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Friday, 28 February 2020

Angling Life with Paul Young

My Angling Life - Paul Young



Highlights of a 2018 interview with the angling legend,

With an acting career spanning decades Paul is a renowned angler and host of the BAFTA-winning Hooked on Fishing TV Series and currently plays the much loved Shug in BBC's Still Game.






So, what was it that got you started in fishing and kept you coming back?


Living down by the Firth of Forth, we fished for Flounders in the winter and Mackerel in the summer.

When my family got a car, I was able to travel to the rivers in the Borders with my grandfather, who was a keen fisherman and I took great delight in catching little fish.

I started off fishing the worm, catching Trout or Perch and progressed to swinging a wet fly before learning more sophisticated styles and even starting to catch bigger fish.

The delight has never gone out of it though. I don't fish as much as I'd like to any more but I love meeting and speaking to anglers, talking about the trips they've had and sharing stories. Fishing is a great uniter.






What about fishing now, how do you see it's changed?

It’s changed a lot now. Youngsters can catch fish I’d only dreamed of and the technology is unimaginable compared to what I started out with.

Fishing tackle has come such a long way, there are not really many bad rods anymore and youngsters can get started out with some superb gear with a wealth of information available to them.

It was decades before I caught my first Rainbow Trout. Now, you can go along to waters and be disappointed if you haven’t had a two pounder! There are so many opportunities river, lochs, fisheries are much more accessible and people are more mobile now than in my day, it's very exciting. although kids are much more supervised now and they've got an awful lot more distractions available to them than I ever did.

Fishing itself hasn't changed though, the excitement and the challenge of the unknown are always going to be there for generations to come.





Any fish that stand out for you? 

I've so many great memories of fishing in amazing locations, I’ve been incredibly lucky, caught some very special fish and seen wonderful places.

I am a game angler at heart and the one that stands out is a Sea Trout I caught in Tiera del Fuego in Argentina.

It might not have been the size of groupers and other fish I’ve caught but that one is probably the best.
Paul's 30lb plus Tiera del Fuego Sea Trout
Alongside a 40lb-plus salmon on the fly, that 30lb-plus Sea Trout make for quite a pair to have on your angling resume

                                                                                                     
Check out Paul's Hooked Series over on STV Player HERE
                                                                                                     


What's your fishing like at the moment?

I don’t get out as much as I used to but I love supporting charities like Let’s Tackle Cancer and seeing youngsters out there catching fish, getting out in the outdoors, having respect for wildlife and passing that on to the next generation.

Paul with a young fan


So do you have any fishing regrets?


We fished a lot in the UK for the programme but sadly almost none in Wales, and not as much of Ireland as I would have liked. My producer and I often talked about the places we'd like to cover there.

We fished the Bann in Northern Ireland, an unusual one for us concentrating on coarse species, but we never got to explore the big Irish Loughs for the show. I wish we'd been able to show that off to the audience.

Farther afield, I’ve always wanted to catch a Grand Trevally on the fly. We fished as far as the Seychelles but never got the chance to target them. It was the one that just never came together.

What was the most challenging fish for the series?


I’ve always been a Trout fisherman. That’s what I cut my teeth on and although I’ve caught plenty of Salmon and they are extremely difficult to catch on-demand.

They don’t feed in the freshwater, any Salmon angler will tell you there are lots of trips that just don't go to plan. You know trout have to feed at some point but if you are Salmon fishing to a strict filming schedule they are the most frustrating fish.

What is the future for Scottish Salmon fishing?


It’s changed dramatically over the years with the effect of Salmon farming. The lack of rain this year has had a major effect on fishing returns. But now Catch and Release has become the norm, I can see stocks recovering and with the right management we could end up with a fishery like the Norwegian rivers.

There's a lot more to Scotland than the famous rivers and Salmon though, I speak to lots of fishermen who are moving away from chasing big fish to targeting the little fish they caught as kids.

You can go to Sutherland and fish any of 365 lochs happily catching three-to-a- pound brownies in a water for every day of the year. There are a lot of people taking up Light Rock Fishing with tiny little baits and jigs targeting the host of species that we've got along our shores it's a refreshing change from specimen hunting.

Paul's hopes are high for the future of Scottish Salmon

Hundreds of anglers grew up on your shows. What do you feel is your legacy?

Often when I meet anglers at shows they tell me I’ve cost them a fortune in angling trips. Then they’ll get out their phones and show catches from all over the world.

We were trying to show the experience of it and often we were showing species and locations to fishermen that they’d never seen on British Television before.

