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Thursday, 15 October 2020

Tying a Barney Google Midge Pupa with Davie McPhail

The Barney Google Midge Pupa is a fly designed by Richard Walker who wrote a book in the 70's called 'Fly Dressing Innovations' and this was one of his featured Midge flies. He based this design off of the Phantom Midge or otherwise known as the 'Glassworm'. The reason it's called the Phantom Midge is that the larvae are actually transparent and can be found in every type of water, up and down the UK. These flies are excellent all year round and have been found to be quite effective when targeting Grayling!

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 Barney Google Midge Pupa Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail. 




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Czech Nymph size 14 or something similar Thread: Uni-8/0 White Body: Uni-Mylar Clear No.14 or a narrow strip of clear Polythene Throat: Mallard Flank or similar Eyes: Veniards Red Bead Damsel Eyes

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, 8 October 2020

Tying a Small CDC/Comparadun with Davie McPhail

Comparaduns are one of the most versatile Dry Fly patterns in existence. They imitate low-riding mayflies to near perfection and most commonly used during a Pale Morning Dun hatch. However, many anglers refuse to tie this pattern due to the perceived complexity of tying the deer hair wings. Through Davie McPhail's video, you will find it's not really that difficult and to add to this, Davie adds CDC to the body and the wing of the fly to create a CDC/Comparadun. Davie's variant can be tied on different size hooks and in different colours, so it's probably a great idea to tie a few in an assortment of colours and sizes, ready in your fly 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 CDC/Comparadun Dry Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail. 




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry size 16 Thread: Uni-8/0 Lt-Cahill Tail: Coq de Leon Fibres Body: Light Olive CDC Feather Wing: Light Olive Roe Deer and Natural CDC Feathers Thorax: Light Olive CDC Fibres

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 October 2020

Tying a Rough Olive Dry Fly with Davie McPhail

The Rough Olive, a traditional Dry Fly which has found great popularity amongst new and experienced fly anglers alike. This fly is a year-round favourite but finds most of its success in Scotland around Autumn, just towards the end of the Season. As Davie explains, there are many big hatches of insects during this time and a Rough Olive is perfect for imitating all of these flies. Regardless of where you are, on the bank of your local river, a reservoir or a wild stream, the Rough Olive Dry Fly will provide results time, after time. 

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 Rough Olive Dry Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry size 14s and 16s Thread: Uni-8/0 Olive Tail: Coq-de-Leon Fibres Body: Dark Olive Squirrel Dubbing Hackle: Grizzle Cock dyed Olive Wing: Roe Deer Hair or Similar

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, 3 September 2020

Tying an Undertaker Muddler/Skater by Davie McPhail

Today we take a look at a fly of Davie's own invention, The Undertaker Muddler/Skater fly. As Davie explains in his video, this fly is a variant or mix of two different style flies: The Undertaker and the Muddler. You can recognise the parts of the fly where Davie has mixed them in, the long fine wing featured on a classic Undertaker Atlantic Salmon fly. The bright, bulbous head which can be seen on various different Muddler patterns. Mixing them together creates a fly which Davie explains, has found great success on Rivers in the UK, Canada and even in Argentina. They can be tied on different size Salmon singles with different coloured heads, which allows for a variety to be tied, ready for your fly 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 an Undertaker Muddler/Skater Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Size 8 Salmon Single or Bomber Hook Thread: Chartreuse Uni-8/0 or 6/0 Tag: Small Oval Silver Tinsel, Chartreuse and Chinese Red Neon Uni-Floss Rib: Small Silver Oval Tinsel Body: Black UV Diamond Brite Dubbing Wing: Dyed Black Deer Hair Head: Bleached and Dyed Chartreuse Deer Hair

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, 28 August 2020

New Hardy Fly Fishing Tackle for 2020 - Special Preview!

Every year we always look forward to those first exciting whisperings about next seasons new fishing gear from Hardy and just when you thought the most respected brand in fly fishing couldn't top their previous advances in tackle they drop a new line up of rods and reels that even a pandemic couldn't stop!

As always, here at Glasgow Angling Centre, we aim to be first with the latest products and developments so let's take a look at the new Hardy rods and reels for 2020!

