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Thursday, 31 March 2022

How to Tie a Small Olive Quilled Muddler by Davie McPhail

Today we are having a look at the Small Olive Quilled Muddler tied by Davie McPhail. The original Muddler was designed by Don Grapen in 1937. Since then, his fly has inspired a large number of variations that all feature the signature, clipped deer hair head. The Muddler is a surface fly, stripped quickly across the top of the water creating a wake. Davie's pattern if fished more like a Wet Fly fished in the or just below the surface of the water. This is a brilliant pattern that can be used throughout the season, but is best used when Pond or Lake Olives are hatching.

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 Small Olive Quilled Muddler, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight or All-Purpose Medium size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Olive Dun Tail: Olive Cock Hackle Fibres Body: Dyed Olive Peacock Quill Wing: Bronze or Grey Mallard Head and Collar: Dyed Olive Roe 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!

Thursday, 24 March 2022

How to Tie a Spring Olive Comparadun by Davie McPhail

The Olive Comparadun is a great early season Trout Fly. Originally attributed to Al Caucci and Bob Nastasi who introduced the Comparadun style of dry in the early 70's this dry fly features a very simple and durable design as it only requires 3 different materials to create. The materials used, however, allow the fly to float effortlessly on the water. With hair wings splayed on top of the hook and an outrigger tail it offers stability and floation as well as a similar footprint to that of a Mayfly, but with a few differences, such as the 180 degrees spanned wing which gives it an easy-to-see profile, allowing any hungry Trout to spot it and go for a strike.


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 Spring Olive Comparadun Fly, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.




Materials Used:
Thread: Uni-8/0 Yellow Tail: Coq de Leon Fibres Body: Dyed Yellow Peacock Quill Wing: Roe Or Comparadun Deer Hair Thorax: Natural Grey CDC 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!

Monday, 21 March 2022

Staff Picks For Stillwaters - Tackle Choices for the Start of the Trout Season



The sun has made an appearance, time to get out on the banks and chase Trout! We've asked the Edinburgh Staff to pick out what's on their pick list for starting strongly on the fisheries and lochs this year.

Rio Midge Tip Fly Lines

Midge Tip Taper

Lines like this can make all the difference, Rio's Midge Tip (in all weights) is an absolutely fantastic line for buzzer/nymph fishing and probably the line that's caught me most of my fish on stillwaters over the last five years. When the fish are just under the surface with tell tale head tail rises and your floating line  just doesn't seem to do the trick, a Midge Tip is the answer.


Daiwa Silvercreek Fly Rods



Performance on a budget from a trusted brand, we'd pick these out as an excellent purchase for anyone looking to get into stillwater trout fishing without breaking the bank, these rods are made to a high standard and despite the low price point they cast beautifully.


Greys Fin Cassette Reel

Greys sleek FIN Cassette Reel

Every stillwater angler needs a cassette reel, it's a massive money  and space saver when compared to buying multiple spare spools for a normal reel. Competition anglers can have dozens and as just about every stillwater angler has at least three lines, it's a no-brainer! There are lots of cassette reels available but the new FIN from Greys stands out as a sleek modern take on the design.


Daiwa Game Bib & Brace

No such thing as bad weather only bad clothing choices, another one from Scottish/Japanese company Daiwa. If you're fishing in the UK you'll want to keep warm and dry while waiting for summer to make an appearance. A good Bib & Brace is absolutely essential, matched with a good waterproof and you can endure stormy days on the bank or resist waves coming over the gunnels and a few of us reckon the Daiwa Game range as a proper set of fishing waterproofs.

Simms Guide Vest

Any Fly Fisher needs a Fly Vest, we all carry a multitude of handy gadgets on our waistcoats. Sling packs are handy but you really need to keep some things close to hand. Simms Guide Vest with its 26 pockets can hold a ton of tackle with room to spare. If we have to pick one off the peg for ourselves it's this and the Simms Freestone but the capacity on the Guide Vest pushes it over the edge.


Check out our Edinburgh Store's Facebook Page and if you're in the area pop in and pick the guys' brains about any fishing discipline. 

Edinburgh Angling Centre

Unit E Granton Retail Park,
65 West Harbour Road,
Edinburgh EH5 1PW



Friday, 18 March 2022

Sea Angling Classic - Catch & Release Best Practise

 As part of the Sea Angling Classic Roadshow, they're travelling the country exhibiting prizes and promoting the ethos of a sustainable, environmentally conscious and forward-thinking event.

 

Catch & Release Best Practice

In the March edition of Saltwater Boat Angling, David Mitchell wrote about the new scientific report concerning the post-release mortality (PRM) of bass. You can read the full report online.

