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Trout Tactics

Although both bait and spinner can be productive, especially after a spate and there is a remnant of colour in the river as it levels to normal, the most productive way to catch brown trout is the traditional Scottish river tactics of the spider and sparse nymph technique.

This involves an outfit of 5-6 aftm and light leader, using the sparse patterns first developed by W.C. Stewart for the Clyde. Scottish hatches are more meagre and sporadic than those associated with the artificiality of the stocked Stillwater's. You are trying to represent chironomides, blue winged olives, needle fillies, sedges etc.. There is even a mayfly hatch with adult yellow drakes.

Although traditionally the tactic is to fish down and across, increasingly anglers fishing upstream with it's associated level of high concentration reap better rewards.

Flies to select include small hares ear and olive goldhead nymphs, William's favourite, duckfly, waterhen bloa, Greenwell's spider, partridge and orange and sundry are some of the most popular wet fly patterns.

The dry flies of the Stillwater, based on cdc, are to be avoided for top water river sport. Try instead klinkhamers, griffith's gnat, black dries of every type, and some sedge patterns.

Finally, at the risk of telling my Grandmother to suck eggs, fish early and late, preferably with the water thinning after a spate.

Salmon Tactics

Usually, the river receives it's runs from July onwards, coinciding with spates. In 2011 a run of spring fish occurred, consisting of double-figure multi-sea winter fish. This is unusual, but may reflect the effect of seasonal and climactic variations.

Some of the river is best fished with with worm or spinner, but those who persevere with the fly can often fish runs more effectively, by hovering the fly over holding fish.

Patterns considered essential are the cascade, shrimp patterns, pot-bellied pigs and the collie dog. Small tubes are particularly popular, producing excellent hooking power.

Whilst a small river, a small double-hander can be used to good effect in controlling both fly and any hooked fish, though a single-hander of 10 - 11 feet is most popular.

Both flying c's and repalas are popular baits, with the worm at it's best in lower water conditions.

Please remember that returning fish is beneficial to sustaining runs of fish into the future.