Fly fishing was never a sport that was on my radar until a couple of years ago. Despite my dad’s enthusiasm for fishing outings, I only realised my interest when I discovered it was a perfect excuse to explore the wilderness of the east side of North Uist in combination with the chance to catch some wild brown trout which I could honour in a dish at the end of a fishing outing. Sometimes going for a walk just isn’t enough and I have found fly fishing completely absorbing at times.
We are also lucky to know some of the finest fly fishermen on the Uists and after some tips, tuition and encouragement both myself and The Man named Sous started enthusiastically flailing the water, as beginners do. We joined the North Uist Angling Club and have been very grateful for the generosity of the information shared and encouragement from many club members, notably those on the committee. In fact, somehow we have found ourselves on the committee….
Catching wild brownies is a world away from a visit to a stocked fishery or reservoir. Wild brown trout are not that easy to catch by comparison, not least if you want one big enough to keep! And that is the whole point. It is challenging, I have a lot to learn and I suspect I will always be learning to some extent. I have yet to catch any migratory fish of note, but I am not too concerned about that. It will happen with time and experience.
The fishing club outings give us access to a diverse range of typical fishing situations in North Uist from machair lochs on the west side to an abundant choice of oligotrophic lochs on the east, not forgetting the unique experience of fishing a sea pool for migratory fish. Nutrient and food availability/choice in different habitats have a significant effect on what and how you catch – and influence the success, notwithstanding weather and tidal conditions on the day. Many variables to challenge the angler.
I hope to share my learning experiences and some of the exhilaration of fishing trips on the Uists and possibly beyond too. Perhaps the end of the season is not the best time to start blogging about fly fishing, but if I can’t fish over the winter, I might as well indulge a bit by talking about it in anticipation of the spring.