As the close season progresses beyond the excesses of the Christmas holidays and everything you have to contend with in the build-up, I often find January and February the hardest to contend with in terms of Close Season Blues and the dreaded no-fishing Cabin Fever.

Yes I know there’s winter stocked fish sport which I do enjoy, but not to the same effect, or tying flies in readiness for the forthcoming season (a worthy thing to do and something I enjoy, but not all the time), or simply getting on with other jobs like big hikes with the dogs.

All well and good and each with their own appeal, but one of the best ways I’ve found to help get past this crappy bit of the year is to dig through your old photos from season’s (or even the last season) past and begin to prepare yourself for the new one about to come.

This certainly gets you into the mood for clearing and cleaning out the fly boxes, preparing lines, wiping down rods, sorting waders and emptying tackle bags of the old half chewed Mars Bars or Peanut M&M’s that always seem to gather in the bottom.

Not only this it also gets you thinking towards where you might be heading in the season to come, be it to your usual local haunts, or further afield on a wee expedition or holiday.  In fact now would surely be the perfect time to plan all of this?  Be careful though not to overfill the diary, you never know what trips might appear spontaneously throughout the season.

So pour yourself a large dram (Speyside best for me), dig out the laptop and click through those fishing photos reliving the successes and failures of before, after all it should be the only chance you get to do this as you’ll be far too busy creating more memories chasing fish before next winter, or at least you should be.



Allan Liddle

Based in Moray in Scotland's North East, Allan has specialises with the wild trout from the rivers and burns, lochs and lochans throughout Mainland Scotland and the Isles. A strong passion for fishing simple dries he feels there's nothing better than to see the fish take off the top, but isn't slow to fish a range of different styles when mood or conditions dictate. Although trout is his first love Allan occasionally chases the Salmon, Grayling stocked fish and even dabbles in salt water when the chance arises.

Allan has also represented Scotland at international level, is a GAIA qualified trout instructor and a has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine for almost twenty years. Allan’s love of fly tying spans almost thirty years and has been a regular at many tying demonstrations and work shops prior to, and since joining the Partridge Pro-Team in 2013.

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