fishing and Coaching.
Lake of Menteith  – Season 2019
Fly fishing for trout must be one of the most effective and easily accessible forms of fishing for young people. If you bring a young person to the lake to fish, they fish free (18 and under) whilst accompanied by an adult. Fishing can be recreational or of a more sporting nature.
Young "Cormorant" Showing Off His Catch
Weekly Evening Sessions
The Lake of Menteith Fisheries have a fly fishing club called the “Cormorants” at the Lake of Menteith, Stirling.  
Over the last 10 years many of the youngsters attending the cormorants consistently qualify to fish in the national youth squad and have become Captains and Vice-Captains. Some have gone on to take up full time positions in angling associated trades and occupations.
Free fishing and boat handling tuition is given from qualified and experienced coaches and boat persons (Scottish Anglers National Association Level 2 Coach, Scottish Angler’s Leaders Award, Enhanced Disclosure Scotland). The fishing permits/boat hire are heavily discounted (a maximum of £7 per individual per evening). All fishing is by boat which takes place weekly on Tuesday Evenings from 6pm till around 9 or 9.30pm and runs until the 6th August. 
  • Tackle and equipment is available on loan during initial stages. 
  • Life jackets are provided. 
  • Upper age limit is 18 years. 

Further Information (including advice on rods etc) please contact the fishing coach Alasdair Mair on 07860368472, email Or alternatively contact the Manager of the Fisheries Quint Glen via or on 07710 433464.
Next time you are in the area drop by, have a look around and discuss the options with the boatmen (who are all qualified coaches).

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Tying a Variant Connemara Black with Davie McPhail

The Connemara Black gets its name from the rugged part of Ireland, which is so known for its excellent Salmon and Trout fishing.  It is basically a dark fly with a black body and hackle plus a wing of bronze mallard to give it a very dense silhouette. This overall colour is contrasted by a flash of orange at the tail plus a few fibres of blue jay at the throat to create a very appealing looking fly. This combination makes the Connemara Black a deadly lake fly for both Salmon and Sea-Trout and even, in smaller sizes, for Brown Trout. Davie McPhail's variant of this fly makes use of the Pheasant Neck feather instead of Blue Jay feathers, providing a more flashy appearance.
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: Kamasan B170 size 10 Thread: Black Uni-8/0 Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest Rib: Silver Tinsel Body: Dyed Black Seals Fur or Sub Hackle: Dyed Black Hen Throat: Peacock Neck Wing: Bronze Mallard and Roe Deer

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!
Copyright 1998-2018 Glasgow Angling Centre ltd.