The report concluded that an impressive ninety-five percent of bass released by recreational sea anglers are likely to survive. This report is good news and is probably the reason why, in the short term, we have been allowed to continue to catch bass on a catch-and-release basis. You may recall that there was a move to ban us completely from targeting bass. The report may even pave the way to a reintroduction of a bag limit in the near future.




Poole skipper, Steve Porter, gives us some tips on how best to treat fish you are
planning to return to the water.

 

 

Handling your catch

It can be great to get a photo of that special catch, but to do so can sometimes seal the fate of the fish. The most common mistake anglers make is to lay a fish on the deck. The deck can be very hot, especially in the summer. Try walking on it barefooted. It is often too hot even for us. If a fish must be placed on the deck, then ensure it is cooled first with running water and then continue to hose the catch, and the deck, while the fish is being handled. On Trueblue most fish are retained in the net, which rests on the gunnel, so fish rarely come into contact with any part of the boat. Many fish are simply T-bared off at the side of the boat, so they never even leave the water. Good practices unless you want a photo, or to record the weight of your catch.

Weighing your catch

How often do you see anglers hooking a fish in the gills or a ray in the mouth with the hook of the weighing scales? The problem is, these parts of a fish were never designed to take the weight of its body. Weighing a fish, particularly a large one, in this way, will cause serious damage to it. A good practice is to have a net bag for larger fish, or even a plastic carrier bag for smaller fish, which supports the weight of the fish as it is being weighed.

Unhooking your catch

This has to be the single biggest area where anglers can improve the chances of survival for a released fish. Most anglers can deal with fish that are lip hooked.  Careful handling and a quick release with minimum contact will almost always ensure they survive. But, what about those deep-hooked fish? Some anglers, however well-meaning, dig and poke deep into a fish’s mouth, some even resorting to a so-called twizzle stick to remove the fish. The fish plops into the sea, shows a bit of movement as it fades from sight and an angler’s conscience is clear, ‘It’ll be alright,’ I hear many of them say.

The thing is, it probably won’t be all right. Twizzle sticks, although a very effective and quick way of removing a hook, do it by ripping the hook from the fish, almost always severing a gill-raker in the process. No fish is going to survive this. Digging deep into a fish’s mouth with fingers or forceps, trying to get leverage by bending the head of the fish to one side, is also not going to aid survival.

Unhooking plaice and flatfish

Unhooking a deep-hooked fish can be surprisingly easy using the right technique and, if done carefully, will give any fish the best chances of survival. The following photos show the technique we have learned on Trueblue. In this case, it shows the removal of a hook deep inside a plaice, but the technique works for most other species too.

 

  1. Holding the fish firmly but gently insert a pair of forceps into the gill, but on top of the gill rakers
  2. Gently push the forceps right through and out of the mouth. At this point, you are not looking for the hook.
  3. Once the forceps are through, take hold of the line.
  4.  Gently pull the line back through the fish and out of the gill cover. The hook will usually turn easily. If it doesn’t turn easily, then do not force it. It simply means that the hook is on the other side of the mouth, or in the case of flatfish, in the underside. Pull the line back out of the mouth and repeat the process of pulling it back through from the underside or other side. In this picture, you can see the shank of the turned hook.
  5. A gentle push in the direction of the hook shank usually allows the hook to pass freely out of the fish’s mouth.
  6. With the bend of the hook now out of the mouth, gently pull it clear.
  7. The end result is a healthy-looking plaice ready for release and not a drop of blood. For any fish, big or small, always consider going in through the gill to remove a hook. A fish has three holes in its head. In the case of a deep-hooked fish, the mouth is often the furthest of these from the hook. Why then make things hard for you and the fish by limiting your unhooking attempts to the mouth.

 

The above is just a taste of what we can do to help ensure a high survival rate of fish. Other measures include hook choice. Circle hooks that nearly always ensure fish are lip hooked are many anglers’ first choice. They are, of course, harder to deal with on those rare deep-hooking scenarios.

 

We don’t know what the future holds for us anglers, but we know it is likely to be more restrictive. That’s not a bad thing if it is managed correctly, but when the time comes, we anglers just need to be given a fair share of the spoils. I believe that demonstrating good practices now will serve us well for whatever the future might bring.

 

The Sea Angling Classic Roadshow will be in Scotland on 24th/25th March
Glasgow Angling Centre 24/03/2022 15:00 – 20:00
Edinburgh Angling Centre 25/03/2022 14:00 – 17:00

 

 

 

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Fly Tying The Duck's Dunn 'Large Dark Olive' by Steve Cullen

Today we are checking out The Duck's Dunn 'Large Dark Olive' Fly by Steve Cullen. This is Steve's take on tying the Duck Dunn which was first developed by Charles Jardine. This is a great all-season pattern, however it's particularly effective when Trout are feeding on Large Dark Olives and March Browns. This pattern features the natural floatability of the CDC Feather, so there's very little need to use any floatant with this fly. Get a few of these tied on different size hooks and in different coloured variants for this season, they definitely produce great results!

