2019 Season

tying spiders, flymphs & nymphs

a few thoughts

And so, as another brown trout season passes, it is time to take stock. As far as fish numbers are concerned it was an average season for me. No massive baskets of trout but I did manage a rather nice fish, by my standards anyway! More of that later. I was fairly pleased overall with my casting, accuracy and presentation both improving in the process. And, on a number of different occasions, I managed to put out a reasonably consistent line during tricky conditions, so progresses being made there too. And of course, there was the extra bonuses that helped me appreciate my season all the more: seeing the ospreys, frogs, toads, a newt (!), sedge, chrionomids, olives, dragon flies, damsel flies, crane flies, alder flies, heather flies, deer and yes, even the sheep! Appreciating just being out of doors in the fresh air and experiencing all the variations of weather conditions, often in just a few hours! The conversations with fellow anglers and even just a quiet moment enjoying a cup of coffee and a sandwich by the water. Not to mention overcoming tactical problems, trying new flies and of course appreciating the trout themselves. Over the years I have come to appreciate my fishing and my fishing season more as each one comes and goes.

My most consistent fly of the season (for numbers of trout caught) was what I call my Fiery PTN which beat my second most consistent fly of the season, the Black Spider, by just a single fish!

softhackles.blog - FieryPTN

Fiery PTN


Interestingly, the Fiery PTN took all its fish in the first half of the season while the Black Spider caught more steadily but over the entire season.

softhackles.blog – Trout1

a Brown Trout falls for the Black Spider

The Fiery PTN accounted for a number of fish, the largest I think was around 40cm. It seems to do quite well during olive hatches and also on grey, drizzly days when there are no olives in evidence.

softhackles.blog – Trout2

a brown Trout caught on the Fiery PTN

It was however a Bibio which tempted the biggest brown trout during the last few weeks of the season. It was a real honour to catch that fish and I will remember it for a long time. The trout measured 47cm and I estimated it to be around 2lb, possibly a bit more. It was a strong, deep, broad fish and it really was in good condition. The barbless fly was removed while fish was in the net, a quick photo and I admired the fish as it rested prior to swimming off strongly as I released it back into the loch. I needed a cup of coffee afterwards to steady my nerves before continuing my session!

softhackles.blog – Trout3

the 47cm trout enticed by a Bibio


Perhaps a bit early yet, but my initial thoughts for next season are to tie and fish palmered/bumble type flies a bit more than I have been of late. That could be an excuse to buy some new fly tying materials… I also fish a few places where the back-cast is space limited and where you still need to put a reasonable amount of line out, so I think a rocket taper line may just find its way onto my list destined to Santa too!

softhackles.blog - FieryPTN

Fiery PTN – Tail: brown hen fibres Body: natural pheasant tail fibre Rib: fine copper wire Thorax: hint of fiery brown SLF Hackle: furnace hen



Bibio – Body: 1/3 black SLF, 1/3 claret SLF, 1/3 black SLF Rib: round silver wire Hackle: black hen

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