Anglers that regularly come salmon fishing in Scotland will know the value of having a good selection of bottle tubes of various sizes in their fly box. The bottle tube can be very effective during the spring and summer months, especially if the water is high. The great thing about the bottle tube is that you can fish a relatively small fly quite deeply. This is mainly because the tube itself is quite small and as the name would suggest, shaped like a bottle. This means that as soon as the fly hits the water it will sink fast and start fishing almost immediately. This is perfect if the water is cold and clear in the spring. The added advantage of using a bottle tube in such conditions is that as it has a much denser body and is heavier than a standard tube fly of similar size and so will move more slowly through the water. This is often what you need during the spring months when the water is cold, as the fish usually do not like chasing a fast-moving fly.
When it comes to the actual pattern of the bottle tube each angler has their favourite. Early during the Scottish salmon fishing season, flies like Cascades and Kinnermony Killers tied with a long wing on a bottle tube can often produce the goods. The longer wing gives it more movement in the water and so can make the fly a much more enticing prospect to a salmon. During the summer months often darker flies work well, especially if the water is low and clear. Flies like the Stoats tails and Irish Shrimps can be quite effective tied on a bottle tube. This coupled with the floating line and a long leader can be the perfect combination.
Another style of tube fly which can be very effective when salmon fishing in Scotland is the conehead. The conehead tube fly as the name would suggest consists of the body of tube fly with a weighted head (shaped like a cone) at the front of the fly. The cone can be any colour and often anglers believe that the highly visible brightly coloured cones can be a target for the salmon to attack. The cones come in various weights and the flies themselves vary in length. The conehead flies are particularly popular for spring salmon fishing in Scotland but can work well all year round.
So, when you pack all your tackle for that salmon fishing holiday in Scotland, make sure that you don’t forget your bottles and cones, as you might just regret it!