Fly fishing in Scotland
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Scotland on business and managed to squeeze in a day of fishing while there. Naturally I was hoping for this so I took my gear along with me. We worked through Saturday and decided Sunday would be a day off. So Sunday morning (April 30, 2006) we headed to the Anglers Emporium in Hamilton (southeast of Glasgow) to acquire our day permits and to get some last minute advice on what flies we would need to fish the River Clyde. Alan (the owner), hooked us up with some dry flies and printed out a map to a section of the river that he recommended that wasn't too far away and easy to find (since driving in the UK is a bit challenging when you're used to driving on the right side of the road). We got our permits and headed south (which is upstream of Glasgow). We took M74 South to A72 South to the little town of Dalserf. Go around the roundabout in Dalserf (which actually takes you over the river as you cross over 2 different bridges) and continue south on A72 for about 1/2 mile and you'll see a little pulloff there just before the Dalserf Church. Turn into this turnoff and park. Suit up and walk back toward Dalserf on the road until you get about 150 yards up from the bridge and look for a place to crawl down the bank. The absolute best fishing is on the opposite side of the river where the small dam directs the river through a small chute. In this area we used olive woolly buggers to pull out 5 beautiful browns. I latched onto a beautiful, roughly 20-22" brown that took me down river in pursuit. We were using a 2 lb test so I had to be extremely careful with that one. After a 6-8 minute bout I attempted to net this beauty. I missed on the first attempt as he still had some fight in him. I then missed on the 2nd attempt. On the 3rd attempt, he was about 1/2 way into the net when the line snapped, he flipped and took off. Fortunately I was able to catch a few good glimpses of this brown but never got a picture.
After about 4 hours of fishing here, we headed back toward Glasgow and about 1-2 miles into the return trip we saw a pulloff along a slow moving stretch of the stream so we suited up and crossed the small field and fished this section as well. Here we used pheasant tail and hares ear nymphs and a few different caddis patterns and caught some small trout here on all these patterns. My fishing partner even caught a Grayling on a hares ear nymph. What a great experience.
After about 8 hours of fishing we headed back to the hotel for some rest. What an awesome day of fishing in Scotland. Oh, and those dry flies that we had bought earlier??? We never caught a thing on them. We ended up catching all of our fish on our own flies. Go figure.