2020 will be the year that you will see Hardy take the carbon hybrid fly reel concept to the next level, further development of the game-changing SINTRIX material in rods for all types of anglers - not just at the top end - and a great new lower price point in saltwater fly rods. Plus a welcome comeback from one of our favourite Hardy names of the past - the Zane - named after legendary adventurer and angler Zane Grey!

Hardy Ultralite Sintrix Fly Rod


The all-new Hardy Ultralite series of fly rods features Sintrix NSX, the latest incarnation of Hardys industry-changing Sintrix technology that is now combined with a secret secondary additive that allows much lower carbon prepreg weights to be achieved. This lighter weight material allows targeted modification of the blank design without affecting the strength of the blank. The net result is lighter, more responsive blanks that allow the angler to "feel " the line more during the casting stroke giving a greater degree of control than ever before. The reel seat on the new Ultralite rod is a masterpiece of form and function - moving more of the rods weight behind the hand and giving an incredible sensation of balance, single start threads on the locking rings resist the reel loosening under extended heavy use and a keyed spacer body further ensures a snug fit for your reel.
New Hardy Ultralite Rod Features:
  • Sintrix NSX - the highest grade refinement of the industry-changing Sintrix material
  • Ceramic lined titanium recoil guides
  • Bespoke keyed reel seat spacer
  • Laser engraved reel seat with line size
  • Fully redesigned blanks
  • Available in 16 models from 8' #3 to 10' #8 and everything in between
Be the first in the UK to own one of these amazing new rods by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!
Hardy Ultradisc UDLA Fly Reel
The scaled multi-pad drag system is also unregulated, meaning fine adjustments of the drag pressure over a large window is possible. Available in two colourways, Gunmetal and Black and a mid-range price point, this reel takes the modern Hardy performance fly reel to the next level!
A lightweight disc drag reel in its purest form, the all-new Hardy Ultradisc UDLA features everything you need and nothing you don’t in a disc drag fly reel. With an innovative new frame design, this reel sets a new standard in lightweight performance reels whilst allowing the use of ultra-thin fly lines and running lines as well as leader - systems popular in modern fly fishing for Trout and Salmon. 
New Hardy Ultradisc Features:
  • 2020 ICAST Online Best of Category Winner – Fly Fishing Reel
  • A new standard in lightweight Disc drag reel design
  • Multi pad scaled disc drag system
  • Unregulated drag system for fine adjustments
  • Enclosed line guard frame design for use with leader only systems and thin running lines
  • The lightest Disc drag reel ever produced by Hardy
  • Available in 8 sizes to suit #3 to #12 weight lines
Be the first in the UK to own one of these amazing new reels by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!
Hardy Ultralite LL Sintrix Fly Rod
Never before have light line and river specific fly fishing techniques been so popular and had so many advanced techniques to choose from. The surge in popularity around advanced European nymphing and competition style techniques has to some degree left rod design behind - but not any more with the new Hardy Ultralite LL Fly Rod series. These new technique-specific rods have been designed, developed, and tested by some of the leading exponents of modern light line methods - a current world champion no less - to represent the most refined and usable actions on the market for these modern demanding styles of fishing.

New Hardy Ultralite LL Rod Features:
  • Sintrix NSX combined with a greater ratio of high and high intermediate modulus carbon fibre
  • Lightweight blank design maximises line feel and sensitivity
  • Down locking reel seats on key sizes for balance improvement
  • Ceramic lined titanium recoil guides
  • Rod of choice for highly technical situations
  • Available in 8 models from 9'2'' to 11'2'' lengths rated from #2 to #4 depending on application
Be the first in the UK to own one of these amazing new rods by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!

Hardy Ultraclick UCL Fly Reel
Aimed at the obsessive river angler, and setting a new standard in ultralight fly reels, the new Hardy Ultraclick UCL series is Hardy's lightest ever fly reel, featuring a fully enclosed line guard for use with ultra-thin line designs and leader only systems this series of fly reels is the ultimate for the light line aficionado. Fitted with an adjustable all-metal click system this is the perfect reel for the lightest of applications and come in at an amazing price point.

