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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.


________________________________________

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.
_________________________________________________

As Davie mentions, there's still some footage of Frank tying available, here he is demonstrating the Pheasant Tail Nymph in the 1950s.


_________________________________________________

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.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

How To Maintain Your Rods, Reels & Flylines

Over the course of a season your gear can get into a mess but you can preserve your kit with some simple steps.

Completely air dry your rod and place it in a cloth bag and tube before storing.
You should periodically clean your rod with warm water and soap and let it completely dry. If you are using them in saltwater make sure you do this every time out.
Take the rod apart when you are done fishing to avoid stuck ferrules. Storing assembled rods saves you a little bit of time but when they are stuck solid you run the risk of damaging the rod trying to separate sections.
The application of a little wax can help prevent slipped joints and breakages. To protect the tip, it is best to bag your rod with the tip and handle up, remember not to tie the sock up too tight.
Use a simple cleaning spray for wiping down the outside, at the very least rinse them in clean fresh water and dry them thoroughly. We'd recommend using an air duster and a simple reel maintenance set that contains synthetic reel oil and precision reel grease for maintaining the moving parts inside.
If you’re not confident then it’s best to leave them alone as some disassembly is required – but be careful and you can easily keep your reel serviced without needing to do a full strip and build.

  • Clean the reel by rinsing with cool fresh water and dry.
  • Take care to thoroughly remove all sand and grit from the reel.
  • Leave the frame and the spool apart and dry out of the reel case.
  • Reduce the drag pressure to the lowest setting when the reel is not in use and store in a neoprene or cloth reel case away from extreme temperatures.

After use in saltwater, pay attention to cleaning the reel, as saltwater can leave a sticky residue that will harden over time and corrode ­unprotected metal parts of any reel.
Your flylines are dragged through muck and vegetation regularly. All those bits of grit add up and they’ll reduce the line’s lifespan.

Soak the flyline in warm water with some washing up liquid, five minutes should be grand unless it’s very dirty.
Gently pull the line through a cloth into another bucket of water to wipe off any remaining dirt. Don’t put too much pressure on the line, as the heat generated in the cloth can distort a flyline.
Gently pull the line back through a clean cloth, removing detergent and
dirt. You can then wind the line back on to your reel.
Floating fly lines can benefit from an application of one of the fly line treatments ­available but take care when using them on other lines in case you make your great intermediate line into a bad floater.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Sawyer's Killer Bug by Davie MacPhail

Another of Frank Sawyer's classic patterns, so simple and so effective. 

The story goes that Frank Sawyer originally developed the Killer Bug (in the 1930s) to eradicate grayling from the river Avon where he worked as the riverkeeper. Reportedly, the Killer Bug, which was tied to imitate a scud, was more effective than even netting or electro-fishing – hence the name Killer Bug. Now that’s a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one!

Chadwick's 477 Yarn is like hen's teeth now, original Chadwick’s 477 changed colour when wet from a greyish brown to a pinkish tan due to red fibres present in the wool, which presumably better matched the scuds Sawyer has was imitating. Chadwick's 477 hasn't been produced for decades now, all is not lost if you can't track down the original there are other options available to do a very passible imitation.



Davie's version below uses the original's two materials approach, with the addition of some superglue and varnish to make the pattern a more robust fishing fly.





Materials Used:


Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Varnish and Superglue to improve the longevity of the pattern and prevent the wire from slipping whilst tying.

Davie recommends a ceramic bobbin holder, particularly when you're tying with wire, check them out HERE
Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE.






Thursday, 2 April 2020

Tying a Pheasant Tail Nymph by Davie McPhail

In his book Nymphs and the Trout Frank Sawyer describes
"The great joy in trout fishing comes with the knowledge one has deceived a fish into taking an imitation of the natural insect on which it happens to be feeding. If the fisherman is a fly-tier there is added pleasure, for in the occupation of making an artificial, he will be filled with the anticipation of seeing his creation accepted by a trout in mistake for the insect he has been at such pains to copy."

In the years since Frank Sawyer created his ubiquitous Pheasant Tail Nymph, tied using just pheasant tail fibres and copper wire, the fly has undergone as many variations as there are fly-tiers. Many of these variations involve the addition of tying threads, peacock herl, dubbed thoraxes and many beadhead pheasant tail patterns are used all over the world.




Frank Sawyer MBE, was an English River Keeper who devised the PTN for use on the chalkstreams of Southern England.
He designed this nymph to imitate several species of the Baetis family, generally referred to as the 'olives'; it quickly became world-famous.





Davie's version below uses the original's two materials approach. and while most of us won't have access to the copper-red transformer wire in Sawyer's notes but modern wires are a suitable alternative.




Materials Used:


Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Varnish and Superglue to improve the longevity of the pattern and prevent the wire from slipping whilst tying.

Davie recommends a ceramic bobbin holder, particularly when you're tying with wire, check them out HERE
Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE.






Wednesday, 25 March 2020

First Flies on the Line?