I'm happy to still see that adventure and exploration in modern fishing programs,  I really enjoyed the new series on the BBC (Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing).

I know Paul (Whitehouse) well after meeting at an audition years ago. His programme really brought out the fun side of fishing with your friends and the benefits of being in the outdoors.

Paul with a fan's Prize capture immortalised by Fish Recreations




Thursday, 27 February 2020

Tying the Great Red Sedge/Murrough with Davie McPhail

The Great Red Sedge is the largest Caddis/Sedge fly that hatches in British Isles. These flies are a popular choice for Lakes and Rivers across the UK, a good summer choice and perfect for evening fishing. The larva makes its case from plant material, which it fashioned into a spiral tube. After hatching, the adult emerges and heads for land, where it rests among the stones and low bushes. In Ireland in particular the common name Murrough is used more often than, the Great Red Sedge.

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 Great Red Sedge, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium size 10 Thread: Uni-8/0 Dk.Brown Rib: Fine Copper Wire Body: 1st Half Dyed Claret or Natural Cock Pheasant Tail Fibres 2nd Half Caret Seals Fur Legs: Dyed Claret Knotted Pheasant Tail Wing: Dyed Brown Elk Hair Hackle: Natural Brown or Claret

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!

Wychwood Casting Competition at the Glasgow Angling Centre Spring Open Weekend

This year's casting competition will give you the chance to prove you've got the accuracy and control to pick off rising fish in our 25m casting pool, well 60cm floating rings but you can use your imagination and land the wool on the spot for a take!

Wychwood will be sponsoring the competition this year with a fantastic prize on each day of £100 to spend on Wychwood gear of your choice for the adults - and £50 for the winners of the Junior contest on each day!
Can you put a fly on a dinner plate?
To enter this competition simply fill out an entry form online HERE or ask a member of the Wychwood team or GAC Staff instore on the day, Each entrant will make 5 casts at each target. Each qualifying cast will be marked. If the line touches the water at any point during a cast it will be counted. Casters must start with yarn in hand and rod length fly line out of tip ring (no loose fly line at reel), leader not included.

Wychwood will be providing the rods from their exciting 2020 Range, they will have rods and gear available for you to try just ask them for a preview.

We'll be running one competition at our casting pool around 1:30pm on 6th-8th March, the caster with the most points will pick up a prize each day in the Adult and Under 14s competition.


Full Rules


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 as well as some amazing bargains on all types of fishing tackle. Keep an eye out on FacebookTwitterInstagram 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!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Fly Tyers Row at March 2020 Open Weekend

GAC Spring Open Weekend


Fly tying is always a big attraction at the Glasgow Angling Centre Open Weekend.  On the 6th, 7th and 8th of March 2020, we're hoping to see lots of keen tyers, eager to learn all the latest skills, flock to our famous 'fly tyer's row' to watch the masters in action and to get a close-up of how to execute a variety of techniques.

Our new improved instore format will be bringing you some of the UK's top fly tyers, sponsored as always by Veniard and supported by Partridge of Redditch - in the premier fly tying event in Scotland!

All of these fly dressers are at the very top of their game and will gladly go out of their way to show you how to perform the latest techniques and how to tie any style of fly you can think of. They will even take the time to guide you round our massive fly tying department during their scheduled 'floor time', helping you to choose the right equipment and best fly tying materials and fly tying tools from our extensive range.

You can also take advantage of some great deals on hooks and materials as well as a few new product launches over the weekend.



Ian McKenzie - Veniard
Ian Mckenzie retired from the position of Technical Manager at Fulling Mill after 17 years at the end of 2010. His position involved developing new patterns, turning people’s ideas into commercial propositions, sourcing all necessary materials & hooks, tying samples, and maintaining quality standards. Since his retirement he has continued tying flies for personal customers and has even found time to tie some for himself. An enthusiastic fisherman since the age of 10, living close to and fishing the Thames but graduating to fly fishing for Trout at Weirwood Reservoir in Sussex at 18, and subsequently fishing around the UK for trout, salmon, and Grayling, Ian has been tying his own flies for the last 40 years. Recently he has also taken to fishing for Carp on the fly – great fun! Ian looks forward to meeting many tyers at the March 2020 show and will be happy to spend time with anybody who has specific problems and needs some advice.

