Items filtered by date: April 2020

Successful nymph

Ian Lamswood, a new associate member of IAC, submits a selection of his favourite trout fly, the goldhead nymph. He sees it as a good all-rounder which has caught trout on three continents, pike in Dumfries and Ireland, perch in Dumfries - and a grilse on the River Wye!

He explains: “The photograph shows five variants with different bead heads, but the tying materials are similar. It is a gold head, tied to represent an ephemerid nymph, with three tails and a teased out abdomen to mimic legs.

“The natural materials of pheasant tail and seal fur lend themselves well to this pattern, giving it not only a nice outline but also realistic colours, similar to nymphs you can find in still and running waters.”


Hook: Size 14 wet down eye

Thread: Brown or black

Tail: Pheasant tail

Thorax: Pheasant tail

Rib: Round copper wire to give segmentation effect and strength

Abdomen: Olive seals fur

Bead head: Favourite size is 2.5mm. Gold or copper are good standard colours, adjusting the material to conditions and depth required. Silver is excellent in clear rivers or where a little more visibility is required and tungsten for deeper fishing. The fly on the right has a silver head and three tungsten beads for a body, to represent a caddis. It was built to catch a deep-lying grayling in a fast flowing river. 

A successful range

A lockdown project

Six fly tyers have posted favourite flies so far, but we would welcome more. Tying them sets a project for the current lockdown, during which anglers have lost touch with their favourite pastime. Sharing them to the web site will stimulate further interest in tying skills, and what can be done with thread, fur and feather. 

Don’t be put off if you feel your efforts won’t match the skills of examples shown so far. Let’s see your favourite salmon or trout fly, and give us the story behind your choice and the fish it has caught. See the previous post on what’s needed and contact details.

The Sunset

Graham MacKenzie has contributed this fly for the series. Inspired by an early autumn sunset, it is tied in the appropriate colours of orange, gold, red and back. Says Graham: “The Sunset is intended for use at last light. But it has been, and still is, a good fly to me at all times of the day and has caught me fish on the Ness, Spey, Findhorn, Dee, Nairn, Beauly and Conon.”

The Sunset

Tyer: Graham MacKenzie

Thread: Red

Body: Gold flat tinsel with a red wire tag and rib. Clear varnish over for durability if you wish

Hackle: Hot orange (wound)

Wing: In two parts - black squirrel over fluo red squirrel, about 1&1/2 times the body length. You can use a wing of your own choosing and add flash or twinkle as they were not available when the fly was first developed. 

Head: Clear varnish over the red tying thread.

Sunset - In all its glory


Jamie's grandfather, Sandy Urquhart, is the inspiration for this salmon fly which uses the colours of the former Dalneigh football team. Although not an angler, Sandy bought Jamie his first fishing rod.


Tyer: Jamie Urquhart

Hook: Black nickel Patriot 6, 8 or 10
Thread: Red
Tail: Yellow and blue buck tail with strands of angel hair and UV Krinkle Flash 
Butt: Silver wire
Body: Silver holographic braid
Wing: Black fox pelt/fox tail and silver Krinkle Flash
Hackle: Sunburst yellow over Silver Doctor blue 
Eyes: Jungle cock 

A pair of beauties

The Aurora Cascade

The Aurora Cascade

Tyer: Donnie Allan

Hook: Patriot 6, 8 or 10
Thread: Fire orange
Tag: Medium gold oval tinsel
Butt: Fluro green floss
Tail: Orange and yellow buck tail mix
Body: Gold holo tinsel
Rib: Medium gold oval tinsel
Wing: Grey squirrel 
Hackle: Orange over yellow, 2-3 turns each
Cheeks: Jungle cock (optional)

Attractive version

The Mad Ally

The Mad Ally

Tyer: Ally Henderson

Hook: Wilson double
Thread: Hot orange
Tail: Mixed orange and yellow buck tail with two strands of mirror flash
Rib: Medium oval silver tinsel
Body: Silver tinsel palmered with yellow cock feather
Hackle: Hot orange cock 
Eyes: Jungle cock


Autumn Hope

The second of our flies comes from Graham Forbes, one of his own patterns which looks forward to the end of the lockdown.

Autumn Hope

Tyer: Graham Forbes

Hook: Red Patriot #8
Tag: Oval Gold
Rear Body: Oval Gold Holographic tinsel with gold rib
Body Hackle: Pink cock or hen
First wing: American Opossum, hot orange/hot yellow.
Front Body: Pink litebrite.
Front Wing: Orange fox pelt
Front Hackle: Red hen
Head: Flou red
Jungle cock eyes

Looking forward

The Knappach Shrimp

First in, with a quick response, is Gary Goddard with a testing shrimp pattern. Keep them coming!

The Knappach Shrimp

Tyer: Gary Goddard

Tail:  Orange squirrel with strands of orange crystal flash
Butt: Fire Orange floss
Body:  Pearl Kreinicks Metallics amber 3200
Rib: Oval Silver tinsel
Underwing: Grey Squirrel tail
Overwing: Orange dyed black tipped opossum
Collar Hackle: Two or three turns orange cock
Head:  Black

Very shrimpy!

Tie and share a fly

Current controls on movement will have affected life for many of us, especially for those who have lost work and income. For those who enjoy casting a line on river and loch it means the loss of a much valued pastime that makes a positive contribution to physical and mental health.

When you’re stuck at home - after a wee bit of exercise and a quick visit to the supermarket - things can get a a bit slow, even the TV. But many anglers have a special interest that can help them fill in the time, and prepare for that welcome return to river and loch - the tying of flies.

So here’s a suggestion - tie your favourite salmon or trout fly, or invent a new one, and share it with your fellow anglers though the club web site. All we need is the name of the fly, the detailed dressing, any particular instructions on tying and a good picture of the tied fly. E-mail the information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a JPEG picture to medium size.

Club loses long-term member

It was with great sadness that Inverness Angling Club members and friends heard of the death last Sunday (March 29) of Cas Slaney. 

A long-term club member who served as secretary for a period, Cas had been ill for some time. But he did not let his condition dampen his spirit. He was always ready with a quick crack during his visits to the Little Isle hut, where the companionship of club members brought him comfort and pleasure.

Club president Alex Elliott said: “I well remember my first meeting with Cas. I was fishing the Weir Pool on a cold spring morning during the 1970s. He asked me for my permit and, as I didn’t have it, sent me home. It was a good lesson, well remembered. He will be sorely missed by our membership. On their behalf, I send deepest sympathies to his family.”

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Inverness Angling Club

Ness Walk

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