Everyone is locked down just now but we were looking for some inspiration to tie up those early-season year-round patterns while we're all in the house at the vice.
We were looking for those ones you've got confidence in March but have a place on your line right through to November. It's not just that pattern though it's how to fish them to keep you catching so we asked some of our game anglers in Edinburgh Angling Centre for their first flies on the line.


----------------STILLWATER TROUT----------------

Callum is our go-to stillwater Trout angler, he had a couple of patterns that he would never leave home without. They're staples in but with some tweaks you can make sure you're getting the best out of them.


Hot Headed Damsel
 

As most stillwater anglers will know, fishing the right lure when the temperatures are still low can be a devastating tactic when targeting rainbow trout.
One of the flies I'd suggest having in your box if you don’t already, is the Hot Headed Damsel, this is an extremely effective damsel nymph imitation, most of which will feature a brass bead to help gain some extra depth. This version has an orange or red bead to provide the trout with a hotspot to hone in on.

This is an excellent fly choice in late winter and throughout spring until it warms up, as these small damsels are often found in huge numbers in stillwaters, and they tend to stick around decaying weedbeds or sheltered bays. The fish get turned onto these aquatic insects so they are keyed in on them throughout the year, this makes it a superb searching pattern counting down through the depths to find feeding fish,

My favourite way to fish a damsel, would be to use a 3 or 6 foot sink tip fly line, a single fly on a mid length leader, with a steady figure of eight retrieve, with a couple of pauses and twitches thrown in to ensure that you are accurately imitating the nymphs natural movement.

Diawl Bach


One of my favourite nymphing tactics is to fish a team of two Diawl Bachs with a heavier nymph on the point of a long leader with either a full floater or hover intermediate. This is because Diawl Bachs are excellent imitations of Corixa (an aquatic bug found in most stillwaters), and the heavier nymph allows me to ensure I am reaching the correct depth.
Generally, I will use this method around the margins in an attempt to successfully imitate the real thing, as Corixa will most often be found feeding around weeds and reed beds, looking for algae and other vegetation.

This is especially useful for anglers who are new to fly fishing, as there is no need to cast your full line out into the middle of the pond. You can shorten the leader down, fish two flies and as most fish taken on this method will be quite close to the bank it puts Trout well within a short cast. My retrieve when fishing this method is to twitch back quite fast and erratic, which can result in some brutal takes up close!

----------------RIVERS-----------------------

Grant took on the river patterns, if you want to know about nymph and small stream fishing then Grant is definitely the man to ask.


Micro Glint Perdigon


My go to pattern all year round, as it seems to be deadly no matter what conditions you are fishing in. Most of my larger fish over the last few seasons have been caught on one of these flies and they are  a perfect example of what I look for in good fly design.

They are simple to tie and due to their slim profile and size, they sink like rocks. This makes them especially effective in fast water, as you’re able to ensure that you’re reaching the depth the fish are sitting at.

When you are looking for a killer pattern in lots of settings, the one that goes on first before you know what the hatch is like or what the Trout are feeding on, is one that really is a generic imitation that passes for many forms of aquatic insect. It looks like nothing specific but it looks like everything in general so Trout and Grayling are always pretty keen on them!

Pheasant Tail Bomb (PTB)


When the water is cooler the fish are normally still found closer to the bottom of the river and any time the water level is up on the rivers, you will need something heavy to get down. Perfect for nymphing your way up a pool on a traditional or Euro Style leader this is more than just sacrificial weight to get your flies down and fishing.

This is why I like to use a PTB, it’s heavy enough to knock a cow out on your backcast and given the changeable weather we’ve experienced in recent years, that’s exactly what you need for when conditions aren't ideal. Ensuring that your flies are reaching the appropriate depth at this time of year really can be the difference between blanking, and managing a few fish to the net.

As most fly anglers will know, the Pheasant Tail Nymph is one of the oldest fly patterns in the sport, originally developed by English river keeper Frank Sawyer. Variations of his pattern have been created over and over again in the years since then, and it is still one of the most popular flies for stillwater and river fishing to this day. I would never leave the house without at least a few variations of them in my box.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Tying an Olive Adult Midge with Davie McPhail

With the UK Trout Season in full swing, its time to get your Fly Boxes filled and ready to go fishing. The Olive Adult Midge is a classic wet fly that works very well throughout the entire season. This green bodied wet fly is often used in the middle or on the point of a wet fly cast and it works well as a single fly on stillwater venues. These Midges are most commonly found when it starts to rain and throughout the year, there will be plenty of that especially in the UK, so get tying a few of these all-season flies and get out fishing.

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, 13 March 2020

RNLI Clinic Results

Glasgow Spring Open Weekend Life Jacket Clinic:

We'd like to thank Alan McLaren and the team from the RNLI Roadshow who attended our Open Weekend recently, we got time to catch up with Alan to see how the event went. They had one of the best turnouts to any of their Clinics in recent years and these safety checks really could save your life.

Every year, around 200 people drown in the coastal waters around the UK and Ireland. These tragedies happen to people taking part in a wide range of water-based and waterside activities. Whatever your activity, wearing a well-fitted, well-maintained and suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid could save your life.