New Hardy Ultraclick Reel Features:
    • A new standard in lightweight reel design
    • Adjustable all-metal clicker system
    • Enclosed line guard frame design for use with leader only systems and ultra-thin Fly lines
    • Push off spool release
    • The lightest Fly reel ever produced by Hardy
    • Available in 4 sizes to suit line weights from #1 to #5
    Be the first in the UK to own one of these amazing new rods by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!
    Hardy Zane Sintrix Fly Rod
    Based on the original blank design of the legendary award-winning Proaxis Sintrix series of Rods the all-new Hardy Zane rod series baked with Sintrix 330 bring performance, durability and refinement in a range of lengths and line sizes to suit all saltwater and predator anglers including two all-new 8ft 8# and 9# weights ideal for Bass, Pollack, Predators, or even streamer eating Trout in our rivers. These will be our new goto Pike fly rods and are keenly priced for a rod of this class!
    New Hardy Zane Sintrix Rod Features:
    • Totally re-designed blanks based on the award-winning Proaxis series
    • Ceramic lined Titanium frame guides
    • Salt safe Anodised reel seat 
    • strength to weight Ratio of Sintrix 330
    • 4 section design for the ultimate in performance and convenience
    • Available in 9 sizes from 8ft #8 to 9ft #12 weight
    Be the first in the UK to own one of these amazing new rods by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!
    Hardy Zane Pro Sintrix Fly Rods
    Introducing the saltwater game changer 2.0 - the UK built Hardy Zane Pro! So Why? Why redesign possibly the greatest saltwater fly rod ever built? Why reduce the shaft diameter on selected sizes for better wind penetration and reduced weight? Why redesign the mandrels and pattern layups to squeeze every last drop of performance out of the aerospace-grade carbon fibre and advanced Sintrix 440 resin system? Why upgrade the guides to the latest generation in ceramic lined titanium recoils? Why upgrade to a single start scratch resistant hard anodised reel seat? The simple answer is why not. If you are serious about saltwater fly fish then this is the rod for you!
    New Hardy Zane Pro Sintrix Rod Features:
    • 2020 ICAST Online Best of Category Winner – Fly Fishing Rod
    • Low profile, more responsive blank design
    • Ceramic lined Titanium recoil guides
    • Hard anodised reel fitting
    • legendary strength to Weight Ratio of Sintrix 440
    • 4 or 1 section design for the ultimate in performance or convenience
    • Available in 11 variations from 8'10'' #8 to 9ft #12
    Be the first in the UK to own one of these amazing new rods by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!
    Hardy Zane Carbon Fly Reel
    Designed for the flats angler, but equally at home on a Spey rod or trophy Trout rod, the new Hardy Zane Carbon reel is a lightweight Carbon Hybrid, large arbour sealed disc drag reel capable of handling anything that’s thrown at it. Perfectly at home Taming Bonefish or Seatrout in its smaller sizes to Permit and Tarpon in the 10000 and 12000 sizes. The regulated hard indent drag system allows accurate drag settings to be applied quickly in the heat of battle. It also looks a million dollars - but wont cost the earth!
    New Hardy Zane Carbon Reels Features:
    • Barstock 6061/ Carbon with non-flash salt-safe anodised finish
    • Fully sealed multi-pad disc drag with 10lb+ stopping power
    • 340 degree regulated drag control with hard indents for fast accurate adjustments
    • Available in 4 sizes to cover line weight from #3 to #12+
    Be the first in the UK to own one of these amazing new rods by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!

    Hardy Bros 1939 Bougle Heritage Fly Reel
    The classic 1939 Bougle Heritage reels are made in the UK and finished in a stunning Gunmetal colour scheme with an additional 3'3/4 size, ideal for use on light Spey and Switch rods. Available for a limited time only so be quick!
    New Hardy 1939 Bougle Heritage Reels Features:
    • Classic 1939 style Bougle
    • Stunning Gunmetal colour scheme
    • Special run series with limited availability
    • New 3'3/4 size for small Spey and switch rods
    • Made in Alnwick, England
    • Available in 3 sizes
    Be the first in the UK to own one of these stunning new reels by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!
    Hardy Bros Narrow Spool Perfect Fly Reel
    Hardys classic Narrow Spool Perfect reel has been reintroduced on a limited basis for 2020. Hand-built in England and fitted with hand specific polished rotating line guard and available in both Left or Right wind configurations, these are sure to be quickly snapped up by Hardy collectors and retro enthusiasts worldwide!
    New Hardy Narrow Spool Perfect Reels Features:
    • Rotating polished line guard
    • Available in both LHW/RHW options
    • The classic reel for use on Bamboo / Retro glass rods
    • Comes in 2 sizes, #3/4 and #4/5
    • Made in Alnwick, England

