With the promise of warm fine weather from the local forecasters, packing for a week’s fishing on the Spey demanded some attention.
The ever-changing climate up north and being around water for a full day, both protective summer clothing and warmer garments were called for. Inexperienced in the joys of casting, wading and encouraging fishermen from the banks, we ventured north packed with dogs, rod, Granny’s wading staff and waders.
The Tilley TH5 Hemp hat was a fantastic option for this week and type of weather. Fully UV protective, super lightweight and soft with breathable ventilation grommets ensured we stayed cool and comfortable under a fierce sun. A wide brim prevented the rays from reaching the eyes while the densely woven hemp fabric did not let the sun through. The handy ties were useful when the wind got up.
Polarised lenses are essential while fishing, ridding the sun’s glare off the water and enabling you to see through the surface of the water, essential while wading. Snowbee have a fantastic range of fishing sunglasses, lightweight and wrap around style with an optical clarity that is hard to find in other glasses. The Gill range of glasses are equally effective on water and are floatable in case they go into the water, try the Corona Sunglasses
Too hot for a jacket, I took the comfortable, soft Baleno Sarah Fleece that is a fabulous quick cover up when the wind got up. This is a superior quality Sherpa zip through fleece that will keep you warm yet is highly breathable, perfect when the casting action hots up. With plenty of freedom of movement across the shoulders, the Sarah fleece was ideal for afternoon fishing. Equally a gilet, either fleece of softshell worked well this week, targeting key body organs for constant warmth and providing numerous pockets. Gill stock a good range of gilets such as the Thermogrid Gilet or Race Softshell.
When standing out in the water for up to 4 hours at a time and constant casting, your hands need some kind of protection whether in sun or rain. The Snowbee Neoprene gloves are warm yet lightweight, with a patterned rubber effect on the palms for extra grip and dexterity.
Waders and Wading Boots
The Snowbee Classic Hi Elastic PVC Thigh Waders were perfect for this kind of summer fishing. Lightweight, shaped for shallow wading, this affordable wader provided plenty of movement for easy mobility and comfort without the legs or feet becoming too hot – which they did wearing Neoprene waders. Better suited to colder fishing conditions, try the Snowbee SFT Neoprene Bootfoot Cleated Sole Chest Waders that protect and insulate the feet in cold water.
Essential for your stability and control while wading particularly when the current takes hold unexpectedly. The Snowbee Prestige Folding Wading Staff is made from a lightweight aluminium for reduced water resistance, has a silent removable wading rubber cup and comes in a collapsible 4 section design.
Fishing Shirts – Anti-insect Protective Shirts
Later in the evening, the mosquitoes and horse flies came out to play, the ShooterKing Bamboo Anti Zect shirt with impregnated anti-mosquito and anti-zect repellent was perfect, keeping the pests at bay and keeping us out on the water for longer into the night. 9.30pm saw my first baby brown trout, which though super small and my brother refused to help me unhook it, was an extremely satisfying end to the second day. The Snowbee Superlight Fishing Shirt is a fine weave, lightweight summer fishing shirt with handy chest pockets to store essentials. A fine mesh panel is inserted to the back then covered by external flaps which creates a free air passage to stop skin sticking to the shirt.
Lightweight and comfortable trousers are essential in both hot or cold weather as they have to slip beneath your waders. I took the Laksen Dalness Trousers soft and lightweight fabric, waterproof and packable with plentiful pockets.
Fishing Fly Vests
We stock a good range of fishing fly vests designed to make your day out on the river simpler. Ultra lightweight, fishing vests are super fast drying and have all the pockets that you can expect and need. See Snowbee Classic Fly Vest for a top quality, back length fly vest that will slip easily over your outer wear.
Five minutes before we were leaving for the south, the wonderful ghillies who fish and maintain the stretch of Arndilly on the Spey managed to hook an 8lb salmon. Gallantly they handed the novice the rod whereupon I spent 15 minutes of pure enjoyment playing this lovely fish and then successfully landing it in the net. Careful inspection, ascertaining the fish was male and healthy, the ghillie unhooked, stroked it back to a level of consciousness and away it swam, no worse for wear. Herons and black backed seagulls looked on enviously but it was our moment.
We stock a variety of rods and reels to match as well as durable fishing nets for when you land that illustrious fish, such as the Snowbee Folding Game Net with fish-friendly rubber mesh.
This was a hugely enjoyable introduction to fishing, helped by being well equipped with clothing, fishing kit and footwear for the week. Although we were lucky with the weather, the feeling of calm, blending with the natural surroundings only accompanied by birds, dragonflies and the pools of splash made by the occasional jumping salmon must be a constant theme while out on the water, rain or sun.