The Barrio GT90i Fly Line

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Scotland is great at many things.

Haggis is superb. So are Scotch pies. Whiskey is not bad either. And we haven’t even mentioned the fact that the Scots invented everything in the world worth having, or that Edinburgh is the most beautiful city in the world.

Another thing Scotland is not bad at is wind. It blows a bit up here. And when you’re out on the Western Isles it blows a lot. Really, quite a lot.

Which brings me to this summer and a trip out-west.

The loch we fished is a stunner. Full on Machair: wild flower meadows, rich limestone shallows, luscious weedy drop offs, and a few stonking big brown trout.

Shame about the wind though.

It was “louping an' flinging” into our faces with “mony an eldritch skreich and hollow” as a certain bard may have put it.

So casting out wasn’t exactly easy. I was rigged up with a 9ft 6wt rod, and trying to chuck out a bunny-strip streamer a decent distance. It was too windy to actually spot any fish so we were relying on covering the water along the drop off. Lots of casting, big flies, and a facing hooligan of a wind.

A few years ago this would’ve been a recipe for frustration and fatigue; with sore elbows and shoulders at the end of the day.

Today however, I’m pleased to say I know how to cast efficiently. I can control my loop-shape reasonably well and I can double haul. Both of these things mean I can actually get the fly out to a reasonable distance, consistently, and for the whole day without the risk of my arm falling off at the end of it.

I was actually enjoying it!

A stonker on the GT90iThe other thing that made the day a real pleasure was having the right line. This was the inaugural outing for my new Barrio GT90i. This is the intermediate version of Mike Barrio’s superb long-belly floater.

Long-belly lines are just the job for getting the fly out into a facing wind. With reasonable technique you can hold more line in the air and don’t have to rely so much on shooting line. The added control means you can get good presentation in difficult conditions.

Mike’s intermediate version of the GT90 does all this, whilst bringing your streamer back lower in the water (less affected by wind drift/drag). The other very cool thing is that the denser line cuts through the wind even more efficiently that the floater. Hurrah! No wonder I was enjoying myself.

There I was, casting and stepping, stripping and smiling. Just enjoying the rhythm and the sights and the sounds of the day.

The sun shone, the terns hovered above us, the waves splashed and the meadows rippled.

And the fish took. Just the one, in the end. But it was the one I came for.

Thanks Mike Barrio and thanks to the GT90i.

© William Shaw (photo courtesy of Al Pyke)