    Be the first in the UK to own one of these stunning new reels by Pre-Ordering now from Glasgow and Edinburgh Angling Centres both instore and online HERE!

    As ever we are very impressed with the new Hardy fishing line up and all credit goes to Hardy brand manager Howard Croston (current World Champion BTW) and his talented team of tackle developers who consistently produce the goods year on year to keep the best-known name in fly fishing at the top of the game! 

    Thursday, 27 August 2020

    Tying a Green Peter Octopus Irish Wet Fly with Davie McPhail

    The Octopus Fly is essentially a wet Mayfly pattern that is particularly popular on Irish Loughs. These flies vary greatly in colour, some bearing little resemblance to the hatching natural fly. Most of the popular patterns include classics such as the Lansdale and Lough Erne Gosling as well as modern flies with muddler heads and bodies of gold and pearl. Fished in teams of three on floating or intermediate lines they are all proven fish catchers during the Mayfly season and beyond. Davie's variant takes on a more colourful approach with more Orange in the body and a bright Chartreuse tail.

    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 Green Peter Octopus Irish Wet Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




    Materials Used:
    Hook: Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight size 10 Thread: Uni-8/0 Chartreuse Tail: Glo-Brite Floss No.11 Chartreuse Rib: Small Oval Gold Tinsel Body: Red and Green Seals Fur or Sub Body Hackle: Hot Orange Cock Throat: Golden Pheasant Rump dyed Golden Yellow Wing: Roe Deer Dyed Golden Yellow

    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, 20 August 2020

    Tying a Blacknose Dace (Fry Pattern) with Davie McPhail

    The Blacknose Dace is one of those special fly patterns that fly anglers have favoured for years on end. This streamer pattern was created by Art Flick in the early 1950s and works when nothing else will. Many large trout across the country get caught by this sultry streamer as it is swung near their feeding zone. Aside from its immediate attraction to fish, the Blacknose Dace is also a great-searching pattern as anglers fishing the swing can cover large amounts of productive water over the course of a day. The Blacknose Dace that Davie is tying is based off the patterns and methods seen in Keith Fulsher's book, Thunder Creek Flies.

    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 Blacknose Dace Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




    Materials Used:
    Hook: Streamer Hook size 4 Thread: Uni-6/0 White Flanks: Silver and Pearl Krystal Flash Badger Cock Hackles Back: Ginger or Brown Bucktail Belly: White Bucktail Sides: Black Bucktail Eye's: Should be White with a Black Dot

    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, 13 August 2020

    Tying Small Spinner Spiders with Davie McPhail

    Spider fishing's tradition goes back century's. The origins of the simple North Country Spider wet fly pattern – often referred to as the ‘soft hackle’ fly by Americans – can be traced back to early 19th Century Yorkshire, when descriptions appeared in an 1807 manuscript by Ilkley farmer John Swarbrick. Spiders are intentionally tied to be very sparse, this allows them to represent a full spectrum of insects which Trout and Grayling will actively feed on. Spiders can be tied in a variety of colours with matching hackles which makes them incredibly popular for those who need something a little unique to attract Trout. Davie however, has instead made this fly into a Dry Fly variant, adding a more built-up body with Squirrel Dubbing to allow the fly to sit on the surface. Excellent for when the Trout are on the rise in the Morning or Evening!

    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 Spinner Spider Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




    Materials Used:
    Hook: Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry size 18 Thread: Uni-8/0 Cahill Tail: Grey Dun Cock Fibers Rib: Cahill Thread Body: Cahill Thread Thorax: Bleached Ginger Squirrel Dubbing Hackle: Grey Dun Cock

    Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Glue, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly.

    Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

    Thursday, 6 August 2020

    Tying a Brown Pearly Palmer Loch Style Fly with Davie McPhail

    The fly Davie is tying today is the Pearly Brown Palmer, Loch Style! Dating as far back as the 17th century, Palmered flies are a classic style which is heavily used today. The reason why this fly is so effective as is that the soft hackles tied to the head and body respond to every bit of movement in the water. This creates various imitations to the Trout, a hatched insect, a struggling/swimming insect or a spent fly. Fishing this fly on a loch, lake or reservoir is highly recommended, especially when drifting with a team of flies. Get yourself a few of these tied up alongside some different colour variants and get down to that loch!

    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 Brown Pearly Palmer Loch Style Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




    Materials Used:
    Hook: Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Fire Orange Tail: Dyed Sunburst Cock Fibres Rib: Uni-Mylar Pearl No.14 Body: Hare's Fur Blended with Uv Light-Brite Body: Hackle Natural Brown Cock Front Hackle: Brown Partridge Eyes: Small Jungle Cock (Optional) Head: Fire Orange Thread

    Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Glue, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly.

    Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

    Thursday, 30 July 2020

    Tying a Red Devil Shrimp Salmon Fly by Davie McPhail

    Today, Davie takes us through a combination of two flies to create a unique pattern. He uses two local patterns, The Ayrshire Red Shrimp and the Red Devil. The Ayrshire Red Shrimp is a highly recommended Salmon fly to use on all Ayrshire Rivers. They've also seen great popularity in Ireland as well. The other pattern is the Red Devil, which is a pattern designed by Davie himself. His design was intended for fishing the River Doon and other local Ayrshire Rivers. Both of these flies are deadly over the Summer and Autumn months, but combining them both as one fly, you will see even greater results! Get a few tied and get to the river when they're in spate!

    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 Red Devil Shrimp Salmon Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




    Materials Used:
    Tube: 3/4 inch Slipstream Copper Thread: Uni-8/0 Red Tail/Legs: Red Bucktail twice the length of the tube.. Rib: Silver Oval Tinsel Body: Yellow Floss Hackle: Whiting Brahma Rooster Silver Badger Cock Sides: Jungle Cock Head: Gloria-Brite No.4 Red

    Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Glue, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly.

    Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

    Thursday, 23 July 2020

    Small Olive CDC Jig Head Nymph by Davie McPhail

    One of the most effective ways to catch either Trout or Grayling is Nymphing. With every natural nymph, there are huge amounts of colour and size variations, which leaves a huge amount to the imagination. Davie is tying a Small Olive CDC Jig Head Nymph which features a gold bead on the head of the fly, this allows it to sink deeper, especially in quick flowing water. It also allows anglers to take advantage of an excellent method called "trotting". This is where the fly is almost jerked on the retrieve, quickly shooting up and down creating an erratic action which will drive both Trout and Grayling to bite. Since it's a year-round fly, it's great to have different sizes and colour variants ready in your fly 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 Olive CDC Jig Head Nymph, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




    Materials Used:
    Hook: Fulling Mill Jig Force size 16 or Hanak H450 BL Thread: Uni-8/0 Olive Tail: Whiting Coq de Leon Fibres Body and Legs: Natural Grey CDC Feather dyed Yellow Rib: 1/0 Uni-Neon Thread Chartreuse Thorax: Diamond-Brite Hare's Ear Dubbing or Similar.

    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, 17 July 2020

    Ragworm! Why this worm is one of the best

    If you're heading to the coast for a spot of fishing, you'll know there's a wide variety of baits out there that will get you a catch. From soft plastic lures to hard silver spoons, there's a good variety of what you can use. But for those who want to cast out and wait with a cup of coffee, the Ragworm is one of the baits you will want on the end of that hook. For the less experienced sea angler, the Ragworm is a crowd favourite and for good reason.


    Ragworms are among the most common Marine organisms that belong to the phylum annelida Family of Invertebrates. There are more than 9000 different species of these organisms across the globe, with more than 8000 falling into the class of polychaetes or Bristle Worms. There are three different species that appeal to UK sea anglers, however. 

