Archive for the ‘Milngavie Fly Dressers’ Category

Real Wings!

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

A couple of weeks ago it was the penultimate day of our winter calender for the fly dressers.  At very short notice we managed to secure a demonstration from Jim Miln of the Alloa Angling Shop.  Jim has developed some very effective realistic wings which are now supplied by Veniards and are called oddly enough “Jims Wings”.  These wings and the use of paint bristles assisted the tying of some very realistic flies.

Blue Bottle


Adult Olive Midge







Sherry Spinner


House Fly








If you want to see more of Jim’s flies there is a Youtube site simply go to JimsFlystackle.

Salmon Flies on a Theme

Friday, March 15th, 2013


A couple of weeks ago at the Milngavie fly dressers we demonstrated hair wing salmon flies as a few of the guys are regular salmon fishers on the Tay and had requested several patterns.

If you look into my salmon fly boxes the  flies tend to be along a distinct colour theme, orange  yellow and black with a trace of sparkle somewhere.  I used to use Willie Gunns a lot from my days on the Brora where back in the late 80’s I met the man himself at the famous Ford Pool.  It turns out that he did not devise the fly but simply picked it out from a batch of Waddingtons that Robb Wilson who used to keep the tackle shop in Brora had for sale. Several fish later as the story goes and Willie was back into the shop for more and Robb christened the fly after him.

This colour theme runs through a whole host of modern salmon flies Cascades and Park Shrimps being juts two. Modern version tied on light tubes with cone heads, single, double and treble hooks and designed to fish on modern spey lines with tips that get the fly down have made life easier for the angler not having to cast heavy brass Waddingtons and tube.


Orange Flamethrower

• Salar Double- Size 7,9 or trebles
• Thread – Orange Uni thread 8/0
• Tag & Rib- small oval gold tinsel
• Body- Rear hot orange floss, front oval gold tinsel. Rib on rear 4/5 turns
• Body hackle- hot orange cock hackle hackle
• Wing- tied in the centre orange bucktail 1.5 hook length add 2/4 fibres of crystal flash
• Head hackle – hot orange cock
• Jungle cock – body length
• Head -Opal Mirage

Willie Gunn Tube

Willie Gun Variant

Tube – length and weight as required
Body – Black with gold rib, Gold bodied with gold oval rib, Opal mirage with Oval silver rib
Wing – Mixed bucktail yellow orange and black with crystal flash
Head hackle option – Black
Jungle cock- Optional
Cone head – Optional

Park Shrimp

Park Shrimp

• Salar Double- Size 7,9
• Thread – Red Uni thread 8/0
• Tag & Rib- Medium oval gold
• Body- Rear gold light bright or tinsel, front black floss
• Tail – Orange arctic fox or runner body length, then yellow bucktail and 3/4 strands of crystal flash twice body length. Finally orange again body length. Bind down tag ends.
• Rib – with gold oval
• Wing- Black arctic fox/arctic runner length into the orange of wing, 3-4 strands of Crystal flash
• Yellow hackle, jungle cock them orange hackle or orange badger
• Red head

Sunburst Willie Gunn Variant Trout and Salmon March 2013

Sunburst Willie Gunn

Hook – Salar Double size 9
Body- Hook shank only
Wing – Yellow and Orange Arctic Fox topped with black incorporate a few strands of tinsel
Hackle- Yellow followed by Orange Badger
Cheeks – Jungle Cock

Tie in the hackles first as they will give the wing some lift

Finally just to prove that I like the colour I posted this fly a couple of years ago under “Alaskabou Style”

Flies of the Clyde and Local Area

Friday, February 8th, 2013

We had a very enjoyable evening at the Milngavie Fly Dressers when Craig MacAdam, Scottish Director of www. came.   He gave us a very enlightening presentation of the food that trout and grayling eat on the Clyde and surrounding area.   Have to say that I learned a great deal about Plecoptera, Trichoptera, other bugs and beetles, I have forgotten their latin name.  Probably the most important group of all Ephemeroptera the may or day flies.  Day flies I guess because of their ephemeral nature, here today and gone tomorrow.

We learned some interesting facts approximately 190 Trichcoptera in the UK and 80 odd day flies.  Even discovered that some sedges conducted the practice of aestivation, that’s summer hibernation to you and me!  They sit in trees and go into a dormant state waiting until conditions were right to mate and breed.  Ephemeroptera are some of the oldest flies on the earth dating back several million years.

It would seem also that we can assist by notifying them of  any sightings of March Browns check them out and identify them here.  look out in particular for the dark spot on the hind legs.  If you believe that you have the right fly complete this form and send it off.   The key month in Scotland would likely be April.

The other fly of interest to buglife is the Orange Striped Stone Fly  and any sightings should be reported here.

Thanks go to Craig for taking the time to come and meet with us.

Grayling Flies

Monday, January 28th, 2013

The Milngavie Fly Dressers got back into action on the 10th January and as it was appropriate and seasonal we spent a couple of hours doing a demonstration of grayling flies.  Kenny Sichi tied a collection of nymphs and Alberto Laidlaw tied a few dry flies.  Here they are:

Cul de Canon

Grayling Steel Blue

Hook:Varivas size 16, Body: Black thread, Wings:Grizzle Hackle Points, Hackle: Grizzle Cock

California Midge






Red Tag

Peeping Caddis

Grizzle Shrimp

Pink Bead Head Nymph












There you go a collection of grayling flies.  The camera lens however shows up your inadequacies, I do not like the red tag much with its tail rolled off the top, I must try harder in future.  Thanks to John Symonds for the photography.

Patterns for a couple of the flies are as follows but whatever do not get bogged down with precise representation feel free to substitute materials

Grizzle Shrimp

Hook: Grubber style hook size 12
Body: Lead foil for weight, dubbed hares ear
Rib: Fine Gold Oval
Hackle: Grizzle palmered
Back: Brown Shrimp foil


Hook: Barbless jig fly size 12 or 14
Body: Hare Line Brown UV or Orvis (purple in colour)
Rib: Red wire
Hackle: CDC natural wound behind bead
Bead: Silver slotted

Pink Bead Head Nymph

Hook: Tiemco 103 BL size 12,14 or 16
Bead : Pink Tungston Bead 2.5 mm
Rib : Red Wire
Body:  Ice Dub UV Shrimp Pink
Back: Magic Shrimp Foil Pearl

Milngavie Fly Dressers

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Just a quick confirmation that our fly dressing club in Milngavie has restarted for the winter this is the program.  We have a core of regulars who sit and talk fishing, every third week we have a demo.  I did one last week all about fly bodies and quickly realised that I could have done a whole evening on individual aspects such as dubbed bodies, extended bodies and many more besides.  Our guest this session is Ronnie Glass, Ronnie is this years Scottish Loch’s Champion and an artist specialising in mounting fish.