Scottish Beginner - Central & North

MarkW

New member
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Messages
2
Hi all,

Hope everyone's keeping safe and sane in these weird times!

I'm a beginner, new to the forum and looking for some friendly advice! I suspect like many of you, I come from a long line of fishermen. Unfortunately I am unable to lean on them for their advice for reasons I would rather not go into. So here I am, hoping I can pick some of your brains and hopefully learn some hints and tips. Apologies in advance for a long read with many questions.

For background; I have enjoyed fishing for many years, know some of the more primitive knots and understand some basics. I have finally taken the dive into fly fishing since discovering a starters outfit that was not completely out of financial reach. I spoke with the local shop and was advised to pick up a Shakespeare Sigma Fly 9'6 7wt combo, some flies and some 4lb Drennan tippet. Hopefully this will keep me out of the shop for a few days fishing. After some research I learned that I would also need a leader of some sort and hastily added a couple of Daiwa 9ft 4lb tapered leaders to my basket before ordering.

So my questions;
  • On the basis I will be aiming initially for fisheries and loch fishing, does the above leader and tippet combo sound about right?
  • I believe the Sigma combo comes pre-wound with backing and a looped fly line - Is it a case of a loop to loop knot to connect the leader to the fly line, a double surgeons knot to connect a length of say 2ft of tippet to the leader and finally a clinch knot for the fly ? Should this be enough to get me fishing?
  • I remember learning fly casting many years ago in a field with a napkin pinned to the ground. I've been told to use wool in place of a fly for learning - Does this sound right ? Any suggestions on this ? I do intend to pick up a lesson here or there when funds allow but at the moment it will be a big open field and YouTube...
  • I picked up a cheap selection of flies (50) - For wet fly fishing, are weights/sinking fluid necessary? Should I focus on dry fly fishing at first ?
  • I am currently in the Glasgow area and have had a couple of fishery recommendations but would love to combine some hiking and camping with fly fishing once I've gotten the basics down. Would anyone have any spots in the hills they would be willing to share ? I take pride in being a 'leave no trace' camper!
  • Similarly I have family in the Highlands and would greatly appreciate any recommendations in the North. After coming across the Scourie Hotel and learning of it's vast rights, I would love to fish there, perhaps once I've got a few dozen catches/seasons under my wings it will be on the cards.
  • Finally in respect of the recommendations, I understand there is no such thing as free fishing - with any recommendations I would be delighted to understand where I get permits/permission.
If you've gotten this far, I can't thank you enough. I appreciate there are a number of questions above and would value any piece of advice no matter how great or small.

Look forward to hearing your responses!

Mark
 

Just the buzzer

Active member
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
34
Location
Lanarkshire
Hello Mark ,
I will let the more experienced fly fishers tell you about knots , equipment etc but your set up should be fine to get you started.... although I would go a bit heavier for tippet / leader strength, if you go on YouTube there is loads of advice and “how to” information.

Always a good idea just to use a bit of fluff when practicing casting and when you put a hook on glasses are are good idea as they protect your eyes .... and help you see fish.

There are loads of fisheries and rivers around and you can get river permits from fishing shops

tight lines
 

anzac

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
1,113
Why not dip into Glasgow Angling Centre and hit them up for location advices? Obviously, they can offer recommendations on leaders, flies, etc. They may even be able to give you some tips on casting, etc.

I've had nothing but the best of service from them myself.
 

shpeil

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
2,537
- 4lb tippet leader is a bit light for stocked rainbow fisheries, especially on a 7wt rod which will not offer much cushioning if you hook up a solid fish. 4lb should be fine for wild browns in the lochs unless you know the loch is very fertile and there are monsters in there. Most wild fish struggle to hit 1 lb.

- loop to loop to connect leader to fly line. Beyond that, some knots have several names so I'm not sure what you're using. I use a figure of eight for joining bits of leader/tippet and creating droppers (don't create droppers if you're just starting out - it's a recipe for tangles).


I then use a tucked half blood knot to connect the tippet to fly. The grinner is good too.

What I've learned from bitter experience is that the perfection loop is fine for thicker nylon (e.g. the thick end of a tapered leader) but isn't strong enough for lighter breaking strains. And don't join bits of fluorocarbon leader/tippet with a blood knot - for some reason its a horribly weak knot with that material. It's fine to tie it on nylon though. Other than that, different people have their favourites...