    These are the King Ragworm which can grow up to 30cm, but look in the right place and you might find a metre-long worm. It is rare to find King Ragworms in concentrated colonies. The Common Red Ragworm, which is 15cm in length and usually found in large colonies around estuaries. Finally, the Harbour Ragworm or known by sea anglers as "Maddies", "Mudworm" or "Wrigglers". This species can grow to around 8cm and are found in large colonies in harbours and in sheltered estuaries.

    Now, for most anglers, they'll settle for store-bought Ragworm which can be easily picked up in a good quantity for a reasonable price. But some anglers like to catch and store their own. To do that you'll need to find a sheltered estuary or a harbour at low tide with either a sandy or muddy ground type with plenty burrow points. Be careful, if it's a thick muddy ground you'll need a good set of wellies or even waders and be ready to get a little dirty as you'll be digging for these worms. 

    The most common tool used is a set of garden/potato forks, the reason for this is to reduce cutting the worms when you lift the ground up and also to break up the ground the worm might be hiding in. Once you spot the worms, pinch them lightly and move them into your bucket, be careful, even though these are worms, they have a set of pinchers that can give you a nasty little nip.


    Once you've got yourself a nice batch of ragworms, it's time to either head out fishing or keep them for the next morning! The best way to keep ragworms fresh and still wriggling is to wrap them in newspaper and store them inside a fridge set to 1-2 degrees. If you want to keep them longer than a day, you'll need a shallow tray, with a few millimetres of clean saltwater. Place the ragworms into the tray with the saltwater, making sure they are not fully submerged, then placing a sheet over the top of the tray, dampened with salt water to prevent escape. Check on them once per day and change the water out if it discolours. It's a great idea to keep a supply of seawater in the same fridge you are keeping the ragworm, as changing the water out for room temperature water, may kill them. Doing this will keep the ragworms alive for up to 5 days.

    Now it's time to get fishing. You've got your fresh ragworm ready to go, how do you rig it up? The simplest solution is to feed a hook directly through the head of the worm and have it pierce roughly halfway down its body leaving the tail to wriggle free. It's also really appealing to fish seeing the worm flutter in the current when you're on the retrieve.


    Other ways can include hooking just the head, allowing the whole body to wriggle and kick around. Some anglers prefer to use the Ragworm in a cocktail of baits. For example, feeding a ragworm onto a hook which has tied to it, some squid and maybe a slice of mackerel. The possibilities are endless, so long as you have a section of that ragworm wriggling, it will get the fish going. Due to the constant movement, ragworm also becomes an excellent bait for float fishing too!

    There are a wide variety of species that you can catch just by using a Ragworm such as, Cod, Whiting, Coalfish, Pollock, Wrasse and all species of Flatfish. Most, if not all species around the British Coast will take Ragworm, even the highly sought after Sea Bass will take it, but usually only under the right conditions.

    When choosing baits for fishing off the coast, it's highly recommended that you try Ragworm, even for a session. You will see that these wriggling little worms can produce great results and sooner or later you'll be in a queue of people waiting to get a fresh batch of ragworm from your local shop or down the beach and harbour at low tide, scoping up ragworm, for your next session.

    If you'd like to get yourself some Ragworm, our Glasgow and Edinburgh stores stock Ragworm every Tuesday. We also stock a variety of other live and frozen baits. Drop by one of our stores and head for the fridges or ask a member of staff for help.

    Thursday, 16 July 2020

    Tying a Small Humpy (Dry Fly) with Davie McPhail

    A challenging yet, fun fly to tie, is the Humpy. The reason this fly is mostly bought, rather than tied, is the unusual tying method for the "hump" of the fly. Don't let this deter you from trying, because as soon as you nail it, you'll be tying one of the most popular dry flies out there. The Humpy is an excellent attractor in various sizes and many have great luck when the water is a little rough. Because of its large, buggy profile, you can spot this on rough water and so can the Trout! These flies are mostly tied in Yellow or Red and some go as far as tying "royal" patterns of this fly. For the days when the wind has picked up and the water has started to rough up, you'll be ready with a few Humpy variants in your fly 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 the Claret Bob's Bits, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




