A Right Bugger

It rained all day on Saturday – call this August – feels more like March as the temperature is low as well. Feels like the start of the season when you go fishing just because you can, a bit of respite after a long cold winter – you know there will be no action or possibly a quick ten mins of action but at least you expect it to be like that after winter, not late summer.

Emmanuel and I cancelled our Saturday trip, instead going into the Glasgow Angling centre to wave around fly rods and pick up some tying materials. We looked at the rain knowing that Sunday was going to be bad- we still wanted to go fishing – so we did.

It was cold, biter cold – think it was a north wind. We fished the very upper reaches of the Clyde, thinking that by this point some of the rain water would have washed off. We were incorrect, it was still high – where in the past where there was a gentle shallow glide there was now fast flowing deep water. “I want to catch a trout on the dry fly” said my Italian friend – I decided to put on an olive sparkly woolly bugger – the first time I have ever fished with such a fly – from what I know about fishing with streamers the conditions seemed right.

Within the first few casts I felt a violent tug and then nothing – interesting I thought. Basically I was heaving the thing into the middle of the river giving a big upstream mend and then letting it dead drift until it came into the shallows when I would twitch it back rather enticingly – it was around this point I would get some thumps towards it. Nothing stayed on however – this happened around eight times. It is not uncommon to get pulls on the dangle and for trout not to connect – I think that is what the “traditional” across and down wet fly approach is a poor hooker of trout. There is too much resistance or something to allow the trout to turn with the fly in its mouth.

Walking back up the river we met Mike from Tamanawis – he had telephoned me to say he had caught his first trout using a streamer – I thought it was a budgie he was casting when I got up close but it turned out to be a yellow monstrosity that the trout were really going wild for – obviously trying to match the hatch I tied on an orange crystal woolly bugger with new enthusiasm – if the trout were going to take a yellow freaky parrot then I was in with a chance with a hot orange fry imitation – sometimes I think we give trout a lot more credit than they deserve.

After catching three trout on almost consecutive casts I decided more of these flies were going in my box for occasions of high water – I suppose it means I can fish in times I would ordinarily not go – It was enjoyable in the way I find loch fishing enjoyable – not needing to think too much about drag or finding out what insects are hatching.

Emmanuel tied one on to give it a bash and his hands almost burned with the shame, still he had already caught a trout on the dry fly – in those conditions it was pretty impressive – if someone could catch a trout on the dry fly though in a raging torrent it is him.


  1. George · August 20, 2007

    Hiya, … Oh No … Not a lure !!

    Hey Alistair, is this you finally falling for the alure of .. the .. er lure ??
    Great to see your getting the fish on.
    I’ve had nothing in about 2 months … even went on to try the wets … need to re-approach my strategy … and repair my waders … can’t go any deeper than my knees … any further, and I come home with a WET LEG !!

    All the best from Hobbitsvile

    George :o)

  2. Murdock · August 20, 2007

    Welcome to the dark side. The force is strong in this one!

  3. Alistair · August 20, 2007

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!!!

  4. David Hogg · August 20, 2007

    As I said before I am a rank beginer and I showed an old hand in our club a box of flies I had inherited. He promptly picked out about half a dozen of what you call shiny furry buggers …… and threw them in the bin saying “those are for loch fishing, no use on the Avon”. I managed to rescue a couple and I plan to give them a try at Wolf Clyde on Saturday. Let you know how I get on.

  5. Alistair · August 20, 2007

    Looking forward to hearing how you get on David 🙂

  6. David Hogg · August 20, 2007

    Never did get to Wolf Clyde to try out my sparkly, furry buggers. Ended up in the Western infirmary for a week instead, looking out the window at the lower reaches of your beloved Kelvin.
    Hope to get out on the Avon again this weekend.

  7. Alistair · August 20, 2007

    Nae luck David,

    Hope you are all better now 🙂


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