Fly fishing rod

Anglers flock to learn more about Fly Lady’s yellow owl pattern

Iona said: “The yellow owl models have always been very popular in our 2.5 acre fishery, but more and more anglers are now buying them to fish elsewhere.” Among them are those who fish in the Lake of Menteith, one of Scotland’s main sites, and Iona added: “It’s a model that seems to work particularly well with trout in rivers and in calm waters and we’re doing such a big selection these days, straight hooks and curve hooks and we’re also changing the CDC color.

“Sometimes we make a dark top and change it to a white or yellow top and the fish seem to like them. In fact, one man came from Ayrshire. His nickname is The Viking and he wanted a few dozen for himself and other anglers who had heard they worked and wanted to try them out.” Iona’s Big Scruffy is also incredibly popular. She said: “The Big Scruffy was a variation of another fly from another fishery that I saw many moons ago. The one we produce is what I think it looked like.”

Iona admitted: “I spend too many hours in my vice. Whatever free time I have to manage fishing, I spend on tying. Unfortunately, we lack popular models despite the fact that I have spent the last three weeks at my office.”

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Iona Allan with two of her popular flies. Photo by Nigel Duncan

She is now expecting hooks, size 18 and 20 in particular, from major manufacturers however, the shop, which is at The Bothy, which also houses her fly tying vise, is well stocked with tying equipment.

She added, “In the center belt, I think we have probably the biggest selection of materials, including about 30 shades from CDC, and we have all the popular brands available.”

Meanwhile the Tarn has been fishing very well, even in the recent choppy weather and Iona said: “I have never seen so many hawthorn hatches as we have seen in recent weeks. The damselflies have also produced and also tiny, black beetles.”

Above water fishing was best on the tarn and in windy weather, something big and bushy, basically a pattern you can bounce off the surface.

Big Dorris (over 26lbs) with the man who hooked her, David Hamilton. Contributed by Leeanne Aitchison

However, one of the main advantages of Allandale at lower elevations is that you can fish it in all weathers as it is sheltered by trees and Iona said, “There is always somewhere you can fish.”

On the day I visited, despite the strong wind, there were anglers from America who come twice a year but usually come from Fife, Ayrshire, Stirling and all of central Scotland.

Fishermen from Midlothian and East Lothian, and many from the city of Edinburgh, are also regulars and Iona added: “Some fisheries have closed in recent years but we have to do something right because we We’re still here and we’re doing well.”

Tarn, by the way, is a term derived from an Old Norse word meaning pond and its water was artificial. She explained: “You can still see the bricks in some areas because the water is so clear.”

Armadale’s Liz McLellan (right) presents Scotland’s Best Rod trophy to Jane Wright after the Home International. Image provided by Liz McLellan

And water from Allandale was used to cool steam trains using James, nicknamed Paraffin Young’s main depot near West Calder. He was a Scottish chemist known for his method of distilling kerosene from coal and oil shale. Nearby Dorris, Drumtassie’s biggest carp near Blackridge, was landed. It weighs 26lb 12oz and it was Lanarkarshire-based David Hamilton who did business in the special carp pond on his fifth visit to the new fishery. Hamilton is a member and he was on a day ticket.

Ironically, it was 6:20 p.m. with the fishery closing time at 7 p.m. and he was just packing his bags to head home when the big fish hit. It took about 25 minutes to land the common carp and this is the first time the recently introduced fish has been hooked.

Other fish in the carp pond weigh between 5 and 20 pounds and recent catches include 10, 15 and 17 pound fish, all common carp.

Fishing manager Leeanne Aitchison said the new facility, which has two other ponds, was fishing well and she added: “David used 14mm Northern Special yellow water on pineapple boilies in bed.”

By the way, Dorris is named after the nickname Sunday trout anglers gave Leeanne.

Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club host the fifth leg of their Summer League at Orchill, near Auchterarder, on Saturday and more than 20 anglers are expected to take part.

Sea Fishing Now and Gifford-based Jamie McHale won round three of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League Summer Series after a four-hour match on Seacliffe Beach, near North Berwick, in which the eight anglers who attended found fish hard to find.

Six cards returned after the game fished in gusty conditions with a strong westerly wind. Luckily there weren’t a lot of weeds and the swell was manageable.

McHale had fish for 86cm and Edinburgh-based Robert Macness was second with three fish for 72cm. He won the prize for the biggest fish.

Scottish international Chris Empson (Dunbar) came third with two fish for 42cm and Neil Anderson (North Berwick) was fourth with a 23cm fish.

William Stafford of Edinburgh was fifth with a 21cm fish and James Ogilvie (Haddington) sixth with a 20cm fish. Mackerel and other fish baits were favored at night.

The fourth round will take place on June 8 at a location to be determined. Watch the club’s Facebook page for more details.

The next Scottish Anglers’ Federation open matches will take place at Riverside Drive in Dundee on Sunday June 12 and have attracted a number of Lothians-based anglers. The pegged match – capacity 60 – has the usual rules, two hooks, 18 cm catch, measure and release and no sea trout.

Scottish youth team manager Billy Buckley and Michael McLoughlin represent Scotland in the World Shore Pairs in France saying on Monday and Neil Cutler won the recent Scottish Shore Angling Match Group event at Lunan Bay near Montrose with 15 Pisces.

Fly fishing now and Helensburgh’s Jane Wright was Home International’s top Scottish rod at Lake Menteith last week with five fish totaling 248cm, but Ayrshire-based Jean Ferguson also had five fish totaling 237 cm. Scotland finished a disappointing fourth, with England winning by inches.

Moving on to the local fisheries and hats off to Mick Ogilvie who logged 27 fish in his daytime session this week. Nicky Capavanni was the toast of Bowden Springs this week with a superb 15lb rainbow trout while fellow regular Paul Dancer posted the best bag of 13 trout.

The Black Loch reports that the improved weather has brought anglers out and the water clarity remains excellent.

Over 40 rods were taken out 72 fish kept and 112 fish returned with buzzers, damsels, CDCs, yellow owl catches. Dry flies also attracted fish with floating lines, gnat tips and Di3 lines.

Reedy’s Bay and the South Shore remain popular and the Broxburn Angling Club were among the visiting clubs.

Night fishing will begin in June and anglers are welcome to book your evening fishing.

Clubbiedean above Colinton fished well with fish landed up to 10 lbs. Owner Steven Johnston said the CDC olive, hawthorn, diawl bach, black buzzers and black hoppers have been popular and he now has his seven boats in the water.

Hawthorn patterns also dominated at Harlaw which fished well with fish up to 2kg caught. Robert Ross, Malleny Angling’s corporate secretary, said the fish were caught on olive nymphs and dry mayflies, mayfly nymphs and dry mayflies, yellow dances and black ringers and there had prolific blooms of mayflies from mid-morning until evening.

Many anglers catch bag and double bag limits with few blanks recorded.