MAY - Glen Gravir - into the hills



A day for the long wetfly rod and a Hebridean Cast - a two fly team


Some years the trek into the hills can be possible on the odd day in April, most years however it is wise to wait for spring to arrive proper and allow the air temperature to increase before we head out into the wilderness.
With May's arrival the days lengthen, the sun begins to heat the the land, cuckcoo's arrive, the grass grows faster than the sheep can eat it, midges start to hatch around the garden shed the signs are good for the walk up the glen. Wait for the perfect day and you would never fish, today the air temperature is high but there is a clinging mist on the land that the fairly stiff breeze fails to clear, it is an odd day even by Hebridean standards. Setting off in boots, waders are never needed, I hit the hills at a steady pace, set off at the speed you intend to finish the walk is sound advice. Remembering that a mile on rough ground is worth at least two on rough the planned route is a modest 3 to 4 mile hike. Conditions look likely as I approach the green hill that overlooks Loch Tot, a strong breeze ripples the surface and invites me to venture down to a favourite side arm that has produced plenty of fish in the past. Approaching the gin clear water I search the surface for signs of the rising trout I keenly anticipated. The heather strewn margins are alive with the ever present Midge (non biting), grey and long legged black, alongside these are large quantities of the dark coloured Sepia Duns, all point to the fact that the fish should be well  feeding well. However the larger waters can still be cold and fly hatches may not happen, wetfly tactics which are really mini lures may be the order of the day, but should a hatch occur smaller spiders can still be fished with the long 11ft rod.


These are the tactics: The 11ft AFTM 6 rod is teamed with a DT5 floating line, although in clear water three fy teams are possible I still prefer the two fly Hebridean Cast, you can present and control a two cast much better that a three, others may disagree.
There are two styles of fly to try. Imitators and Attractors  (thank you Mr Ivens)

If fish are rising try these (Imitators) :

Bob fly: Hook size  Fine Wire #12/14/16

Deer Spider, Sandfly, Hen Blackie, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear, Straggler, Palmered Black Spider,
CDC Daddies, Long Legged Black Gnat.
 All these can be tied with different amounts of hackle to create flies that will fish subsurface or dry, the fish will let you know what they want.

Point Fly: Hook sizes #12/14 Standard wire and some on heavy wire to use in a wave

Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear, Black Spider, Waterhen Bloa, Partridge & Orange, March Brown, Silver March Brown,
Hot March Brown, Black & Peacock.

If fish are not rising use these (attractors) :

Bob Flies #12 International Hooks
International hooks are best for these as they are strong enough to land salmon but still fine wire and fine for loch brownies, I used to tie #10/14 as well but the #'12 is the size you need 95% of the time.

Bob Flies: Palmered Murray's Bluebottle with Red, Green and Blue Bodies, Highland Kill Devil,
Mini Muddlers, Palmered Straggler(especially useful in a big blow), Spiny Norman, Heather Flies, Hawthorn Flies, Heather Moths.
Palmered Butcher Spider.

Point Flies #12
Butcher Spider, Murray's Bluebottle Spider (red, green and blue), Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear,
Black Spider, Partridge Spiders, Golden Wonder, Black & Peacock,