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 Duck's Dunn 'Large Dark Olive, with the guidance of Steve Cullen. 




Materials Used:

Monday, 14 March 2022

Staff Picks For the River - Tackle Choices for the Start of the Trout Season

The Brown Trout Season in Scotland kicks off on the 15th March, we're always available for advice & recommendations. There are some seriously good anglers on the staff and lots of guys that just love to fish so here's a few picks the guys in our Edinburgh Store have put together to get you off to a flyer this year. 

Simms Tributary Waders

A good pair of waders is essential for any river angler,  the Simms Tributary range has quickly become one of the best selling wader combos in our store - and for good reason! These waders and the Striker boots are both extremely hardwearing and reliable. Backed by Simms excellent customer service and aftercare, there's a reason why they are THE brand of choice for waders on our team so these are a must-have. 

RIO Products Line Dressing & Wonder Cloth

Fly lines can be expensive pieces of kit and at customer services often get asked how to look after them and extend their lifetime,  a few minutes taking care of a line will get your lines clean and fresh for the new season. Flylines go through a lot, especially on the river but a bit of care will make casting a much more enjoyable experience and keep your line in good nick for longer. 


Orvis Flow Nipper

You need a good strong reliable set of nippers to cut leaders and save your teeth,  there are loads of quality nippers available but Callum has had these Orvis ones for a few years and would recommend them to anyone.


Fishpond Floatant Holder

You NEED to have Floatant but you also need to know where it is and have it handy,  when you're on the bank there's no point digging through your vest or bag when you need floatant or sinkant hunting for one of the many bottles of Gink you're sure you've bought. Clip one of these holders onto a D-Ring or a Zinger to keep them where you need them.



Orvis Tippet Retainer Tool

Another one that saves you time when you're fishing and stops you buying duplicates,  Grant often fishes the river right into darkness to get the best of the evening rise so this is Orvis Tippet Tool lets him easily get to his tippet material and keep it in neat order. 


Vac-Rac Rod Holders

This is more common with Salmon anglers but if you're going to be covering several pools you want to spend the maximum time fishing, Callum and one of our former colleagues Cuillin Rae have found ability to chuck the rods on the car and move off down the river has been a huge advantage for them. Saving the time of taking everything down just to move and set it all back up again can make all the difference.


Check out our Edinburgh Store's Facebook Page and if you're in the area pop in and pick the guys brains about any fishing discipline. 

Edinburgh Angling Centre

Unit E Granton Retail Park,
65 West Harbour Road,
Edinburgh EH5 1PW




Thursday, 10 March 2022

Tying a Nobby Hopper (Variant) with Davie McPhail

Today we looking at a Variant to the Nobby Hopper. The Nobby Hopper was originally conceived in Tasmania by an Angler named Alan Shephard. This pattern shares some similarities to that of the Muddler Minnow, with its large, bulbous head made from Deer hair. Davie's Variant to the Nobby Hopper is that his pattern incorporates a foam, segmented body made of Foam, this creates a more buoyant profile. The other difference between this and the original is that Davie is using Knotted Pheasant Tail Fibres for the legs, whereas Alan used a natural red Hackle. A great Dry fly pattern to be used throughout the season.

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 Nobby Hopper, with the guidance of Davie McPhail. 




Materials Used:

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

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

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Trout & Salmon at the Spring Open Weekend

We're very pleased to announce that Andrew Flitcroft and Rob Hardy from Trout & Salmon Magazine will be attending our Spring 2022 Open Weekend on Friday, March 4th and Saturday, March 5th. Both Rob and Andrew are lifelong anglers and regular contributors to the magazine covering all aspects of game fishing at home and abroad from tiny Trout in small streams to GTs on sun-soaked tropical flats. 

Trout & Salmon is Europe’s biggest-selling game-fishing magazine and the voice of fly-fishing in the UK since 1955. Every game angler will have poured over the pages of at least a few issues, they pride themselves on bringing together the most respected writers and experts in Salmon, Trout and Sea-trout fishing contribute informative and inspirational articles, along with beautiful photography from the world's finest game-fishing destinations.


Andrew Flitcroft is the Editor of Trout & Salmon magazine

Andrew has fished for Salmon in the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and British Columbia. He is a keen trout angler too and a former England loch style international.


 

Rob Hardy is Trout & Salmon's Tackle Editor 

You can check out Rob's On the Bank and First Look tackle review video series HERE

Rob Hardy's in-depth look at the Hardy Heritage Reels

SPECIAL OPEN WEEKEND SUBSCRIBER DEAL





As part of our Open Weekend Deals if you subscribe to Trout & Salmon Magazine for £50 you will receive a £30 Fishingmegastore Gift Voucher to spend instore or online.


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