‘The adventure of the Lion’s Mane’

contrary to Conan Doyle’s story which bears that very title, i can’t really tell you this animal’s adventures or even how it lived, but can only pictorially report it’s death, however

at this point in my life i’ve seen about a billion dead creatures but none as amazingly beautiful, creepy, hallucino-trippy, galaxy-encompassing, fleshy, cool, gooey and oh, i just can’t find any other words so i will just leave you with this Lion’s Mane jellyfish i found on the beach yesterday at Gare Loch, a sea loch connected to river Clyde near Glasgow, Scotland to enjoy.

image

“…then others just don’t fanny around…”

not a whole lot to learn or whoop and whap about but a 1:52 short little venture into Scottish river-side humour for your pleasure that’s bound to raise a few lip corners. the cheering ooohs and ahhhhs make it really special, enjoy !

Alba

“Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Alba pronounced [ˈaɫ̪apə]) is a country that occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain and forms part of the United Kingdom.

The name of Scotland is derived from the Greek Scotos, the term applied to Gaels. The word Scoti (or Scotti) means dark because of the mist.It is found in Latin texts from the fourth century describing a tribe which sailed from Ireland to raid Roman Britain. It came to be applied to all the Gaels. It is not believed that any Gaelic groups called themselves Scoti in ancient times, except when writing in Latin. Oman derives it from Scuit, proposing a meaning of ‘a man cut off’, suggesting that a Scuit was not a Gael as such but one of a renagade band settled in the part of Ulster which became the kingdom of Dál Riata but ‘Scuit’ only exists in Old Irish as ‘buffoon/laughing-stock’ The 19th century author Aonghas MacCoinnich of Glasgow proposed that Scoti was derived from a Gaelic ethnonym (proposed by MacCoinnich) Sgaothaich from sgaoth “swarm”, plus the derivational suffix -ach (plural -aich) However, this proposal to date has not appeared in mainstream place-name studies.”

whatever it is it’s beautiful; the sort of beauty that sticks to my guts.
here’s a few images from a few weeks ago of this magical land and its inhabitants of a fantastic day spent with Al Pyke, one of the nicest persons i’ve ever met.

thanks Al.

quote source- Etymology of Scotland

for the love of water- The River

by Eoin Fairgrieve/Speycast Media

RiverTweed
hard not to love river Tweed and everything that goes with it.
enjoy it in full screen !

if you liked the map click here for a selection of collectable Scottish river maps with all their beats and pools.

The Scottish Government: To reverse the decision by the Salmon Net Fishing Association of Scotland [SNFAS] to resume net fishing in the spring after a 14 year voluntary cessation.

please take just a few minutes of your time to read this and sign the petition. it doesn’t matter what part of the world we live in, fish don’t have nationalities and the same concerns are pretty universal. click the image to share your opinion on change.org 

thanks ! 

  • Online Petition by
    Ian Gordon
    Dufftown, United Kingdom

aQdmMyNqzIMTjAg-556x313-noPad

1. Wild Salmon numbers are at an all time low, particularly fish entering our rivers in spring. The voluntary agreement above along with Catch and Release by anglers has seen this particular group of fish , at best, “hold their own”! To begin netting at this time of the year again would do irreparable damage to this early running group/cohort collectively known as spring fish.

2. If we have no fish entering our rivers in the early part of the year then many full time jobs will be threatened as revenue from those early anglers is lost. In 2003 “Salmon Angling” was found to be worth £74 Million to the Scottish economy, supporting 2800 full time jobs, mainly in rural areas with extremely fragile economies. A shorter season will see those full time jobs become part time, attracting, not young families, but older people to do a seasonal job.

3. The support industry we have for salmon fishing in Scotland would also suffer; from tackle shops, to tea shops. Petrol stations, hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and not forgetting all their suppliers! Although we have no new figures, to the Scottish Economy, salmon fishing will now be worth around double that of the figure above.

