"Some big chap from Aberdeen"

(with reels to match - the wee one is 2" diameter from Mr Brown)





I am Colin Innes, I have been collecting fishing tackle for about 30 years, my main interests are the fishing tackle makers and shops from Aberdeen (that's in Scotland) and also the classic salmon flies used on the local rivers like Dee, Don and Deveron. The period that interests me is from around 1820 (any earlier and research material is so scarce it's almost nonexistent) to around 1940, where mass production and hair wing flies kick in. I have been researching and putting together a book on these subjects for the last few years, it's almost finished, but I guess the most difficult thing about producing a book are the final stages - it's written but there are still some facts I need to confirm and flies I need to track down. This web site will highlight some of my research, as people keep asking me "have you finished that book yet" perhaps this will keep them happy for a while - the book will have a lot more detail. I have to say it's been a heck of a ride, I've met some great people and been amazed at the generosity of some and I've re-learnt the art of tying a Dee fly, although I've still got a way to go on that, you may get to see some examples if I canít find a good vintage one to show you!


I'm 51 and have had a varied career since graduating in Engineering, working initially in marketing, then IT and now business consulting. My wife Isabel and I live in central Edinburgh with daughter Ellie 17 and son Sandy 12. I'm originally from Aberdeen, but spent about 20 years living in England (Cambridge, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire), returning to Scotland in 2007.  


From a fishing point of view I love to fish for, and return, salmon on the Dee when I can. I also do a bit of trout fishing, but nowhere near as much as I used to do when living in the south of England.


Tight Lines !


Below, two Colins, the one with the double chin is me, the other is legendary salmon fly tier Colin Simpson, here we are looking at an Akroyd outside the hut on the Lower Blackhall beat of the river Dee, spring 2009 - we picked a small Childers, which looked great in the water and proved that proper blue Chatterer does not go grey when wet. The salmon were not interested that day though!

Neil Donald and I in Knoydart 2014

Fishing at the head of Tannarmouth at Aboyne Castle, in the blistering sun (as usual) July 3rd 2009 
The Ellie Belle tied for my daughters 10th Birthday

A smaller version of this fly caught my only fish on a trip to the river Orkla in Norway 2013 - so it is now an "officially" named fly
Tag : Silver wire
Tail : GP Crest (Iíve used a vintage one with a red tone to it)
Body : Seals Fur, yellow, orange and claret, equal quantities, with yellow closest to hook bend.
Rib: Silver embossed tinsel and gold (oval or twist) Ė Iíve used vintage here.
Hackle : Blue hackle through orange and claret seals fur..
Shoulder : Yellow dyed Guinea Fowl.
Wing : Green Turkey. (or other green feather)
Head : Black.

The Hut, Sluie, River Dee


The interior of the Sluie Hut


More of the interior of the Sluie Hut, what are those pictures on the roof line???


Here's a close up


And another - on close inspection the cards glued to the roof are original cards published by Land and Water magazine in the late 1800's - thousands of pounds worth just rotted away! - Shame, but I guess this is a beat that has been a "family beat" for quite some time.


 Middle Hut Dinnet
Middle Hut Dee Castle

Upper Hut Dinnet

Upper Hut Dee Castle

Here are some more photo's of the same Pool & Hut as above (with David)



The Hut on the Upper Dess beat of the Dee - that's my brother-in-law David Ramsay posing on the porch! (and my beautiful old Saab in the background, now in car heaven)
The path to the lower hut, Aboyne Castle, River Dee
The the lower hut, Aboyne Castle, River Dee
The view from the lower hut Aboyne Castle, River Dee (or early morning on the Lorne pool)
The lower hut, Craigendinnie, river Dee, Pool is the Lorne
The upper hut, Craigendinnie, river Dee (there is usually some fish over by the rocks) this hut no longer exists, it was taken down around 2011 by the then owner who had grand ideas for a new hut (complete with kitchen!) -  the beat is under new ownership and the hut has now been replaced (no kitchen though). This pool is called Simonds and is now my most productive pool on the Dee, trumping my old favourite Jockie Fyfe at the top of the beat.
The upper hut, Aboyne Castle, the pool is Crofts

Four Casts for Four Fish

Once upon a time I lived in England, I was a member of a club called the Cotswold Fly Fishers. One of the rivers that the club had access to was called the River Glyme, it was hard to fish and the trout were not what you would call "easy risers", in fact the river, more of a stream really, had been invaded by Signal Crayfish and the trout grew large and lazy with their new food source. However for 2 weeks of the year the Mayfly hatched and the trout went wild - you had to be there on the right day at the right time. One Saturday morning, whilst cooking the bacon, I saw a Mayfly settle on our kitchen window, I decided to go fish the Glyme, it was about a 10 minute drive from the house. When I arrived there were trout sipping the large flies off the surface of the water, I set up the rod (8 foot light line Sage matched with a subtle Abel TR1 reel and Cortland 444 line since you ask) and mounted an imitation Mayfly (the one with fly line for a body), cast the line out and a trout of about a pound was soon on the bank, I moved to the next pool, spotted a trout on the rise and sent the fly over to him, he too was soon on the bank - a bit bigger than the first. I moved on walking down the river, there were quite a lot of fish around but I was hoping to get one of the fat ones! I noticed a large bow wave further up the river so set off to investigate, hiding behind the grass I could see a large fish holding his position in the stream, I flicked the fly out and the fish slowly rose in the water and gently took the  fly, I said "God save the Queen" and after a considerable tussle I landed a four pound brownie. I think at this point I stopped for a coffee, I had after all just caught my largest wild Brownie. I knew there was a deep pool further down the river where I had seen good fish on an relier visit to the river so I thought I'd just check it out before going back home (at this stage I was extremely happy with myself, 3 fish in 3 casts and had no intention of doing much more fishing that day). In the pool I saw a couple of reasonable sized fish holding position in the water waiting for the new Mayfly to float by, I though I'd have a last couple of casts and call it a day, it was an easy cast and during my coffee break I had put a new fly on the leader (Orvis 6x for those of you with an interest), the fly landed a little further upstream than I had been aiming for, but that did not worry me as it would soon travel down to where the trout were waiting. In an instant a large shape propelled it's self from under the bank, my initial reaction was that it may be a pike, but no, a huge brown trout shot up through the water and took the fly, as the trout went airborne my heart skipped a beat, I held the rod up and let the fish hook itself on it's decent back into the water, controlling the fish as it rushed around the pool was interesting to say the least, I had to balance keeping the fish away from the tree roots on the other side on the stream without exerting too much pressure as I was paranoid about the fairly low breaking strain of the leader. The fish was landed and the scale read six and a quarter pounds, I stopped fishing, went back to the car, I think I was still shaking when I got home! 4 Casts 4 fish....

River Glyme Trout

From the Mayfly day, in the kitchen sink a little while after being caught - they have lost a lot of their colouring

Glyme trout on the bank

Subtle reel! A present from my wife



All researched material and pictures Copyright Colin Innes 2008 - 2015
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