Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Walk Along The Lower Don

My friend Charlie and I went for a walk along the Lower Don yesterday morning. It was something to do during the Christmas holidays and we ended up walking a good few miles. We started up at the Sandy Bend pool at Lower Fintray and worked our way down to Cocker's pool. We then drove down to Grandholm as there was a tree that fell through the middle of their hut during the high winds last week! It was some size of tree and the hut is in a bit of a mess. Need some repair work done during the next few weeks to get it ready for the Spring. Still, plenty fire wood for the stove readily available. Seen about a dozen kelts splashing about on our walk and also a kestrel and a few buzzards. There were plenty of Goldeneye, Mergansers, Goosanders and some Cormerants on the river too. Glad im not a smolt or parr because it is some gauntlet to run trying to get by these! Good to get out and see the river in the winter time though and the walk broke up the day nicely. Here are some pics for our walk.
Some swans on the Eagle pool at Lower Fintray. We counted 14 swans in this pool yesterday.
Looking down the ADAA's famous Manse Pool. The water was a good height yesterday and running quite clear. Hopefully it's the same come February 11th.

Looking upstream towards the Cothal Pool from the top of Fae-Me-Well.
An upstream shot of the pool outside the hut that got hit by the fallen tree. Lovely looking piece of water. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the hut!
Just one of a number of weirs and obstacles that the Salmon and Sea trout have to contend with on their journey up the Don.
Downstream view from outside the hut.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Some Recent Flies Tied For Next Season

Been at the vice for a week or two now tying up some tubes for the Spring. Re-stocked up with Monkey Flies, Park Shrimps, Black & Yellows, Willie Gunns and a few Ghillie Flies I liked the look of from the Trout and Salmon Forum. Hopefully they will serve me well. Here are some pictures of my recent tying. Hope you like them.
The Monkey Fly. My take on the very successful fly on the Dee. I have tied these up in various sizes from 1 1/2" Copper to 1/2" Tungsten tubes. I have used Monkey Substitute from Foxy Tails for the wing on these. Hopefully do the trick come Februrary 11th on Park.
My take on the now world famous Park Shrimp tied by Ross MacDonald. This fly has been kind to me over the last few seasons and hopefully next year is no different. I have tied these on 1" copper and aluminium tubes as well as bottle tubes and crayfish eumer tubes with cone-heads.
The Black & Yellow tube fly. A must have for the Dee in Spring time. I have tied these on copper, brass and aluminium tube ranging from 2" down to 3/4". I have tied the hair on some in quarters unlike this version which is in halves. I'll shall try them both.
The Willie Gunn. I have also tied this fly in the same sizes and weights as the Black & Yellow. Another must have for Spring time. I have altered the mix of bucktail on some of my tyings just to suit water conditions ie more yellow/less black, more orange/less yellow etc. Some with gold bodies and some with the original black bodies, also my favourite copper tinsel body.. All anglers will have their own preference and all different variations have worked and will work again.
This fly was designed by Tony Black. an outstanding angler and Tay ghillie who catches tons of salmon. I got the tying from the Trout & Salmon forum and hope I have done it justice. I lost a fish on the Spey at Craigellachie in September on double version of this fly and with be giving the tube a good soaking this Spring.
These are the flies I recieved from a recent fly swap I took part in on the Trout & Salmon Forum. The flies were tied by ade, drpatrickt, ballingal512, gwelsher and yorkfisher. All these will be getting tried out during the Spring and look forward to hopefully reporting some success.