Scottish flies [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Scottish flies

08-24-2004, 01:44 PM
I was wondering if anyone on the ste could point me in the right direction as to some decent fly patterns for Scotland. I want to go there next year for some salmon fishing but I'm a little lost in the fly box. Hair wings and spey's are welcome also tubes.

Thanks again

Willie Gunn
08-24-2004, 02:16 PM
w Although he no longer updates his site the pattern here should cover most eventualities. Most anglers have too many patterns and too few sizes, where as the other way is better, fewer patterns and more sizes.

I would be happy to fish any Scottish river with the listed patterns.

Where are you planning fishing?

08-24-2004, 02:28 PM
I wanted to try the tweed or the tay but that is still in the making. I want to try to compile some more facts and information.

Willie Gunn
08-24-2004, 02:42 PM
For information try www. which has links to the Tweed and Tay under the FishXXX banner. Wait a month or so and the fishspey site will be up and running, when I get my finger out and get the site going.

Gary W
08-24-2004, 04:49 PM
Willie Gunn is spot on with his assessment, but don't forget the Stoat's Tail in various sizes and maybe a couple of variations to suit your own taste/confidence.

Patterns that work elsewhere in the world usually work just as well for Atlantic Salmon in Scottish rivers, and some achieve great results to the surprise of the locals.

Enjoy your fishing.

08-24-2004, 11:37 PM
tihs will be my first time fishing for them so I want to get a reference point of sorts started first.

G Ritchie
08-25-2004, 04:06 AM
For shrimp type patterns I would try Ally's Shrimp, Silver Ally's, Yellow Ally's, Red Ally's and Cascade in sizes 4 to 14.
For hairwing patterns I would try Stoats Tail, Silver Stoat, Executioner, Munro Killer, Gold Willie Gunn, Blue Charm, Jeanie, Arndilly, Editor and Garry Dog in sizes 4 to 14.
For tubes/Waddingtons try Gold Willie Gunn, Willie Gunn, Black-Yellow and Gold, Temple dog, Collie Dog/Sunray Shadow and Garry Dog (and if fishing the Tweed late in the season try the Comet, Junction Shrimp and Whitewing) in sizes 3/4 inch up to 2 inch in different weights.
Those should cover almost every eventuallity the season through. If you could be more specific as to the time of the year you intend to visit ,you could narrow down the list .

Gary W
08-25-2004, 04:33 AM

I've sent you a pm with some patterns; I wish I had a digital camera to show you the proportions in the tying. If you search the web for these patterns you will get pictures.

I notice G Ritchie has replied while I was writing you the PM. I would also go with his additional suggestions and a look on the web will tell you the patterns and may display some images.

Like G Ritchie said, a time of year and rough destination could give a more accurate listing. I say this because a lot depends on water temperature, fish mood, and water colour(peat staining etc.).


08-25-2004, 09:57 AM
Another quick question, right now I have a WC9/10/11 on my Hardy 9/10/11 I also have a spare spool available do you think I should purchase another line? If so could I get some suggestions? Also I have some more info for you guys that wanted it. I was planning on taking the trip next year around the August to October time. It all depends on when I can take leave. The rivers that I wanted to try would be the Tweed or the Tay but if there are any better ones I am open to change.

G Ritchie
08-25-2004, 10:18 AM
You would probably need a multi tip line for the spare spool. Certainly for the colder water during October and for higher water before then. On some beats on the Tay and Tweed, full sunk lines are commonly used, but a multi tip line with compansator and fast sinking tips and a range of tube flies in different weights should be all you require for higher and/or colder water. It would be difficult to narrow down the fly choice for that time scale, but generally August is dry and warm with lower water flows, so then you would require small flies in sizes 10 to 14. Late October the water is generally higher and colder and you would require tube flies or the larger hook sizes.

08-25-2004, 10:48 PM
The wind cutter is a multi tip. I haven't practiced with the tips other than the floater because back home when the water was low that is all you needed. I was thinking about a full sinking line but I don't know if I could justify the cost to how many times I would actually be using it. Another question for everyone, are there more tubes and hairwings run for lies as compared to spey flies or are the numbers even and depending on the water conditions?

Gary W
08-26-2004, 03:12 AM

The multi-tip line should cover you for all but severe conditions(ie fast, deep and very cold water).
The size of fly being used in Scottish rivers is traditionally associated with the water temperature.

45-50F or 7.2-10C Hook Size 2-6,
50-55F or 10-12.7C Hook Size 6-8,
55-60F or 12.7-15.6C Hook Size 8-10,
60-65F or 15.6-18.3C Hook Size 10-12,
65F+ or 18.3C+ Hooke Size 12-16.

This should be used in conjunction with an assessment of conditions, ie. bright day or low water - smaller fly, high or coloured water - bigger fly.

Tube flies are generally used to give more presence in the water or to add extra weight for getting the fly down deeper. Sometimes smaller plastic or aluminium tube flies(1/4 inch to 1 inch) are used in lower water conditions because they can move(swim) better than a conventional hook.

If you are having to cast square to cover the water and this results in your fly swimming quite fast, I would also up the fly size and perhaps use a brighter or flashier pattern.

As to rivers, there are many great rivers to choose from but many depend heavily on conditions. Since you will probably be booking the trip in advance with no idea of river conditions, I would suggest the Tay and the Tweed are good choices. These rivers are so big that the fish will run in lower water conditions. You will always find a beat that has fish holding in the pools, whether they have rods available is another matter.

Try w and then click the hyoerlinks to get to the various rivers Tay, Dee and Tweed. Edited by Willie Gunn "hot link" disabled, please do not paste hot links who are not yet sponsors. I work for the company but show no favourism
The Spey is another river that can offer reasonable fishing in any conditions.

Wishing you success,