MONKEY AROUND; RECORD ANGLING.
WHEN things are quiet on the salmon front, why not resort to some monkey business and a bit of roly-poly?
This isn't a joke. The monkey is an increasingly popular spring and summer salmon fly. And, as every trout angler knows, the roly-poly is a method of quickly stripping a fly in.
Some salmon anglers are now combining the monkey and the roly-poly to lure fish from their lies.
The monkey got its name because it was originally tied with a long wing from the hair of a colobus monkey.
Chinese goat hair is a great substitute - and, as I have discovered, so is the long, black hair from my springer spaniel.
The long-winged Dee Monkey is one of the favourite varieties. Tie it on a bare aluminium, plastic, copper or bottle tube with bucktail and four strands of mirror flash crystal hair, all of which is overlaid with a much longer length of black goat hair.
Use yellow Arctic fox for the throat and finish off with jungle cock cheeks. Now you're all set to fish your Dee Monkey in conjunction with a sinking line.
The first technique is to cast square across the river. Do not mend but allow the current to create a downstream belly on your line, which quickens up the fly's rate of travel.
The second technique is again to perform a square cast but mend downstream to speed up the fly even more.
Then there is the roly-poly. Again perform a long cast, mend downstream and then tuck the rod under your armpit while you strip the fly back, pulling the line in hand over hand.
Try all three techniques one after the other, then take a few paces downstream and start all over again.
The takes are usually pretty savage and often visual.
Sometimes you will get chase, and a boil, without the salmon fastening on.
Even if you don't hook it, it's heart-stoppingly exciting.
LOIS Brown was embroiled in a 30-minute battle with her first-ever salmon on the mighty River Tay.
But perseverance paid off for the 14-year-old from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, who was on holiday in Scotland.
When the salmon finally slipped into ghillie George McInnes's net, it turned out to be a monster.
At 44 inches long, the huge fish was estimated to weigh 33lbs.
It was released back into the river after being photographed.
You will shortly be receiving details of your fantastic rod and reel prize, courtesy of top UK tackle makers, Daiwa, our Fish of the Week sponsors.
THE chance of an early smoothie or two should add a little spice to the Peever Easter Open, to be fished at Kirkcudbright on Sunday.
The recent good weather has encouraged the crabs to start peeling, so the smooth-hounds shouldn't be far behind.
Otherwise there are plenty of thornbacks being taken in the area, along will the usual dogs and flounders, so there should be some good bags in prospect.
Registration will take place at the Gordon House Hotel from 8 to 9am, with fishing from 10am to 4pm.
BARRY Morgan will probably start as shortpriced favourite for the next J.B.Angling sweep on Orchil, after notching up his third win from four starts with a net of 87lb-plus.
Jim Hillhouse scaled 51lb 11oz for second, with Brian Docherty senior in third and Martin Pearson, who managed to find the bigger fish, close behind in fourth.
Mike Weed took the final match of the Springwater DT Winter League with a net of 20lb 6oz.
But it was his son, Ewan, who finished top of the table.