National Arthritis Week 2014

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4 Seasons

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Newholme House, Stirling

Don’t call the Samaritans just yet

What a cracking day Saturday turned out to be, no wind and warm in the afternoon sunshine. I am having problems with standing/walking just now but it really was too good not to be out so with a few pills popped, I eased the aching body into the car and headed for somewhere I haven’t been for a surprising amount of time, Orchil Loch near Braco.

It wasn’t especially busy, there were a few guys who are probably a small club, on on the North Bank but there was plenty of space and the trout were rising pretty well everywhere, but were very noticeable near the  lodge end.

Orchil looking gorgeous in Autumn sunshine

I set up with a tapered leader, 6lb flurocarbon on point and  crossed the outflow to fish of the first peg on the far side. The fish were rising within feet of the casting platform but it wasn’t clear to what, as I think they were taking just below the surface. The only obvious flies were tiny midges so I tied on a size 16 black spider pattern, one of Will’s so called Curmudgeons.

First fish on the dry daddy, a good 3lb’s

Within a few minutes despite the less than shy fish, and one slight bulge that was obviously a fish looking but refusing, I still didn’t have anything and was thinking the fly was wrong. One of the anglers on the far bank had clearly changed tactics and his first cast with a dry netted him a fish. So I felt I was on… Continue reading

Season’s End

So as the sun set beyond, an admittedly grey and cloud obscured horizon this evening, the curtain falls on another Brown Trout season. Its been a funny season for me, though one I enjoyed, particularly as I wasn’t sure I would be a regular participant at all at the start of it. While I wasn’t out as much as I would maybe like I was out a lot more than I dared hope and overall it wasn’t bad.

I became a member of LASAC this year and that gave me fishing on North Coulter reservoir and the River Carron near Denny. I had fished the loch before with friend Tommy, though somehow we never met up on the loch this year, so it was a bit more of a learning season here for me. I had a few good outings in the early part of the season and though the boat mooring arrangement is a bit of a hassle, if you have the time for it, its a lovely location when the weather is settled. You don’t want to be there in anything more than a stiff breeze at sea level though! The river almost became my “go to” place this year though. When the wind was too stiff you had a chance of getting out on the river and it has been something of a “find”. I had thought of fishing it a few times prior to becoming a member but I never really knew anything about it. My only recollection of the Carron was a rather manky slow section… Continue reading

Last River Carron outing for the Brown Trout

With the end of the Brown Trout season rapidly approaching now, and having had less free time in evenings to cast a line recently ( been doing a lot of night shift) Saturday was a case of weighing up my options. I already had plans for Sunday, so would Saturday be a visit to the 6 monthly open day at GAC or some time on the river. The weather was set fair, the wind hadn’t come to an awful lot, the forecast had been for stronger winds, so I decided the River would be worth a visit. Set up with my three weight bugging rod, and dispensing with the French Leader so I could quickly swap methods, as conditions dictated, I intended to fish bugs on a short line. I also thought of maybe visiting a stretch I hadn’t been to before but then decided if it was my last session of the year on the River Carron, might as well go where I knew there was some chance of finding fish.

Its that time of year

I got down by the water and I could see there was a fairly brisk upstream wind and there was negligible flow, the river was pretty low, I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised as there hasn’t been a lot of rain of late really.

I decided to move down to the very shallow water and fish upstream towards the deeper water where I have caught fish before, fan casting up the middle of the river fishing a single dry fly and a… Continue reading

Clearing the Head on the Clyde

The last few days have been traumatic. I was in a bit of a daze to be frank Friday and was pleased John texted me to see if I fancied going out on the Clyde. Fishing had not even been on my mind and my feet were so sore I really wasn’t sure of the wisdom of wading round a river, but sometimes the needs of the mind exceed the limitations of the body. It was good to get out.

With a day ticket eventually purchased, I was out on the Clyde. We were bugging primarily for Trout but if a Grayling appeared there would be few complaints!

John with his first lady of the session

John showed me a run where he had had a lot of success before, the water was relatively low so you needed to wad to get near the deeper channels where fish would lie.

My first fish through was not that successful, I did think initially I had a couple of knocks but as time went on I think to be honest it was probably just snags or leaves.

John reckoned my three fly bugging cast was too long, and had one too many flies on ( he has been getting some tips from some top anglers recently- so I was willing to go with the flow and retired to modify my cast while he stepped in. I don’t find the wading especially easy round the bigger round rocks you get round here and already the feet were aching, so I decided to sit… Continue reading

Autumn can wait

It had been a long week away down south last week and after getting a few wee chores done on Saturday morning to catch up, with the weather warm and settled it seemed churlish not to be thinking about some fishing. While bright warm sunshine is never going to be great for fishing there are few locations nicer that Swanswater on such days, and though I knew it wouldn’t be easy I decided to pop round the corner for the afternoon. Usually you would be thinking about it cooling down with Autumn right around the corner but summer seemed to have returned this last wee while. I had a lengthy blether with Alastair just after arrival, and he mentioned it hadn’t been fishing especially well, the water had warmed up again and the fish were slow. As if to confirm, an angler came off just then and said he had three fish before 9 then it had gone quiet, and he only had one pull in the rest of his time.

However I was encouraged to see a few fish moving between the island and the road side pegs and headed there, as I crossed the dam a boat angler hooked into a fish so maybe it wasn’t to be so grim after all?