- yes a bit of wool sounds right but I don't know why. A lesson will help bring your casting on quicker than you can do by self-learning but it can be done. I learned from a book in an age when youtube didn't exist. Right enough, it took forever, so a lesson is recommended if you can.

- no need for sinkant or weights with wet flies. Some flies have beads which make them fish a bit deeper. I assume you're using a floating line (which is a good place for a beginner to start). The slower your retrieve, the deeper the flies will go. You might want some fullers earth type mud to help the leader get through the surface tension so it doesn't create a wake when you pull the flies back. Dry fly fishing is great fun but most of the fish feeding goes on sub-surface so that's probably a better place to start.

Afraid I can't help with venues in those areas.

Good luck!
 

MarkW

New member
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Messages
2
Many thanks for the responses from everyone!

Funny the Glasgow Angling Centre was mentioned, exactly where I ordered from and I feel I already troubled them with plenty of questions! Good to know I can name them, considering how helpful they were!

From what I've been reading and videos I've seen, I might live to regret the 4lb leader and tippet. I'll give them a go for now and likely move up a lb or two in the future.

Shpeil you've got me curious now about the perfection loop. I had expected the tapered leaders to be looped but unfortunately I'll have to loop them to connect to the line. I had thought a perfection loop would be ideal... Back to the drawing board.

Thanks ohanzee, I'll see if I can get a copy ordered up!
 

fishing hobo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
1,837
Location
Scotland
I went down to 3lbs tippet the other day with #16 flies as the rainbows were spooking easily. Would have landed it had the fly line not knotted up and jammed in the guide ring which led to the leader snapping... I had revenge a couple of days later though. Mind you the water isn't stocked with double digit fish.
 

prefab trout

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Kirkintilloch
Hi all,

Hope everyone's keeping safe and sane in these weird times!

I'm a beginner, new to the forum and looking for some friendly advice! I suspect like many of you, I come from a long line of fishermen. Unfortunately I am unable to lean on them for their advice for reasons I would rather not go into. So here I am, hoping I can pick some of your brains and hopefully learn some hints and tips. Apologies in advance for a long read with many questions.

For background; I have enjoyed fishing for many years, know some of the more primitive knots and understand some basics. I have finally taken the dive into fly fishing since discovering a starters outfit that was not completely out of financial reach. I spoke with the local shop and was advised to pick up a Shakespeare Sigma Fly 9'6 7wt combo, some flies and some 4lb Drennan tippet. Hopefully this will keep me out of the shop for a few days fishing. After some research I learned that I would also need a leader of some sort and hastily added a couple of Daiwa 9ft 4lb tapered leaders to my basket before ordering.

So my questions;
  • On the basis I will be aiming initially for fisheries and loch fishing, does the above leader and tippet combo sound about right?
  • I believe the Sigma combo comes pre-wound with backing and a looped fly line - Is it a case of a loop to loop knot to connect the leader to the fly line, a double surgeons knot to connect a length of say 2ft of tippet to the leader and finally a clinch knot for the fly ? Should this be enough to get me fishing?
  • I remember learning fly casting many years ago in a field with a napkin pinned to the ground. I've been told to use wool in place of a fly for learning - Does this sound right ? Any suggestions on this ? I do intend to pick up a lesson here or there when funds allow but at the moment it will be a big open field and YouTube...
  • I picked up a cheap selection of flies (50) - For wet fly fishing, are weights/sinking fluid necessary? Should I focus on dry fly fishing at first ?
  • I am currently in the Glasgow area and have had a couple of fishery recommendations but would love to combine some hiking and camping with fly fishing once I've gotten the basics down. Would anyone have any spots in the hills they would be willing to share ? I take pride in being a 'leave no trace' camper!
  • Similarly I have family in the Highlands and would greatly appreciate any recommendations in the North. After coming across the Scourie Hotel and learning of it's vast rights, I would love to fish there, perhaps once I've got a few dozen catches/seasons under my wings it will be on the cards.
  • Finally in respect of the recommendations, I understand there is no such thing as free fishing - with any recommendations I would be delighted to understand where I get permits/permission.
If you've gotten this far, I can't thank you enough. I appreciate there are a number of questions above and would value any piece of advice no matter how great or small.

Look forward to hearing your responses!

Mark
You've got a wee gem of a river on your doorstep in the Kelvin. You wont catch monster Brownies but you can work on the actual craft of fly fishing. Oh, and if you get the full ticket you can then try your hand at the Holy Grail of a fly caught Kelvin salmon which are making a resurgence.

Just stay off the facebook pages ...

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

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