Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Not the best of starts!


Unfortunately I haven't had the best of starts to the 2015 trout fishing season at Hillend Loch.
Don't get me wrong I have caught my first trout of the season which was a modest rainbow trout fooled by my black lure which was about 1 1/2lb which I caught on the opening day as I made my way back to the clubhouse when I stopped of at the first jetty down from the Lodge for a few last casts.
I had started off at the Eastercroft bay and spent a few hours in the biting cold north east wind which numbed my hands . In fact I actually spent more time heating my hands than I did fishing on that opening day.
I went back up the loch the next afternoon this time on the north shore for about an hour or so but the wind was still coming from the North east and was extremely cold hence the short stay.
I had another go on Sunday but to no avail this time I tried a few spots on the south shore.
The bait fishers have being doing extremely well with loads of fish caught.
However It will be a couple of weeks yet before conditions improve for the fly fishers and I look forward to that with relish.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

My First Cast!


It will be an early rise for me in the morning as I intend having my first cast of the season at my local loch before its gets over crowded with all the enthusiastic anglers arriving for the first day of the season.
I am really looking forward to the new season at Hillend and beyond as I'm now in better shape and healthier than I have ever been.
Over the dark winter nights Ive been at the vice stocking up on more flies than I will ever need but hey!  that's all part of the joy of flyfishing.
No doubt as the days, weeks and months roll by there will be tales to tell of the fish I caught and of course the ones that got away!
So here at the Dabbler of Hillend's homestead I am raising a glass to the very much anticipated  2015 trout fishing season, which will hopefully be filled with enjoyable experiences and memories.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Fishing With Joe


I don’t normally promote blogs, products , websites and podcasts on here but with my latest blog post I am going to make an exception as I would like to share with you the best fly fishing podcast that I am aware of out there on the net, If you’ll pardon the pun.
The podcast I refer to is “Fishing with Joe”. I have been listening to these guys for a few years now and in actual fact it was Joe and Chris who inspired me to have an attempt at podcasting with my Hillend Dabbler Fishing & Music Podcast.
I love to listen to their pods whilst travelling on fishing trips and also relaxing in the evening at the tying desk with a malt near to hand as they transport me across the ocean to the rivers, streams and mountains of their environs.
Here’s what they have to say for themselves.
In the fall of 2007, the creators of Fishing with Joe, Chris Silver and Joe Paatalo, came up with the idea to combine the art of fly fishing with literature, music, poetry, and plenty of fishing tales. If that sounds stiff, don’t worry!  FWJ is packed with a good dose of low brow humour, anecdotes, helpful tips and great music to transport you to your favourite fishing hole.
Chris has spent a good share of his adult life pursuing trout on some of his favourite waters in Western Wisconsin including the Kinnickinnic and Rush Rivers.  In addition, Chris has performed his brand of acoustic roots music to audiences around the world.  His is well-known for his guitar, mandolin and fiddle technique and is a prolific song writer.  His music is regularly featured on fishing with Joe. Chris has been a high school business education teacher for the past 23 years and continues to enjoy his role as a teacher and the relationships he has built with his students.   Chris lives in River Falls, Wisconsin with his wife, Naomi.  Has four children, Jennifer, Alma, Ari and Isaac.
Joe Paatalo is a long time fly fisherman and outdoor enthusiast.  By day he stamps out ignorance as a high school English teacher, but he is driven by passions beyond the classroom.  Outside of adventures chasing trout around the country, he once paddled a canoe from Minnesota to Hudson Bay.  In additional to finding ways to sneak adventures under the nose of his long suffering wife, Lynn, Joe is also an avid writer.  In addition to his essays on Fishing with Joe, he also wrote the novel The Eddy.  He is currently at work on a new book and hopes to have it out by the end 2015.
I can’t recommend their podcast enough. Give them a listen you will not be disappointed.
Click this link or the link on the side bar to choose from over 50 episodes.
http://fishingwithjoe.com/
Please do get in touch to let me know if you enjoyed them or even better get in touch with them at their website and let them know themselves.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

My First Blank!



One of my local lochs; The Lily loch, opened up this weekend for the 2015 fishing season.
Therefore its was very pleasing to get my first blank of the season out of the way lol!
I wandered up over the hill for a couple of hours but spent more time trying to warm my painfully cold hands than actual fishing.
An extremely strong and very cold westerly was blowing right down the loch for the duration I was at the Lily.
There were only a handful of anglers braving the wind, rain, sleet and snow at the loch today and as far as I'm aware nobody was having any success today. However there will be plenty good days to be had @ the Lily this season as the days, weeks and months pass by.

Friday, 13 February 2015

The Fox Box!


