Welcome to the Angling Active Magazine – Fishing News, Advice and Articles

Scottish Youth National Championship 2016

The second leg of the S.A.N.A. Youth National Championship took place Sunday 11th September at the Carron Valley Fishery. Top rod was 11 fish. Not sure of total caught but there was 10, 8, 5’s a lot of 4’s down to 1’s. Most fish taken on Boobies, Blobs, traditional patterns, hoppers. Prizes were awarded by Mr Archie Ferguson , President, Scottish Anglers National Association (SANA). Acknowledgement goes to those following:


2016 National Champion – Robert (Blaine) Lyon.


2nd Place Ali Forbes.


3rd Place Alasdair Anderson.


Best Newcomer – Robert (Blaine) Lyon.


The 2017 Scottish Youth International Fly Fishing Team with Team Manager Mr Arthur Wilkie (Left), Team Coach Mr Ken Oliver (Right) and Team Coach Alasdair Fyfe (Back).

Congratulations to all the boys on behalf of Angling Active – A great squad of professionals that should be proud of themselves!

x10 Free Weekend Entries to Fly Fest & Goody Bags – The best weekend for any fly fisher! 1-2 October


x10 Free Weekend Entries to Fly Fest & Goody Bags – The best weekend for any fly fisher! 1-2 October



If you are going to visit just one fly fishing show, make it Fly Fest!

The best venue, for the best exhibition of U.K.:

Fly Tying

Fly Casting

Fly Film

Fly Tackle

Fly Materials

Easy to get to, lots of parking and a day for the entire family. There’s even a play park!

Which Salmon Fly Head for Autumn Salmon?

WHICH LINEThe rivers have been filling up all season from the top down like a bottlenecked motorway. There are coloured resident fish stationed in what they have made their territory becoming more and more aggressive. These fish will have probably seen a few temptations from anglers on their journey here that have either convinced them or not. Either way, these fish are more savvy to your offerings and it is time to think smart and make the most of your last days of the season. Whether you will be presenting big snaeldas, francis or the tiniest stoats tails with no flash, Autumn fish will only take if you can frustrate them into an aggressive response. The best way to achieve this response, is get the fly deeper and closer to the fish and invade it’s territory. There are similarities to Spring fishing, but more finesse is required as you are not necessarily intercepting running fish, but stationary fish. A heavy landing skagit may be the right choice for faster water to get a tungsten tip and big fly out and down, but as the fish get comfortable, they’ll probably be in the slower glides and deeper holes where they can see everything that happens on the surface. A well presented gentle landing of  your line way upstream from the target is the stealth part, the tool; preferably sinking, or multi density heads with a long fine tippet, particularly in clear slow water. For even better results, fish a dropper with the dark smaller fly on the point (tail end). The large bright fly will act as an attractor, the fish will investigate and be greeted by a small dark fly just behind it causing a knee-jerk response. So WHICH lines give you the best options? There is no one single line that does everything, though there are lines with interchangeable multi-tip options as many know, yet these can be limiting in Autumn due to the floating main body. Our advice covers all aspects of all fishing disciplines here at Angling Active, but the most common queries are fly line related and understandably so with the endless wall of fly lines we have in stock in the Angling Active store. Working through the different types of water you’ll be faced with this Autumn, here are our favourite lines for you to consider and just as importantly, how to fish them. What we are not saying is that you need every one of the lines below, but think about the river you are going to fish and which style of water recognised below seams to suit: ftsnaelda Long, slow, shallow pools or tail outs with easily spooked fish in clear water. This style of pool/run is potentially where fish will be considering spawning later in the year. If you can see them, please leave paired fish alone, there’s plenty of other water to fish. Use a long tapered line for delicate presentation but enough power to turn out a reasonable size fly to start fishing as soon as it lands. A clear line can improve your chances further. Have a look at this new VISION ACE SHOOTING HEAD. Add a clear intermediate AIRFLO 10FT SALMON POLYLEADER to further your stealth and refine presentation. On the hang (when the line has come right around and starts to snake), start a very slow retrieve and be prepared for a couple of knocks as the line tightens. Don’t strike a fish that takes a straight line in slow water, simply grip the line and the fish will turn and set the hook its self. 