Ian McKenzie



Jo Stephenson - Partridge
Jo lives in the Suffolk country side and first discovered fishing aged 17, starting with lure fishing for Pike, Perch and Bass before moving on to fly fishing and fly tying. She mainly ties flies for Pike, Perch, Chub and Bass, and can be found drifting down the sleepy rivers of East Anglia in her kayak, 10 weight in hand looking for that monster Esox and dreaming of fishing around the world! Jo also recently took part in a BBC television program called Earths Wildest Waters: The Big Fish where she fought her way to the semi final fishing in 5 different countries and had the opportunity to fish for amazing species such as Bone Fish, Tarpon, Rooster Fish and Sail Fish, and hopes to inspire more women to take up a rod and give our sport a go! She is also a member of the Partridge Pro Team. Check out her website here - www.jostephensonfishing.com
Jo Stephenson
Tim Wood - Veniard
Tim started fly fishing about 6 years ago and got hooked from day one. He's fished in Iceland and Bosnia and is a frequent visitor to the River Annan, River Clyde in Scotland.  He is also a regular visitor on the Upper Severn, Upper Dee and the River Vyrnwy.

Tim has achieved a very high standard and is particularly competent at tying Trout flies.  Notably, he has won a number of fly tying competitions in both The Fly Dressers Guild and Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine. His passion is tying small river flies and Grayling Nymphs, and during the Open Weekend, Tim will share his knowledge and skill so you can improve your own tying.

Tim Wood


Allan Liddle - Partridge
Based in Morayshire Scotland, GAIA qualified Trout instructor Allan Liddle has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine since 2001. Allan specialises in wild Trout from wild places throughout the Scottish mainland and the outer isles in both running and still water but he is equally as happy on the largest rivers and lochs, through to the smallest streams and lochans. Although he enjoys all forms of fly fishing, Allan has a special passion for fishing dries, claiming 'The anticipation and visual thrill of the take is by far the most exciting and satisfying aspect of the sport.'



Allan Liddle


Darryl Mooney -Partridge
Darryl is the UK and Ireland Sales Director for Partridge of Redditch and has been tying for over 36 years. He grew up fishing for wild brownies on his local River Lagan in Northern Ireland and this remains his passion to this day. A committed advocate of catch and release, he has a particular interest in all aspects of Euro Nymphing and will be demonstrating tying his Woven Czech Nymphs as well as being on hand to offer advice on the range of Partridge Hooks and Sprite Hooks on all three days.  http://www.partridge-of-redditch.co.uk/

Darryl Mooney



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!

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Tying a Peacock Zulu Wet Fly with Davie McPhail

A classic wet fly, the Zulu is a common fly used on Stillwater venues for targeting Brown Trout and Sea Trout. Trout find most of their food at sub-surface levels in the water and the Zulu is defined as a larva, pupa or drowned adult, depending on which variant you have, so it'd be a great idea to keep a few variants of this fly in your fly box! However, if you head over to Ireland, you will find larger versions of the Zulu being used as a dapping fly. Dapping is a style of fly fishing where you let the fly, but not the line, bob lightly on the water. 

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 Blue Dun Dry Fly, 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, 13 February 2020

Tying the Organza Traffic Lights Diawl Bach with Davie McPhail

Translated from Welsh as "little devil", the Diawl Bach Nymph is a deadly Trout Fly Pattern. In Britain and some areas of Northern Europe, the Diawl Bach fly pattern has become one of the most popular Stillwater flies of recent times, amazing for such a drab, non-descript trout fly. Davie McPhail's version of the Diawl Bach includes a specific material called Organza Ribbon, which he uses instead of a gold or silver wire. It gives a more life-like appearance, especially with the fibres sticking out from the body of the fly.

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 Blue Dun Dry Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Kamasan B175 size 10 Thread: Uni-8/0 Black Tail: Black Hackle Fibres Rib: Black Organza Back: Red Holographic Tinsel and Pearl Throat: Black Hackle Fibres Wing-Buds: Jungle cock Head: Black Uv Diamond Brite 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!

Friday, 7 February 2020

Tying a Blue Dun Dry Fly by Davie McPhail

With less than a month, until the Trout Season opens in the UK, it's time to get your fly boxes stocked and ready to go. What better fly to start with than the Blue Dun? The Blue Dun is considered an excellent early Season fly between open Season Spring through to late Summer, but due to their general upwing fly appearance, they can be used throughout the year. When matching the hatch as well, these flies can work well when Blue Winged Olives, Compara Dun, Dark Olives, and Iron Blue Duns are on the hatch. These flies can also be tied in an Iron Blue or Olive colour, so it'd be handy to have a few of these flies tied ready to go in a variety of sizes.

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 Blue Dun Dry Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Partridge SLD or SUD Thread: Grey Uni-8/0 Wing: Mallard Quills Tail: Grey Cock Fibres Body: Grey Turkey Hackle: Natural or Grey 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!
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