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It’s Beginning To look A Lot Like Springtime

Allan Liddle looks forward to new beginnings

Ok maybe a tad early but ever the optimist and forever looking forward to warmer weather and rising fish we have indeed passed the Festive Period and moved again towards the onset of another new season. 

For salmon lovers this starts in a mere three to four weeks with the majestic Helmsdale amongst the first to get 2020 underway and the chance to finally begin to tackle rustiness that's set in thanks to the delay from the last time you wet a line. Optimism as always will be high and despite the run of poor returns on migratory fish we have faced throughout recent years, we know they are still present and there is always a chance that this might be your year.  Besides it's the experience and opportunity we chase, as i've said recently; time we never get back so no good lamenting chances missed, just head out and create new ones.

Then there's the salt water trout season that follows mid February where hardy souls venture forth and seek out silver along various coastal places, locations well guarded but rewards can be very high indeed when all the experience, tides and times connect and you hook one of these stunning fish.

Not long behind is what I regard as the start of the season proper.  Ok yes I am biased being a Brown Trout man but I make no apologies for this after all it is a life long obsession. March 15th and the hope of hatching flies and rising fish, which to be honest is actually more realistic than you might think, especially on our rivers.  Local knowledge and experience has me with my favoured lochs and rivers all in readiness and looking good for the off, weather very much dependent of course.  Float tubing on a loch that's only been thawed out for a week or two certainly is character building, but even so there's always the chance of a fish, especially if the buzzers decide to show up.

But before then, rivers will be walked, stones turned over, eyes scouring for the evidence that olives might be on the move and looking to hatch as well as the other vital part of the preparation; flies tied. Ok again yes I tie all the time but the closer it gets to a new season, the more focused I become on ensuring I have enough of my favourites, those tried and tested flies mixed in with a few new ideas,  Variety is the spice... and all that, plus the fact I find tying the same over and over is so boring, creative sparks and alterations are always required, at least for me at any rate.

Not to forget the need to also ramp up discussions with fishing friends and colleagues, exchanging ideas, thoughts and plans, or as my wife puts it "Talking Fishing Crap" which is vital to all of us that chase fish whatever species they may be, especially those of us in the Fly Fishing Church.

Luckliy for me I've a few opportunities to have the 'Craic' between now and my first casts with three tying demonstration events coming up all of which I am really looking forward to.
First is the now annual River Spey Anglers Association Tying Fair on Saturday 18th of January at Inchberry Hall in Morayshire.  I am told this is the first official tying fair of the year and although very modest and local it is a cracking day out, great to meet everyone again and kick things off for the season ahead. There's a cracking line up of tyers as well as trade and exhibition stands, plenty to see and do.  Full details on their Facebook page where all updates and latest news can be found. https://www.facebook.com/River-Spey-Anglers-Association-205326492911451/

Then I'm very lucky to have been invited to head to Salon Mouche Occitanie show in Toulouse, France in early February which clashes with the BFFI so sadly I'm missing it this year, still you can't be in two places at once. However love the opportunity to promote all things Scottish fly fishing overseas and looking forward to heading to this show, meeting up with old friends as well as making new ones. https://www.facebook.com/events/508599343089059/

And finally, just before the season start it's the Glasgow Angling Centre Spring Open Weekend 6th to 8th March, where I will once again be back in the tying hotseat at various times over the weekend.  Always busy, always a great show and always worth heading over to. https://www.facebook.com/events/707966539709376/

So lots to look forward to, plenty fishy stories to be retold just before it's time to start all over again and get back out there to create a whole load of new stories and experiences, I simply can't wait.

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