In the UK just like across the world, we are currently undergoing unprecedented times. Back in January, very few people could have imagined that the current Covid 19 pandemic would have such a profound effect on our everyday life. Sadly, hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the virus and sadder still is the number of individuals that have tragical succumbed to this illness. Almost a third of the world’s population are currently under strict lockdown measures. This is to try and limit the spread of the virus and protect vital health services and subsequently save lives. 
These measures which were introduced in the UK last week have impacted on all types of fishing including salmon fishing. To all intents and purposes, there is no salmon fishing taking place across Scotland for the time being. This is definitely the correct course of action. However, this does leave a lot of spare time for anglers and with more and more people being advised to socially isolate there is no shortage of time to spend within the confines of your own home. This therefore is the perfect opportunity to pull a seat up at the vice and tie some mouth-watering creations and fill that fly box!
Nobody knows when we are likely to be able to wet a line again this season in the UK. However, the way things are going at the earliest it looks like late spring or early summer. So probably there is no need to tie big heavy tube flies, instead focusing on Coneheads, smaller bottle tubes and dressed flies. So, what patterns could do the business when we finally come out of lockdown?
Of course, that depends on when this happens but if we presume that it may be early summer then it would be patterns like Cascades, Park Shrimps and even Stoats Tails that would be the order of the day. Often by early summer river levels are low and the water is clear. There are grilse as well as larger summer salmon running Scotland’s rivers. In such conditions often smaller sparsely dressed flies work well. When the water is low and clear there is no need to opt for larger flies. Often the subtle approach can work well.
Sparsely dressed flies are effective because they often reveal more of the fly itself whether that be the main body of the fly or even the tail. If you tie your fly with a butt this can often represent a target for the fish to aim for. So, this target will show up better on a sparsely dressed fly. When it comes to sparsely dressed flies, actually less is more.
By tying some flies, it will not only pass the time for many anglers that would otherwise be wetting a line. It will also mean that once we do get fishing again, they will have no shortage of deadly patterns in their fly box to choose from. Having different options which you have confidence in can often be the difference between success and failure. There is no better way to have confidence in a pattern than by tying it yourself and to your exact specifications!