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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.

Exclusive Preview of the Limited Edition Hardy Colour Cascapedia!


We are now taking pre-orders for the new Hardy Limited Edition Colour Cascapedia 10/11 Salmon Fly Reels! Contact us now or ask instore to reserve yours, a list of available colours will be available very soon and the reels will be due for delivery by the middle of September 2019! CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REELS NOW!


The new Colour Cascapedia is a limited edition Hardy reel made in the most popular colours as selected by Hardy fans worldwide in this Facebook post, with its sideplates hard anodised in bold colours to help stand out from the crowd. The reel itself is the popular current model based on the legendary Hardy Cascapedia reel of the 1930’s. This reel is exclusively designed and built by Hardys in Alnwick, England.


Just 700 in total of the top 3 colours chosen by the public will be made and sold worldwide making the Colour Cascapedia a sought after prospect. We have already received many enquiries from all over the globe from Hardy fans who spotted the original Facebook post and Pre-Orders are stacking up in anticipation of the launch. The best way to make sure you can get your hands on this reel is by contacting us directly - and remember we can deliver your reel to almost anywhere in the world!

  • The Colour Cascapedia will feature a brushed silver anodised cage and spool in bar stock 6061 aluminium
  • Colour anodised side plates feature a three badge design, classic 'S' shaped handle and latest drag system
  • The drag wheel features positive indexing and the classic Cascapedia pointer
  • The reels also feature a 'Porture' switch to disengage the click check so you can run the drag silently or with a loud audible click
  • Three medallion badges to the outer will feature model number, castle and fly logo and reel makers mark (P Lundy)
  • Reels will be protected in a genuine handmade black leather case with sheepskin lining, embossed with HARDY BROS ALNWICK
  • Each reel is packaged in a presentation box with manual and warranty card
  • Only 700 in total limited edition reels in 4in #10/11 size will be created across three colours
  • The Hardy Colour Cascapedia is exclusively designed and built in Alnwick, UK

So what do we know about the current model Hardy Cascapedia fly reel?

When you are looking for precision engineering, traditional design, and a conventional click check system in your fly reel, then the Hardy Cascapedia is perfect. Covering every freshwater application, but most commonly used by Salmon anglers on two-handed Spey rods.

It is a reel at the very top of the Hardy range and is entirely built in Alnwick, England using the best materials, the most extensive engineering and traditional hand assembly techniques. It is very true to the original Cascapedia design and offers a stunning classic look with exceptional weight to strength ratio.

Available in a full four size range covering every freshwater application from Trout to two-handed Spey, the new Cascapedia reel is a stunning addition to the Hardy Made in England reel program. The two smaller sizes feature a classic click check system with adjustable click drag. The larger models, in contrast, feature a fully functioning disc drag with an inbuilt audible clicker to give the classic Cascapedia sound. The bigger reels also features a 'Porture' switch which allows you to disengage the click check so you can run the reel either silently or with a loud audible click.

The larger models offer outstanding line capacity, so you can get a considerable amount of backing on the reel in addition to a full Spey line. Therefore you can fish large rivers with long casts but can be confident that you have plenty of backing in reserve in case a big Salmon decides to take a long run with your full fly line. The more substantial model also features a complete cage system which prevents the mono from shooting head fly lines entering the spool.

Cosmetically it has the classic three badge design, very much like original, and it also features the unique s-shaped handle. It is constructed using 6061 aluminium which is anodised and hand finished by Hardy's highly skilled and experienced fly reel engineers. Regarding construction, what you get with a Hardy Fly Reel is a superior product that goes through a wide range of high precision engineering processes and hand finishing. All parts are hand-made in Alnwick by engineers with over 30 years experience. Therefore each reel is the culmination of many hours testing, re-testing, re-designing and meticulous quality control.

A reel starts off life as two pieces of 6061 bar stock aluminium, one piece for the spool and the other for the frame. Firstly, the block undergoes series of machine lathe processes where it gets shaped with rough cut tools to achieve its recognisable fly reel features. Next, this shape is finished using a fine lathe to form the face, rim, and edges to resemble the design of the particular fly reel in production. Finally, it then goes through a diamond cut lathe where the reel piece is polished. However, during finishing, the reel is still far from complete, so it has to be hand polished using emery paper to ensure a smooth finish. Once this process is complete successfully, the metal is then anodised to protect the aluminium from corrosion.


The amount of work that goes into a reel such as the Cascapedia is quite exceptional. About 30% is mainly machine cutting, but the majority of the work is done by hand in Alnwick. All the parts are individually manufactured and assembled by a human being; not a robot. This process is exceptionally specialised and meticulous. Each section is bolted, screwed and riveted by hand using metalwork tools. But that is not the end of this fly reel's journey. It also has to pass a barrage of strict quality control checks to ensure that the customer receives a product that is exceptional quality, made to exacting standards and is constructed using superior materials.

 A limited number of reels will be available from Glasgow Angling Centre and Edinburgh Angling Centre and will be sold on a first come first served basis, please click HERE to buy now.



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!
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