4. We are not talking about a few nets-men and wealthy landowners here. No, we are talking about the jobs of 2800 ordinary people, their families and the longevity of an extraordinarily “Scottish” way of life; a way of life with so much, yet untapped tourism potential. To threaten the livlihoods of many for that of few makes no sense at all.

5. The Scottish Government will only support the netting of wild salmon when a “Harvestable Surplus Occurs” FACT. This is certainly not the case with Spring Salmon, or, some would argue – Summer or Autumn Salmon.

6. Calling a halt this madness will at least give those remaining fish a “chance” to spawn and in doing so producing the next generation, which hopefully, we will manage better than in the past.

More information and reading on the background to this petition and also points for online discussion, can be found here –

http://www.speyonline.com/petition.htm

cr-175-w-copy

– related articles

International Catch and Release Logo
fly fishing videos: Proper Catch and Release Methods
catch and release, well.

a Clyde Style Fly Magpie & Silver

by Davie McPhail

clyde style - 2 centuries of soft-hackled flies

well, Davie’s magpie wing hardly fits in with the description above but it hardly matters because many other references to this style of fly have the same big-winged generosity. thing is,  it’s hard to find any universally accepted definition to the Clyde style fly as most authors tend to have their own vision of it but i believe we can basically break down its most distinctive feature of it being: a spider with a wing sitting pretty on top.

if you’ve been visiting here for a while you’ll most certainly be pretty familiar with the North Country Spider style. this North Country happens to be in the north of England and the Clyde style originated on river Clyde, close to southern Scotland. what connects the two is a line on a map and seeing that fish don’t care about boundaries and it’s the same part of the world, and that even way back then people travelled and drank beer and whisky, it’s all too easy for me at least, to see how fly style mixes occur and people being what they are and proud of their place and country of origin and somehow what happens after all this beer and whisky is a a whole new fly is given birth.
my point here isn’t to propose that someone copied another and even less to take sides (although i tend to like Scots, specially the ladies. must be their accents… ) but, i felt like introducing Davie’s great tying tutorial (that doesn’t really need one after all) in a somewhat grumpily manner as an attempt to get over my recent three-days out and three days blanking.., that for some reason keeps on nagging me to the point that i’m not even really enjoying all this xmas chocolate that’s laying about the house.
since i’m sure that last part has amused you at least a bit, i feel better.

i hope you’ll enjoy the video, it’s a really nice fly.

Clyde style intro excerpt from Nemes’softhackledfliesselling at around 200$ and therefore out of most people’s financial reach,
we can still get a pretty good preview of it by clicking the image of the book.

“I look into … my fly box, and think about all the elements I should consider in choosing the perfect fly: water temperature, what stage of development the bugs are in, what the fish are eating right now. Then I remember what a guide told me: ‘Ninety percent of what a trout eats is brown and fuzzy and about five-eighths of an inch long.'”

~by Allison Moir, “Love the Man, Love the Fly Rod”, in A Different Angle: Fly Fishing Stories by Women~

interestingly enough, in many if not most conversations amongst fellow anglers it would seem that those two ‘philosophies’ or rather, approaches fall into an either/or category. maybe because i have a hard time sometimes making my mind up about some things… i rather prefer to take the longer route and combine both.
after-all, observation, and not only for the sake of being a more efficient fisher is just part of the whole experience, besides, staring at the water all day makes me dizzy.