I had a couple of buzzers on and within a few casts I had managed a somewhat tentative couple of nips at the flies and it was clear there were a few fish about. However after about an hour with several changes of pattern and approach… Continue reading

Taking a Tummel

I received a call from fishing mate and regular visitor to the unfamousfly, John  this week to see if I fancied a wee outing to the Tummel in Perthshire. Its a river I have always intended to fish, indeed I have got as far as being ready to buy a permit a few times but river conditions dissuaded me as it has a bit of a reputation as a very fast flowing river and has some treacherous wading in places. A few anglers have come serious croppers on this river over the years, so I would have to admit to being a little intimidated by it not always being the most sprightly on my feet.

As the week wore on and work was pretty tedious I decided to take a day off on Friday and join John who now also had his step-son Alan going too. John fishes in the Scottish National Fly Fishing League Premier league and is a pretty handy angler, he will get an international cap sometime I am pretty sure. So this trip was for him a bit of a recce and a chance to see what flies are working a few weeks ahead of the Tummel round. I was really just along for the fishing and to get to somewhere new for me.

Meeting up before 8 we were at Ballinluig before 9 and we dropped Alan off at the bottom of the Pitlochry Angling Club’s section where he was keen to start. He intended to fish up the river and hopefully meet us, later… Continue reading

Fishing the Nidd

I have heard and seen on a few road trips, of the free stone rivers in the Yorkshire dales and when we booked the holiday in the Dale’s I hoped I might be able to get out on some such river. As fishing wasn’t really the plan I only really looked into what was available after the trip was booked. We were staying in Nidderdale and I guess the clue is in the name that this is the valley of the Nidd. I gave the website of the Nidderdale angling club a quick look over and indeed a section of their water was open to public purchase of a day ticket. It also transpired that a friend  told me his brother was a member there but the river had been very low over the summer so hadn’t been fishing well at all.

I had a mental vision that the river would be something like this:

A freestone river/stream in the Yorkshire Dales national Park

But in actuality it was mostly like this: ( I maybe should have taken more notice of the picture on the club website!)

The River Nidd at Pateley Bridge

I think you can see it’s pretty slow moving and totally closed in by tree’s, Alder’s I believe they are.  At Pateley Bridge the beat visitors are allowed to fish, comprises of a section I would reckon to be about 3/4 of very slow dark water a mile above the village and maybe a mile below. If you were bait fishing I guess you could use a  method… Continue reading

The small pond with the big fish

We are currently on holiday in Nidderdale in North Yorkshire and while it isn’t, nor was it planned as a fishing holiday I am always on the look out for opportunities to wet a line. The cottage we hired for the week surprisingly came with permission to fish a small lake/pond for wild Brown trout. It wasn’t something I booked the house for, rather it was a bit of a bonus I discovered after we settled on the cottage for our week away. ( well that’s what I tell the wife ) . The morning after we arrived the owner took me to see the water. It was up in some woods and was so overgrown you almost had to stumble over it to find it.


A view of most of the fishable area of the pond, you can see its mostly over grown with matting plants and surrounded by trees,

The pond was one of two which took water from the hills and were fed through springs in the bed rock, the water is a constant 63 degrees Fahrenheit and gin clear. But it was almost entirely over grown with matting weed and surrounding trees. The ponds were constructed by a former estate owner and stocked with Brown Trout many generations ago which had simply been left.  To be frank the only way you could fish this easily was probably with a float and a couple of maggots. There were though a couple of casting platforms one on either side under the tree canopy whether you could use… Continue reading

The good, the bad…. will think about the ugly

Stirling International Angling Festival

What can I say about this. good idea, great video, poor use of social media, bad idea to charge £5 ( OK £3 plus a program for parking) and a bit of a flop, I felt.

I hear the competition angling that went on round it, went well and it was a good idea. The “hub event” at the cattle market behind Angling Active though, I have to say was a bit atmosphere-less. It looked like it was getting busier as I left on Saturday but it all felt a bit “awkward”. In my opinion the charge was the main problem, no clear social media published itinerary ( that I could see). In fact, the “Event” had a fB page but I don’t think I seen more than a couple of posts from it in the lead up. When you have these things you need to really fire on all guns, loads of posts really build on what attractions are to be there, maybe a few competitions that the prizes would be announced at the show- I dunno, just a thought. The 5 nations  competition too was a bit distant. Why not stream pictures of the anglers in competition back to the “hub”. You might think that would be hard but honestly I don’t think it would, it could probably have been done for buttons via YouTube with a couple of wifi enabled HD camcorders and some decent data connections on phones. We do have EE4G in patches here so not impossible, 3G would be fine… Continue reading

The duck has left the building

I went up to Pendreich last Sunday in the afternoon, and there were quite a few anglers about. I heard one had caught a few fish on a Hares Ear but bumped into another angler I used to see up there regularly, George I think his name is. He looked a bit hacked off. He told me he had been there for hours and hadn’t had a touch, and admitted it was his worst season ever up there, he had not had a single fish on the dries and unlike me, though he had had the odd fish, he was blanking an awful lot. I felt almost like I was listening to myself.

It didn’t bode well for a cracking session, and so it was to be. I started on the north bank, fished the weedy East end, and ended up on the South bank beside the club boat which seemed to have come adrift and was lying wedged to the bank.

A few fish jumped and leaped further out, but though the conditions seemed pretty good, it was pleasant but not overly bright, it really was pretty dismal. As I was getting ready to head back to the car, Will appeared and started to tell me what a fabulous season he was having there! His killer set up was a Pennel on the top dropper, a small beaded hares ear on the middle and a fly he tied himself he calls a Curmudgeon on the point. This fly is a size 16 black spider type dry with what appears… Continue reading


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