Rencently I have been on the hunt to purchase a new fly box for a selection of patterns that I have tied over the last couple of months or so.
The box I was looking for was "The Fox Box" But search as I might in all the local angling shops, unfortunately they didnt appear to stock my favourite fly boxes anymore instead all the shops and mail order sites are stocking the in vogue clear plastic boxes which are fine but I prefer the fox box so much so I have about ten fox boxes in my angling cupboard at home but they are all full.
The fox box in my opinion is the quintessential fly box . Its the perfect size, it holds the flies firmly in place, if dropped it floats,  fits neatly into my jacket pocket and also holds 120 flies which is absurdly more flies than you will ever need for a days fishing if not a complete season.
It was with great delight today that I popped into my refurbished and newly opened local angling shop and after a bit of searching the owner came across the last two he had in stock.
Therefore I purchased one, I should have got the other one as these boxes appear to be scarce.
Tonight I have put my recently tied patterns into it and look forward to filling he rest of it before the season starts.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Keeping the symptoms at bay!



After being stuck in the house the last couple of days with all this wintery weather we have been experiencing I managed to pick up a touch of cabin fever. 
In order to keep the symptoms at bay Ive been having a look through my maps and realised one was missing.
Later in the day I decided to take a walk up to my local loch , Hillend Loch.
So off I went wandering about the south shore with my ipod in my lugs and my camera close to hand.
It ws a lovely bright day all be it a very cold day. there wasnt many people around yesterday to enjoy the peace and quiet of Hillend at this time of year.
I rather enjoyed my few hours up there yesterday especially with my new found fitness. 
Im now counting down the days until the opening day of the season. Theres 54 days to go don you know.
Once I returned home I took a drive down to the local outdoor shop where I purchased the third and final golden treasure map for my stravaig later in the year. I am presently pouring over these maps seeking and collating lochs and lochans that hold the treasure. X Marks the spot! I reckon Ive got the grid reference for the one reputed to be the jewel in the crown

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A Phenomenal Flee Barr None!


My blog received some criticism recently because of the lack of fishing articles of late.
There is a reason for that, I haven't been fishing.
I'm not really one for visiting commercial fisheries and Ive not had any time these last couple of months to have a go at the grayling on the Clyde.
Therefore Ive been posting a few fly patterns on the blog recently.
I had been concentrating mainly on patterns for my end of season trip but sometimes its good to just have some fun with fur, feather and tinsel.I hope you like the latest example of the fly patterns I tied tonight.
I came across this unusual brightly coloured pattern from a chap I met back in the summer. The title of my post might lead you to what he called this pattern.
Apparently a good pattern to try on your top dropper when all else fails.
Its very easy to tie, the materials are Orange life cycle dubbing , gold oval tinsel, Orange body hackle and a kingfisher blue collar hackle.


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Ring out the old and Bring in the New!


This will obviously be my last post of the year. For me personally it has been a year of change as I finally got my act together and made lifestyle changes which will benifit me in the years ahead because for too long I have been restricting myself and not fulfilling my life because of my health and weight etc.
Therefore I look forward with great relish and excitiment to 2015 on the fishing front as I intend to get out and in among the lochs and lochans of the Scottish Highlands in search of brown trout and a real wild fishing experience. Don't get me wrong I will be going along to my local loch , Hillend as often as I can too but my main aim this year is to get up north more.
I have many lochs and mountains in mind which I intend explore and hopefully get some wild camps too.
Inbetween trips my focus will as always be flytying, however its my intention to carry less flies, I say this every year and I have cut down , but hope to restrict myself to just the one box this year.
Its much more comfortable and satisfying going light into the wilds.
Tonight I was at the tying bench for a short time and tied my last two fly patterns of the year. I had the seatrout of the Uists in mind when I tied these tonight.
That trip will be at the end of the season but there will be a lot of fishing to be done before then.
So folks I hope you all have enjoyed your fishing in the past year and I hope you have enjoyed having a look in here now and again too, Remember I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, I'm just an enthusiastic flyfisher, flytyer and hillwaker that likes to share my experiences in this my blog which recently was 5 years old.
As I finish this post off Im currently enjoying the sound of the Vattersay Boys and savouring a big glass of Glenmorangie awaiting the bells. Hic. Happy New Year!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Now thats what I call A Selection Box.


Good afternoon and a coolyule to y'all.
Im now stuffed and enjoying a few after dinner drinks.
I thought I would share with you something which I'm certain you will agree is the kind of selection box all anglers and flyters would love to receive. Or perhaps it might be something the trout fancy . I certainly hope it is as this will be going to the Outer Hebrides with me next year.