VISION ACE SHOOTING HEAD, Clear Floating. #9/10, 10/11, 11/12

  A drop-off or shelf at an incoming tributary, big corner pool or big back eddy. This is the next type of water that we would consider a great Autumnal lie for Salmon. These, often fine gravelly runs are ideal for fish to sit their nose right on the deep drop-off using the up current to keep them steady with little to no energy being expelled. This type of water is extremely territorial because it could be where Spring fish have stopped or fallen back to months prior. If you know there’s a few fish in the river, this is the place to fish first and last light. Never over fish this pool because every swing of the fly will teach the fish further, and fishing it at those optimum times may make the difference between a successful day or a blank day. For this type of water a floating or intermediate belly line with a change of density (sink rate) toward the end will be best. This allows you to hang the fly bringing it just across and over the lip of the hole and the fly is right on their noses. Have a look at the new  SCIERRA PROLONGED SHOOTING HEAD for this style of fishing. For a bit more depth these lines are perfectly suited to sinking tips/polyleaders/versileaders.


  Deep channels with faster surface water and boils. If you are looking to cut through the fast flowing surface into the slower bouldery water underneath, use a triple density line. Believe it of not, hydrodynamics rule that the water at the surface is always moving faster than that underneath. So, if you are to make a cast with a floating line on a fast moving stretch of water it will whip around and you’ll have the fly in the water for less time. If however, you fish with a sunk line and cut through the surface the line will swing slower giving you more time with the fly in the right places.
TD diagram

Triple density diagram. Faster sinking left to right.

The advantage of a treble (aka triple) density line is that you have the fly down deep but the belly of the line is over the top of boulders and snags but under the fast surface. Smart! Check out two of our favourite triple density lines here in multiple sink rate variations and line weights.
  There are of course many other styles of water to cover, but the three we have mentioned above is where we recommend you focus on in order to at least have the best opportunity to catch an Autumnal Salmon. We always expect anglers to respect the salmon and let them get on with what they should be doing. If you feel they should be left alone as they are getting ready to spawn early over the next few months, just sit back and watch. You might learn something 😉 Tight lines. Autumn

Silver for Scotland’s Youth

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.21.23 The Scottish Youth International Fly Fishing Team won Silver at the 32nd Youth International Fly Fishing Competition held at Lough Lein, Killarney, Ireland on Wednesday 3rd August 2016. Ireland won Gold with a close run battle with Scotland. Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.22.01The atmosphere and lifelong friendships that are created from this competition is amazing. The Scottish Youth Team wish to congratulate Ireland for their win and for their hospitality to the Scottish team and to all the other nation’s team for making it a great and memorable event. Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.21.42A very special thanks goes to everyone who supported and sponsored the Scottish Youth Team. The Scottish Youth Team members would like to thank their Team Manager Mr Arthur Wilkie and all the team coaches for their hard work and support throughout the past year.
1st Ireland
2nd Scotland
3rd England
4th Wales
The Top Scottish Rod – Stirling Council Trophy was won by Robbie Sutherland on his 1st Cap with the team. The Heaviest Fish – Scotland – Angling Active (aka Stirling Angling Centre) Trophy – was won by Zach Neufeld on his 1st Cap with the team. The Heaviest Fish – Ian Jones Memorial Trophy was won by Zach Neufeld, Scotland. The Scottish Youth Team will be heading to Wales in 2017 for the 33rd Youth International with the aim to bring back the Bob Church Trophy to Scotland. Regards Alasdair
Robbie Sutherland - Top Scottish Rod

Robbie Sutherland – Top Scottish Rod (Stirling Council Trophy)

Zach Neufeld - Heaviest Fish

Zach Neufeld – Heaviest Fish (Ian Jones Memorial Trophy)

Zach Neufeld- Biggest Fish Scotland

Zach Neufeld- Biggest Fish Scotland Angling Centre Trophy (aka Angling Active Trophy)



Free Prize Draw – PENN FATHOM LEVER DRAG worth £179.99

Which Switch? A guide to buying a Switch rod for yourself.

Which Switch There are many switch rods on the market now with switch’s ever-growing significance in a fly anglers arsenal. So, why the interest in switch rods in the last two decades or so when the one go to Salmon rod and/or a simple fighting butt on a single hander used to be what everyone settled for pre-millennium? Quite simply, with the development of stronger/lighter carbon and components available to rod manufacturers, there has been a shift in demand by the angler away from being limited to just a single hander and a double hander to a ‘middle ground’ that suits his/her quarry. Bridging the gap and helping satisfy the enjoyment anglers seek from fishing for and playing smaller Salmon, Grilse, river trout and Seatrout, the switch rod is shorter than all other double handers yet it is usually weighted #6 #7 or #8. Usually around 11′ in length and designed for double hand spey casting in smaller rivers, but with the option to cast single handed opening up fishing options in varying surroundings, the rod is certainly a tool with a firm place in fly fishing. You would not purchase a switch rod as a first choice for single hand casting, it is more bias toward the lighter form of double handed casting and for this reason they are matched with short shooting heads and running lines. Matching a single handed line to a switch rod is possible if you over rate it by x2 AFTM’s. eg. choose a #9 single hand line for a #7 switch rod. Otherwise, purchase a dedicated switch line for the rod in the recommended casting weight (AFFTA) marked on the rod. i.e. #7 switch line for a #7 rod. So how do you choose the right switch rod for you? Well the easiest way is to come in to Angling Active in Stirling and have a thorough consultation and demo of a few rods on the banks of the River Teith right outside our door. This is a free service we offer with one of our resident experts. You can just turn up, but for our undivided attention to you please call in advance 01786430400 and arrange a time with a staff member.
casting area