    Materials Used:
    Hook: Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry size 20 Thread: Uni-8/0 Red Tail: Black Cock Fibres Body: Red Thread Hump and Wing: Light Coloured Elk or Coastal Deer Hair Hackle: Coachman Brown Cock

    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, 9 July 2020

    Tying a Hummingbird Mayfly by Davie McPhail

    The Mayfly is great Early Season fly, but can be used throughout the season. The life of a Mayfly can be minutes to an hour long and in Scotland, the hatch is around June. The male Mayfly seeks out females to mate as quickly as possible, before falling dead onto the surface of the water. During this time, Trout aggressively feed on spent Mayflys. Variants made can differ in size and even colour, such as this Hummingbird variant created by Davie. Using striking colours mixed in with traditional colours, this Hummingbird Mayfly is a great year-round variant!

    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 Ultimate Dry size 16 Thread: Uni-8/0 Black Tail: Dyed Black Cock Fibres Body: Fibre from a Peacock Neck Feather Back: Hot Orange CDC Feather Thorax: Bleached and Dyed Flu-Pink Pheasant Tail Fibres Wing: Dyed Black CDC and Fibres from a Peacock Neck Feather Thorax Cover: Black Foam or Floss

    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, 28 May 2020

    8 Steps To Tying The Best Nymph In The World

    The most successful trout nymph EVER! How to tie your own ultimate stillwater, river, reservoir, stream, ‘you name it kind of water’, see where I’m going here, nymph!
    A few simple steps to rolling your own Hare’s Ear! 
    You Will Need…
    Thread: Black
    Body: Hare’s ear, ( although I’m fast preferring squirrel)
    Click here to see all the steps in detail! Hare' Ear Nymph - made easy



    Saturday, 9 May 2020

    Light Rock Fishing Island Sea Lochs

    During this lockdown, while fishing trips are off the menu I've been itching to get back out. With plenty of time to reminisce and recce, I am sure many of us have done is begun planning trips. 

    Scanning through my fishing photo album there's one mark that I can't wait to get back to, hopefully the weather holds and I'll get to see Loch Scridain against beautiful blue skies soon.

    Beautiful View of Ben More Across Loch Scridain


    Loch Scridain is located on Mull. You can catch lots of species in the waters around the island; Mackerel, Skate, Pollack, Codling, Flatfish, Tope, Spurdog, Rays, Coalfish, Conger Eels and Flatfish. 

    There are plenty of charter trips available if you want to go out with a skipper, while for the more adventurous may be able to find under-fished marks amongst the rugged coastline of Mull. Shore access is difficult at best and often inaccessible due to the cliffs though

    The Sea Lochs and Estuaries will produce Sea Trout from late April onwards along with Grey Mullet, Pollack, Mackerel and Flounders. 

    Rocky marks will turn up Dogfish, Wrasse and Conger Eels with fresh bait like mackerel. With a spinner you should attract Mackerel, Pollack and Coalfish. 

    The sand of Calgary bay, neighbouring Langamull and the other white sand beaches in the South (Ross) of Mull and Iona will produce Rays, Flatfish and Codling.


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    It's the sea lochs that I favour and in particular the steep-sided Loch Scridain with its incredible views and superb fishing that I'm planning to get back to as soon as I can.

    View of Loch Scridain

    On my last trip, we'd been hillwalking on the island so I'd brought along my light rock fishing gear. This meant I could grab a session and keep mobile whenever I got the chance to go fish. I was targeting Pollack using lures exclusively.

    Tackle for Rock Fishing

    I find soft plastics such as the Swimy Cheburashka with it's weedless rigging work best, allowing me to get closer to the kelp without snagging up but traditional spinners like Tobys work well too.

    I'll always have a range of sizes and colours but  I find a bit of baby blue or pink on the lure can give you an extra edge.

    A short cast from the shore is all that is needed  to get over the kelp, then a variety of retrieval methods can be used to bring the lure back over the kelp to entice a Pollack to have a go.