there really isn’t much to say about the ‘brown & fuzzy’ approach. pick, tie on, cast and present but before doing all that the lookers however have the possibility to use at least two more senses, vision and hearing (ok, it’s not like we can usually differentiate different species of bugs by their sounds but at least we can be alerted to their presence if they buzz around nearby). the more obvious methods being turning over stones from the riverbed, watching hunting birds, using a kick-net, or simply see what’s floating downstream or flying by.
Moir’s quote reminded me of another trick i was taught as a kid: search for spiderwebs. our little eight-legged friends do a great job at collecting and giving us the chance to have a rather perfect view of what the fishes might be eating.
if we’re lucky we might even get the chance to see the spider coming in for the feast ! (which is of course enthralling and would probably mean missing out on some fish and finally resorting to using ‘brown and fuzzy’ to make up for lost time…. )

bugweb Speyside TLC 5-13
Speyside chironomid display, Scotland

related articles

strike-fight-land

one of the more interesting activities of the Sexyloops Gatherings is the demos we give to the group. most participants are casting instructors, guides, and fervent fishers of all levels and fishing specialities but more importantly, friends. this last part means we can get and give honest constructive feedback on each others ideas and demonstrations. it’s not just the usual clap, thank you and walk away.
the learning curve goes way high in these situations, specially after a while of consideration and testing and adapting and incorporating or not what has been learned to our own ways.
this year i did two demos, one on striking, fighting and landing fish using the rod’s potential to its maximum while maintaining as close-to-possible perfect tension on the fish and another on casting Tenkara rods.

strike-fight-land demo SL Gathering 2013
photo: Al Pyke

the SF&L demo has been part of all my courses for the last year and the Tenkara was mostly to share this ‘newish’ style of equipment to several people who hadn’t had the chance to either see or try one out. it was an extremely easy demo because outside of exploring a different dimension of fly fishing there’s absolutely nothing to learn casting-wise because it’s just another fly rod. most where blown away however by seeing how easy it is to have extremely nice drifts with these rods in fast waters.
speaking of waters, i’ve been close to Glasgow for the last few days where the waters mostly come from above, it’s not so warm and i only managed three salmon yesterday on river Tay but those salmon happened to be babies that fit in my hand.

related articles

gathering |ˈgaT͟HəriNG|

noun
1 an assembly or meeting, esp. a social or festive fly fishing and fly casting event or one held for a specific purpose: the Scottish  Sexyloops Gathering.
2 a set of printed signatures of a book, gathered for binding or: for the purpose of letting you all know why there won’t be a whole lotta posts on The Limp Cobra in the next few days.

gather |ˈgaT͟Hər|
verb
1 [ no obj. ] come together; assemble or accumulate: a crowd gathered in the casting field.
2 [ with obj. ] bring together and take in from scattered places or sources: we have gathered  all the  fly casting instructor/geeks we could find. hopefully all this will happen without any intervention from the police or fire brigade.
• pick up from the ground or a surface: they gathered up their fly rods after tea.
• collect (cookies or other  chocolate-filled foods) as a harvest.
• collect (coffee, chocolate-flavored energy bars, etc. because it’s all too easy to forget these vital things when you’re in the swing of things) for food.
• draw together or toward oneself: she gathered the fly rod in towards her shoulder to initiate the back cast.
3 [ with obj. ] infer; understand: her clients were, I gathered, a prosperous group of casters.
4 [ with obj. ] develop a higher degree of: blimey ! i had a feckin’ blast ! 
5 [ with obj. ] summon up (a mental or physical attribute such as one’s thoughts or strength) for a purpose: he lay gathering his thoughts together before he gathered himself  enough in-the-groovness before trying to perform a VooDoo cast at the gathering.

apart from a lot of fishing on the way and back down (and testing a new tenkara rod given for review with the goal of landing a salmon with it !) , a lot driving on the left side of the road, kilt & scones shopping and tons of coffee, that about sums up the next two weeks for me and the casting part at least will be happening here-
(weather looks nice and clear and all’s green, not white. good sign)
gathering 2013
with the hope there will be a decent internet connection to share some picks along the way as well as a few Scottish jokes (just kidding, we all know there is no such thing as Scottish jokes),  i bid you all a great day. see ya soon !

