" The Future's Bright, The
Future's Wet Fly"
have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has
mastered an art of very great difficulty.”
page. Direct from the U.S.A. A range of hand woven Furled Leaders.
Book Review: Bruce
Sandison Rivers & Lochs of
See near bottom of
Salmo Trutta Fario, The Brown Trout
These, are my pages & my way of fly fishing. The
cool calculating gaze
Some would say
of a dying breed?
In short "A
Wet Fly man"
Shown here in "Casual
Night falls over a
Scottish lowland loch. The fly fishers have had a good day. Sedge &
Moth appear & big Browns cruise the margins. Not for the faint hearted
but for us night fly fishers who venture forth the cream of the sport
Whitemoss Dam Renfrewshire Scotland
Good light is
essential to "good" tying. I use my kitchen in winter as I can get natural
light from the south coming in from behind & to my
right. On winter nights there is adequate overhead light in the form of
5ft fluorescent fitting. An "angle-poise" type lamp with a
halogen bulb of around 40watts gives extra light if needed. No need for
expensive sight boards a simple sheet of white A4 & if you can get it
laminated all the better. Adjust your seating & vice stem to suit.
You will want
to be able to have a line of sight through the hook to a point around
the middle of the card. Other than good light good seating is a
necessity, a high backed office chair or bar stool, with a cushion which
is firm is about right (not shown in picture). A smooth wooden or
Melamine top table of adequate dimensions completes the picture. Oh &
one last point never tie if you are tired, sleep.
In summer I
have "The Bothy" at the
bottom of my garden I built from old packing cases.
Although surrounded by fir trees
gets good light from it's two windows but most of all
peace & quiet from other family members, double glazing salesmen, chancers, dancers,
romancers & all the
other flotsam not versed in the "fair
"tranquility in a sea of
Below I have the venerable Highlander's
new bolt hole. A winter project. Converted an old cupboard into a Wee Tying Den.
She who must be obeyed demanded her kitchen back.
Still small price to pay for marital harmony I reckon & anyway the
trees were blocking out the light in "The Bothy"
Picture above right is one corner. The little ply boxes £10 for a set of two are from
IKEA ideal for material storing. The vice a Flymate from Snowbee is perfectly
excellent value for money & replaces my old Veniard Salmo of many years standing.
In the next eight pages
or so of
this web site it is my intention to show in
text & pictures my way of fly fishing. A simple site from a simple
man. No "look how big a fish I can
catch" No name dropping, no blonde bimbos hanging on my arm & no I don't
do competitions sell cigars or fine wines.
What I try to "sell" is a gentler time when fly fishers treated their quarry
with respect. where fly fishers could sit & pass the time of
day without talk of bag limits, boobies & blobs.
& flies are my weapons of choice. If this is for you then scroll
Not?................well maybe you are not ready for this.
I will take you briefly through Wild
Waters, fly fishing on remote lochs where the only company you may
have is the sound of the wind & wave, the call of the Curlew &
Buzzard. Loch Flies will
give an insight into traditional Scottish fly patterns that even by
today's standard of creations will still catch fish. If a fly is good it
is good whatever the year or water.
will take us to Scottish rivers & burns it's tactics & flies. Here you will see spiders
& the unusual
flies & Patterns
The Sea Trout, its
flies & tactics. Salar the Leaper will give you an insight on Atlantic
an emphasis on Scottish hair-wings & shrimp
Lochan Na H'Achlaise
This pretty little loch, lies close to the main A82
Glencoe -Tyndrum road & is the most southerly of the Rannoch Moor lochs
The lochs are shallow & access is good
if somewhat difficult walking over peat bog. Trout are small 2/3
to the pound & rise well to standard loch flies. Black Pennell, Grouse
& Claret & Soldier Palmer in size 12s, will do well here.
Summer morning dawns on the loch side & Brown Trout have started to rise around its reed
fringed shores. Save for the lapping wave on the far shore only the plaintiff call of the Curlew breaks the silence.
The angler prepares for another "day at the office".
Where possible I will use only Scottish originated fly
patterns & ones that have been accepted in my home country and are
indeed better known here than in their country of origin. Good examples
being Coch-y-bondhu, Silver Butcher & Invicta. I make no apology for
that & I shall leave the other flies of which many are in general
use here to writers & web builders more competent than myself.
Note the white paper "Sight Board. No need for
expensive clip on ones. A4 paper laminated does the job every bit as well
as the more expensive versions. A wipe with a damp cloth now and again
helps to keep things clean & tidy. A tidy bench comes from having a tidy mind.
"I can not emphasis the need
for "good light" in fly tying. It is probably the single most
important factor in my opinion."
A large male Brown Trout typical of
those found in my highland lochs
The little picture below left is the other side of my den. A large bookcase holds my books
about thirty at last count mainly reference & the wicker baskets
ancillary kit. Rods are stored at the side & back At the bottom is cupboard
storage for my boxes of gear, reels etc. A second light at the end of the
wide shelf allows for another tier to be accommodated. Out of sight is a
light fitting with "Daylight" bulbs & this completes the overall picture.
All in all a worthwhile winter project
Below an old line drawing of a
border style fly with gut attachment.
