Callum read the conditions

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A few wives and partners, by this time, will be wishing that the fishing season was still going.

The angler is at home, getting in the way and leaving fur and feathers lying around as he starts on next year’s secret fly.

I am often amazed to be told that my flies, all being ancient, will never catch a fish, but they do and I counter that some exciting new pattern has been lying in my box for over forty years.

Still, I am sure that the old adage that, if you believe strongly in something, it will work and this goes for flies and indeed all types of tackle.

A few weeks ago, when acting as boatman for two of Scotland rising stars, I had the chance to look into their fly boxes and I was surprised at what I saw and at times just the pattern they were using.

Callum had a slow day with no success until the last hour, when he changed to dry fly and it brought instant success and a place in the Scottish international junior team.

I have a special box full of the same patterns he was using, a technique I have used for years and not what I expected from such a with it young angler.

Well done Callum and good reading of the conditions. Their fly boxes contained many of the new lures, Blobs, Booby’s etc. , which they used well as attractors, but the taking flies were variants on old patterns and in some occasions the original itself.

With modern materials available, patterns of all shapes sizes and colours are easily tied and they do work and, with the highly trained eye such lures are a boon to any angler’s box.

You notice I use the term lure rather than fly and this is because Blobs and Boobies simply do not fly around in nature, whereas olives and sedges do and they are still widely used to this day.

As I said, if you believe in what you are doing you will do well.

Spawning is in full flow on all the local rivers and, if you would like to go and see the fish on the redds, please do take great care.

Do not approach too close to the riverbank, do not walk downstream, always approach from below.

Do not enter the water and keep all dogs well under control. Under no circumstances disturb the redds. This is where the future of our salmon stocks is. Leave all dead and dying fish alone, nature will take care of them.

Do enjoy what you are seeing and leave promptly and let the fish get on with their natural reproduction.

And remember, in a few years when you take a fish, that this might have been conceived in your sight.

Ladies and gentlemen, whichever of you has a fishing partner do watch out for the hint or hints abounding from your fisher over the next few weeks.

A tip from one who knows. Angling gear, tackle or whatever is always the most acceptable gift and will always bring a smile and maybe a wee cuddle.

There seems to be a run of late salmon entering the rivers at last , albeit that it is nowhere near the numbers of the last few seasons . At least it will boost the numbers on the redds.

Tight Lines, by Bill Balfour.