July 2015 - Alastair Jamieson
July’s cast of the month comes courtesy of the vastly experienced Alastair Jamieson. Alastair is a competition stalwart having represented the county many times in Orkney and the mainland from both boat and bank. His knowledge of traditional fly patterns is second to none. Alastair is the "go to guy" if you need to know the correct dressing of a "Treacle Parkin," "Sooty Olive" or "Dark Mackerel!"
Alastair is also an innovative fly tier in his own right and has the honour of one of his own patterns, the "Allie Hardy," being included in Stan Headley's seminal work "Trout & Salmon Flies of Scotland"
However it is with small imitative patterns that Alastair is probably most at home. When tying these tiny flies he puts a great deal of emphasis on particular shades of colour and attention to detail. Alastair will quite happily be hauling in fish on size 14 or 16s in a flying gale while most of the rest of us are reaching for the biggest flies in our boxes!
July can sometimes be a tricky month for fly fishing in Shetland. A track of warm, sunny, settled weather warming the lochs can mean the trout becoming torpid and unwilling to chase a fly. In this situation a late evening session may offer the best sport twitching back small "something or nothing flies" in the calm. On the other hand however a breezy overcast day may see the fish up in the water and action can be fast and furious.
Alastair's cast of the month has catered for both of these scenarios. While chosen with the loch of Spiggie primarily in mind Alastair would be confident fishing these patterns all over Shetland in any weather conditions. He also says that trout will respond to these flies fished stactic, retrieved slowly or pulled.
However, "if all else fails" according to Alastair (including his own "cast of the month") then the fly to reach for is his own legendary "Northoose Muddler." This little gem evolved by a series of trial and error from a "Sooty Olive." Although it was christened the "Northoose Muddler" after scoring in Northoose on it's first swim it has worked to great effect all over Shetland.