    Typical Scridain Pollack taken on light lure gear
    Setup wise I use a nice lightweight rod that still has a bit of muscle to handle a decent-sized Pollack diving back into the kelp. My Rockfish Revolution paired with braided line gives me a great balance between casting distance and sensitivity to pick up feedback from the lure through the braid and pick up slight knocks and bites that I'd miss otherwise.

    For lochs that hold bigger fish and snaggier ground, I'll step up my gear but this outfit is perfect for Scridain and similar waters on the island.


    On my next trip, I will definitely bring along my bait gear for a longer session at the loch. I'll be able to set up at different marks as the tide changes through the day and take the chance to explore around with the lure gear while my baits are soaking.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2020

    Tying a Teeny Nymph with Davie MacPhail

    As Davie points out in his demo, this is an incredibly versatile pattern that can be used and adapted for lots of species.

    Jim Teeny describes it as "The original pattern that started my fishing career. I originated this pattern in May of 1962 to catch Trout. I had no idea that this fly would hold so many world records and catch so many different fish. There’s hardly a fish that couldn’t be caught on a Teeny Nymph.... from a small size 14 up to a large size 2 hook."

    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, 17 April 2020

    Sawyer's Actual Flies - Davie MacPhail

    Modern Classics


    We've been tying up some Sawyer flies recently using Davie's simple how-to guides.
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    Pheasant Tail - Davie MacPhail
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    In this video, however, Davie is going through some flies tied by the famous Angler/River Keeper and Author Frank Sawyer himself. 


    These classic patterns include The Killer Bug, Grey Goose and a Pheasant Tail Nymph/Franks "Bow Tie" Buzzer/Midge Pupa.

    Davie has a good look at the patterns picking out some variations and little quirks, the use of foils, wools and wires that were available meant that these patterns were innovation borne of necessity. If we didn't have such an abundance of specific materials to choose from these days patterns could well be very similar, reclaimed from scrap or repurposed from other industries.
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    As Davie mentions, there's still some footage of Frank tying available, here he is demonstrating the Pheasant Tail Nymph in the 1950s.


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    Try some of these patterns for yourself, there's a reason that they've have endured for decades and are still catching fish today.

    Wednesday, 8 April 2020

    Shimano Spinning Reels Maintenance Guide

    A simple guide from Shimano to help keep your reels running smoothly for longer.

    Shimano® reels, when properly maintained, provide years of dependable high performance. Below are a few simple steps to help keep your Shimano® reels in top condition, as well as, preventative measures to avoid costly repairs.

    List of tools that may be needed for service:
    • Small Flat Head Screwdriver
    • Small Phillips Head Screwdriver
    • Lubricant - Bantam™ Oil (BNT1445) or similar Oil & Grease
    • Cotton Swabs
    • Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol
    • Tooth Brush
    • Paper Towels or Rags
    Gather up tools and cleaning materials recommended to service reel. Some  Shimano® reels come with Bantam™ Oil but others are available. These simple tools are readily available at hardware stores.

    Remove spool assembly by turning drag knob counterclockwise. On reels equipped with a rear drag, spool assemblies are release via push button and handle assembly.

    Inspect spool assembly for damage. Pay special attention to the spool lip, as damaged or chipped spool lips will consequently cause premature wear on fishing line.


    Clean exterior of the reel with cotton swabs and isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Clean off excess oil, grease, salt deposits or debris. Keeping reels clean helps prevent costly repairs or replacement.

    Clean exterior of the reel with cotton swabs and isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Clean off excess oil, grease, salt deposits or debris. Keeping reels clean helps prevent costly repairs or replacement.

    Lightly oil line roller assembly using Shimano® Bantam™ Oil. Regular oiling (after every fishing trip or two) will greatly increase the life expectancy of the line roller bearing.

    Oil drive gear bearing (s). Bearings are visible with the handle assembly removed. Some reels
    also have an additional drive gear bearing on the right-hand side.

    On reels that are equipped with a Maintenance Port™ apply one or two drops of Shimano® Bantam ™ Oil. Do not use WD-40® or any degreaser, as it will cause premature wear and tear on the internal parts of your reel.

    Oil bail arm assembly to maintain smooth and consistent bail operation. For further assistance, or to order parts, contact Shimano® Customer Service or your Shimano dealer.
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