south uist fishing


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Some friends and I are heading over to Uist next week for a few days fishing .Has anyone fished there recently? Looking for some tips on what's working well.
I've not fished for ten years so have been busy looking out all my old gear, any recommendations for tippet material (fine diameter, fairly stiff, non shiny)


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HI C, I use Grand Max Riverge fluorocarbon leader. 0.185mm 8.2Lbs. Not cheap but well worth the money.


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any recommendations for tippet material (fine diameter, fairly stiff, non shiny)

Yes, don't use fluorocarbon unless it is in the very highest breaking strains, and I'm talking 50lb sort of area, unless you are willing to put up with strange and unexpected breaks. I know several salmon ghillies who won't allow anglers in the boat with it. It works fine a lot of the time, and a chap I know says that with some very wary trout he thinks it might give a slight edge, but it simply isn't worth it for the "mystery breaks" and if you are after a salmon and the conditions are difficult so you might only be hooking one or two fish in a day you don't want to lose them.

A lot of people pulling wet flies are still on Maxima and can't find anything to beat it. After a recommendation from one of the ghillies who simply won't let fluoro in his boat I've been trying Yo-Zuri for several seasons now, on trout, salmon and sea trout, and from 4lb to 20lb and am very pleased with it. It is pretty stiff which means it copes well with Hebridean wind and, of course, it is also a copolymer type thing that actually has a surface coating of fluoro which I guess protects against sunlight etc. Maybe you get the best of both worlds? I guess I can sort of say I'm still fishing fluoro, but it doesn't behave at all like fluoro when you stress it.

I did some testing with the Grand Max Riverge fluoro I had been trialing and the Yo-Zuri. I put a simple overhand knot in 6lb Yo-Zuri and 7lb Riverge. The Riverge broke easily with a steady pull between two fingers, even with a good tug I couldn't break the Yo-Zuri without cutting the fingers off myself. I know we here all sorts of excuses for fluoro "you don't know how to tie knots" "it must be a bad batch" "it broke on a sharp rock" "you got a wind knot" and so on but I never have to listen to these excuses with Maxima or the Yo-Zuri whereas I was using the excuses myself several times per year for the few seasons I trialed the fluoro. I lost a Springer to the most remarkable break on 15lb fluoro and that really put me off but the deciding factor was a modest sea trout about 2lb on 12lb fluoro that took on the first cast and I could feel the line just pull apart, it broke right in the middle of a straight bit of leader and there was very little pressure at all as the fish was just hooked and I was taking it easy. Fine for me, I'll fish every day for the last two months of the season, but if you only have a few days or a week and might only hook one decent fish in a year it isn't worth the risk.

I'm not on the Uists and don't pay much attention down there so these are general comments based on Lewis - there hasn't been much rain in the Hebrides though certainly on Lewis we are seeing goodly numbers of salmon and big sea trout in the sea and are hopeful they will come in due course. The last rain that lifted the rivers was about 20th May, however 2013 was similar and we got good fishing when the water did come in August. The trout were very thin early in the season and clearly had a hard winter but they've picked up well and I've seen some fantastic conditioned fish coming off the lochs. Most that i've been seeing up on Lewis have been coming to the wet fly but I was out with a few folks earlier on who were also doing well with dry flies despite the adverse conditions. It looks to me like the fish have made up condition pretty quickly. However, sometimes they are completely ignoring large hatches of fly and I've no idea why this is. Early in the season a big orange muddler was working well for trout for me, can't explain that, but traditional stuff and especially big hairy bob flies seem to be doing well just now. I'm away working at the minute but hope to fish Lewis for the last two months of the season, if the salmon and sea trout come and we get water then it should be a good end to the season and if not then the brown trout are going well enough that I'll not mind, like last year I might not bother with the salmon at all until the trout season ends.