Angling Active casting area, River Teith

Whether online or in-store, what has to be identified is the application for the switch rod before you make a purchase. Are you using it for lightweight shooting-heads potentially with small sink tips, or are you using it for something completely different like a skagit setup for sunray shadows or even starting out a youngster onto a double hand fly rod? What action do you prefer in a fly rod? Fast or middle to tip (medium) actions are what is available in most fly rods today. Do you want this rod to be a lifetime prize item for regular use or is it just to satisfy an upcoming trip you have booked just to get you through? Do the aesthetics/appearance and brand of the rod matter to you? And then ultimately, what is your budget? Here are our favourite switch rods and a brief description of each to summarise them. You can click the link under each rod to read further details about the rods. Some of these rods have been reviewed in the August issue of Trout and Salmon magazine by Glynn Freeman and Clive Mitchelhill.
#6, #7, #8
4 piece
RRP £189.99
Our Price: £169.99
Well priced as an entry level switch rod available in 3 sizes, and interestingly in a rare #6 line rating, the second lightest available switch at Angling Active. For those less experienced and looking for a medium to fast action and forgiving tool to learn with, we recommend the #7 or #8 versions depending on the size of fish you are expecting.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
A finesse #6 weight option for seatrout in glassy water.
#7/8 or #8/9
4 piece
Our Price: £74.99 (RRP)
A success story in price meets quality. The two line ratings are there as an option to bully grilse in with the heavier #8/9, or try your luck at the more wary seatrout with the #7/8.
This is the most affordable switch rod Angling Active offers.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
Great with a lightweight skagit line for short range Sunray tactics. But also a beautiful mid-slow action for medium range shooting head and spey line applications.
#7/8 or #8/9
6 piece
RRP £89.99
Our Price: £79.99
Improving on the 4 piece Oracle Switch is the Expedition (EXP) version of the rod breaking down into 6 sections for the suitcase. These are slightly faster in action than the 4 piece equivalent.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
These rods weigh under a kilo in the tube. Ideal if you are watching your baggage allowance on a flight!
#5/6, #6/7, #7/8
4 piece
Our Price: £199.99(RRP)
High performance, fast action and recovery rod. This is a specialist, no messing Grilse or Summer Salmon rod in the #7/8 weight. The lighter versions are ideal for seatrout.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
For those intermediate to experienced anglers who need performance.
11′ #7 FAST
4 piece
Our Price: £269.99(RRP)
New for 2016, and the flagship of Greys fly rods is the GR70 range. This is even more powerful than the GR5o and a faster action again means this is for those who have developed a good sense of timing and casting techniques.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
If you have mastered the art of switch casting and you require accuracy, the quick recovery of the GR70 is the switch for you.
#7, #8
4 piece
Our Price: £499.00(RRP)
A beautifully hand made, fast action yet forgiving rod combining the forefront carbon for durability, strength and power.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
Experienced anglers can have confidence with this rod and a matched Scandi head that you will never blame the tools. An artists rod for pure performance.
4 piece
Our Price: £649.00(RRP)
So you want the cutting edge in design and workmanship that is also faultless in performance? Look no further than the Sage Accel. A lifetime rod that will keep impressing you with so much engineering behind the scenes, your switch fishing becomes effortless.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
The med-fast action gives a deeper curve and creates wind splitting loops.
4 piece
Our Price: £274.99(RRP)
Precision hand-made in Scotland with the experience driven design knowledge of Hywel Morgan. The Lexa Switch is one of our favourites at Angling Active. Well priced for a through action yet responsive recovery for accuracy. Beautifully crafted and a true performer for lighter work with a switch rod.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
The detachable extension butt transforms this rod into a formidable single handed beauty.
#6/7, #7/8, #8/9
4 piece
Our Price: £449(RRP)
Power and durability meet in the syntrix technology used by Hardy on the manufacturing of the blanks. A stunning modern finish to what will be a lifetime purchase to enjoy over and over.
Angling Active Pro Tip:
Part of the All Water Series (AWS) meaning all the components are saltwater proof. Great for estuarine Seatrout.

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