Note the different style of tying from the Clyde &
Tummel patterns. Bodies are tied to a point opposite the barb. Wing's are
either paired slips or folded but fuller than Clyde & Tummel. Hackles
too tend to be wound more 2-3 turns being the norm & not the1-2 of the
others. What I would call a typical Scottish wet fly all be it an old gut
eyed one from the nineteenth century
Typical loch rod around 10ft,soft to middle action. Single action fly
reel, 3. 1/2".will do. Coupled with a #6 floating line, adequate Dacron backing is all that is
required for summer Brown Trout fishing. Will handle Sea Trout or
indeed a Salmon if one should happen on your Soldier Palmer meant for the
loch's smaller inhabitants. Be on your guard one can never tell.
The Wheatley box
on the left is my Wild Water selection. Black, red, browns & clarets
predominate. A touch of gold a hint of silver. These are the successful
flies for loch fishing for Brown Trout. Many are palmers, these are flies for
working the top layers flies for searching out our elusive top water Browns. Not
the normal little wisps of the more delicate stream borne creations these
flies are for "wild" fishing. The trout in these wind
lashed lochs are opportunists & a good meaty or flashy mouthful is what
attracts them. The colours blend in well with our dark or somewhat
peaty coloured waters. But find a sandy bottom a
weedy bay, a burn or a rocky outcrop & you may well be surprised with
the fish of a lifetime. Not fishing for
the faint hearted but by far the most delightful way to spend a day with
Curlew or the plaintive mewing of the Buzzard for company along wave
Check out Wild Waters for tactics, flies &
Streams, takes us to the waters of my childhood
beginnings where I learned my craft. A disciple of Stewart,
upstream worm & then "The Flee" as we say here. A follower
of Tod Stoddart probably the greatest "wet fly" man of them
all. With Streams I will show you flies for burn & river. From my boyhood rivers
Gryffe & Calder where upstream spider works well, to the upper reaches of the
River Clyde, from where a peculiar range of wets The Clyde
Style, hails from. Here fly fishers used up to 6 flies on their casts.
Three is the norm today but you have to stand in awe of their prowess with a
rod & their ability to take fish with yesteryears tackle. Cane, Kingfisher
silk lines & gut casts were their chosen weapons of choice. Stream craft,
something sadly lacking with many of today's modern anglers was
all important even if the end result was for the dinner table. Modern
anglers seem in part to rely on high end tackle rather than any learned
skills & with the influx of Rainbow fisheries in the UK it is
often the easy fix, the bag limit or the biggie that attracts
people. I have moved on, back to my roots & I now seek an altogether
wilder climate. My choice & as it should be.
Iron Blue Dun
Teal & Black (Clyde Style)
The Sea Trout
Fresh off the tide the sea run Brown is an exciting fish. Whether it be the heart stopping runs &
leaps or just the heavy
splash in the "gloaming". A soft Scottish loch or the tumbling stream
she installs in all who are acquainted with her a beauty &
mystique. Flies such as the ubiquitous Teal Blue & Silver or the Mallard
& Claret will find her. Whether the small school fish of around a pound or
the heavier fish of late summer she will test the finest. Well named "Child
of the Tide"
Salmo Salar (Salar the
Thought by many to be the ultimate challenge The King Of Fish wears it's
mantle well. Off tumbling waters set in scenic beauty, a fresh Atlantic Salmon is more than a worthy challenge to us fly fishers. Flies are
from the gaudy flies of Victorian Britain to the modern hair-wings shrimp &
Spey patterns of today.
MODERN HAIR WING
||Old Salmon flies
from 100yrs. ago.
Note the bottom fly has an early type loop eye whilst
the top one retains the older gut eye.
Remember Snipe &
Purple site way back. This is Rob's new site. If you are after
North Country patterns
& much more this is the place to go.
Paisley Abercorn Angling Club
Donald Nicolson Fly Pattern
See flies from tiers
around the world. Beautiful photography from Hans.
Bamboo, silk lines, old fly plates & much
Ed Gallop's web site, Well
worth a look.
Furled Leaders from the USA
An American site, with plenty of
Fly Tying Tips & a nice chat room.
North Country Flies & online sales of genuine Seals
The new Site from John Gray, Scottish Game
fishing info. Well worth a visit.
Framed Scottish trout, salmon and sea
trout flies, photos, knots & needle flies for Sea Trout & Salmon
Urban fishing at it's best. A nice site
& blog from Alistair. Well worth a look.
International Brotherhood of The Flymph
Brainchild of Jim Slattery (USA)
A Scottish site from a man with similar
thoughts to myself.
A new site from Eric Austin, U.S.A. Traditional flies of Europe & the Americas
Angling Club (Finest
Brown Trout & Grayling Fishing)
Scottish river club, keeping to the traditional ways.
You want a reel repaired? This is
the place to go. First class service & price to suit.
Review: The long awaited revised edition
from the respected writer
describes over 5,000 fishing locations in Scotland
details, flies & tactics. A must have for any visitor or locals
unknown waters.............. Well recommended.
978184502283-9 £20 hardback from all good retailers.
All pages are subject to an upgrade on an ongoing basis. Thank you for taking
the time to view my Highlander Way
on link above to view other Scottish fly fishing sites
My Guest Book
Due to unsolicited comments/urls being
left on my quest book I have no alternative but to suspend the message
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I apologise for this but if you want to contact me about any of the site
content feel free to E Mail. You can of course still read any of the proper
comments that have been posted......thanking you all, Alan the