RNLI at the Open Weekend

Of the checks carried out, there were a variety of failures and faults that could potentially put the wearers life at risk.

18 Loose Gas Bottles, this can allow the bottle to unscrew upon activation and under inflate or fail to inflate the life jacket.

20 Out of date Auto Firing Mechanisms, there is a date stamped on the mechanism that needs to be checked and replaced as necessary. Expired mechanisms may fail when you need them and one of the jackets checked had a mechanism that expired in 2004.

2 Jackets with corrosion on the Gas Bottles, this corrosion leaves a rough surface that can act like sandpaper wearing a hole in the bladder which can cause a failure to inflate.

1 Jacket with a Manufacturer's Recall that was destroyed by the RNLI with the owner's consent.

One thing Alan and the RNLI wanted to emphasis was that 15 Lifejackets checked had NO CROTCH STRAP.

It's not a failure at the clinic check but a crotch strap is a very simple addition that can make a huge difference.

The video below illustrates the importance of a properly fitted lifejacket with a crotch strap, it's pretty funny in a controlled environment but the thought of this happening in the water is terrifying.

With and Without a Crotch Strap

Here's an RNLI demonstration on how to fit a crotch strap correctly.


Some other recommendations were flagged up.
33 Lifejackets checked had No Light: A light, whistle and reflective strips will all make you easier to find if you do fall in the water.
34 Lifejackets checked had No Spray Hood: which will keep wind-blown spray away from your airways, making it easier to breathe and reducing the risk of drowning.


Research has proven that wearing a lifejacket can increase your chances of survival by up to four times if you’re immersed in cold water.

Your lifejacket may save your life one day, but only if you maintain it properly. If your lifejacket is faulty, all you’re wearing is a dead weight.

These free lifejacket clinics, and specially trained RNLI volunteers will show you how to maintain your lifejacket to keep it fully functioning. Don't wait till you're in trouble to find out your lifejacket is not working properly. We'll be running a clinic at the Edinburgh Open Weekend in July and the Glasgow Autumn Open Weekend in September.

You can also find out where your nearest lifejacket clinic through the RNLI. REGISTER YOUR INTEREST



Thursday, 12 March 2020

Tying Robin Twm's Small Sedge with Davie McPhail

The Robin Twm's Small Sedge was first tied in late 1949 to 1967 in Wales and was darker in colour to most other Sedges. A wing made of partridge tail, with a slip of red-brown feather tied in first, one of the speckled feathers tied above. This small sedge is excellent when fished as the top or middle drop on a cast during a night fishing session. These flies also excel in windy day-time conditions. An excellent traditional fly to have a few of in your fly boxes.

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 Robin Twm's Small Sedge, 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!

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Tying a Claret Bob's Bits with Davie McPhail

The Bob's Bits Fly has been a favourite with Stillwater fly anglers for several years. Originally it was created by Bob Worts for fishing the Grafham Water when reservoir trout fishing was in its infancy. It was not long before its popularity spread to other Stillwater venues and eventually became a fly that you cannot do without.
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 All-Purpose Medium size 10 Thread: Uni-8/0 Black Rib: Uni Mylar in Pearl Body: Seals fur in Claret
ThoraxSeals fur in Claret
Hackle: Dark Red Indian Cock Feather

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!

Fishingmegastore Reward Card Members Only Pre-Sale @GAC Thursday 5th of March 2020!



As a special thank-you to all our loyal shop customers who joined our rewards Reward Card Scheme, we will be offering all of our Spring 2020 Open Weekend deals a day early to all of our Fishingmegastore Reward Card holders!
Join the 1000's of customers already reaping the Reward Card benefits!

From 5.30pm until 9pm on Thursday the 5th of March 2020Fishingmegastore Reward Card holders who come to the store will beat the crowds and still qualify for all of our amazing deals and offers that we were keeping for the weekend! Even if you haven't received your card in the post yet, simply show a staff member a recent receipt with your unique barcode on it, and they can quickly verify your membership so you can qualify for all the deals!
Over 75,000 of our customers are already benefiting from the scheme by earning points every time they shop with us that soon add up to money off future tackle purchases!
Don't have a Reward Card yet? You still have time to sign up, just ask any member of staff instore any time or apply online HERE! Beat the crowds and still benefit from the Autumn Open Weekend deals, plus you never know what angling celebrities just might be hanging around, setting up for this weekend's big event!
See below for just a few of the hundreds of deals on offer.  We will be giving Reward Card holders exclusive early access from 5.30pm until 9pm on Thursday the 5th of March 2020, and of course, these offers will be available to all of our customers instore on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Open Weekend Event.  This is an addition to demonstrations, tuition and previews of this year's up and coming products from all the big suppliers in what has become the UK's largest FREE angling event!
There really is something for everyone at these events, that's why they are the biggest in Scotland - and this one promises to be the biggest ever! With FREE parking and FREE entry, there will be loads of things to see and do on the Open Weekend dates as well as some amazing bargains on all types of fishing tackle. Keep an eye out on FacebookTwitter and instore for more info on what's going on at this event! Plus don't forget to register for your FREE GIFT on the day! Click HERE for details!   
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