cheers,
marc

“He said that Brown Trout (sic) have adapted, through recent evolutionary shift, the ability to change colour, very much like a chameleon does. The ‘red spots’ are only visible under a certain spectrum of light and only under water which is why we can’t see them in our photos. It is thought that this is an anti-predator adaptation and, that in time, Brown Trout will develop the advances in this ‘technology’ similar to the alien in the “Predator” movie. Effectively this will mean that at some time in the future when you hook a Brown Trout and it jumps from the water all you will see is pixellated shit that is indistinct. It will also mean posting photographs of ‘trophy’ fish will be impossible as basically all you will see is a rod, net and some bankside vegetation. It’s true. “

overheard yesterday and just too good not to share, this and countless good-natured comments are to be found on Mike Barrio’s Fishing The Fly Forum. home-based on the banks of the river Don in Aberdeenshire, Scotland but with members from all over the globe, be sure to check it out and join up.

as for the Predator-like digi-camo fish, i get the feeling that our lives as fly fishers is about to pass on to a whole different level. level of what, i have no idea but it sounds like a challenge, to say the least…

%22digital camo%22 lillamalma 4+kg 'bow_2

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Salmon Casts and Stray Shots

salmon casts and stray shots coverfirst attracted by the book’s and certain chapter’s titles such as the ” To The West, To The West ! “, this meandering, Scottish-based tale full of quirky anecdotes and full-on explanations why a salmon angler is more of a man than a lowly ‘yellow trout’ fisher… this fun-filled publication by John Colquhoun in 1858 is somehow setting the tone for my upcoming trip at the end of the month for the annual Gathering/Barrio ProTeam Hootenanny/yellow trout fishing trip/catch up with friends old and new/fine asian food/drive the van into the dust trip. somehow.

salmon-castsstra00colqrich_0072

whether you plan on going to Scotland or not it still remains a fine read and comes highly recommended if you’re in the mood for something ‘exotic’.

click either book page to access the complete work on OpenLibrary.com or here to download the PDF file for offline reading. enjoy !

related articles

the Tummel fly, nudity and the Highlander

“Of all the original Scottish fly-designs, that of the old Tummel fly must be considered the most individual.  In no other part of Scotland is the dressing of a trout fly so severely curtailed in every respect.  It has been said that the Highlander liked two things naked – his whisky and his women – but the old Tummel fishers extended this preference to their trout flies, which in marked contrast to the rough-dressed flies commonly used for trout fishing in most Highland rivers, all are but naked also. Compared with the true Tummel fly, the daintiest modern nymphal representation is heavily dressed and bulky in appearance.

   The austerity of the dressing of the Tummel fly in itself constitutes the most conclusive refutation of a widely-held assumption that our forefathers could not dress the most dainty and masterly trout flies when they so desired or found it to be necessary.” 

straight from the land of fierce, gorgeous women and men in kilts, here’s a real gem from the now and past found on Donald Nicolson’s Historical Wet Fly & Spider Pattern Site. do yourself the favor of browsing through Donald’s site for an amazing wealth of old-fashioned yet timeless fishy stuff. enjoy !

The Craw

” from a very old fly wallet from the North East of Scotland ”

via Feathers Flies and Phantoms

fascinating what one finds by rummaging through other people’s blogs wallets and this time’s no exception.

the fact that we have no specific idea of it’s origin, maker, intent, whether the Craw was put there as a novelty, as an attracting element or even a piscatorial HooDooish witchcraft ritual icon leaves the imagination open. for all we know this could be the origin of the stinger hook ?
i like not knowing and i ‘m sure the fish did too.

oh, by the way…

the making of a fly line

and who would have thunked that some of the best fly lines in the world where made this way ?

hand-rolled in the back shed of the Haddo Fishery somewhere in Scotland, do yourself a favour and check out my buddy Mike Barrio’s site for a nice selection of fly lines at the very unusual prices…

19 £ to 24 £ including shipping to your door anywhere in the world.
yup, no typos there.
(at the time of this writing that’s 22 € / 28 € and 29$ / 37 $)
yup, no typos there either.