Sunday, 3 May 2015

Border Trout





Saturday 2nd May. After being given a recommendation to visit a little known reservoir reputed for its brown trout and which is rarely fished I took the opportunity to travel down to the Borders.
My friend's Tam and Scott and I arrived in Galashiels early on Saturday morning and had a hearty breakfast in the local supermarket restaurant after which we drove to St Boswells to pick up our permits for the day's fishing.
However after enquiring about out permits the owner of the outdoor shop informed us that he couldn’t help us as he didn’t deal with the fishing on this particular water and directed us to a newsagent in a nearby village.
However on arrival at the said shop they didn’t deal with the fishing either. Nevertheless they knew people who did so therefore the newsagent forwarded a phone call to tell a local farmer that we were on our way over to get permission to fish.
With the directions to the farm in hand we set off once again this time to get the permits.
We eventually arrived at the farm after travelling on never ending twisting country roads.
We thought we were never going to get away from the farmer as he didn’t half like to have blether but ultimately we got what we desired and were off at last to the reservoir which we reached soon after.
It was bitterly cold with a brisk east wind blowing across the reservoir, not idea fly fishing conditions to say the least; however we had gone to a fair amount of trouble to eventually fish here so we soon strung our rods and tied on our flies and were soon off casting into various areas of the water.
Tam was first into a fish and as it turned out the best trout of the day, which was between ¾lb and 1lb mark which foiled with a Bibio. It was a lovely fish. However, Tam kept it for the pot. Personally I think he should have returned such a beautiful creature.
I was next to hook up. I caught three nice trout however they were not quite in the same size bracket as Tam’s. However it was very pleasing indeed to catch a trio of trout especially when all were fooled with my favourite and most successful pattern the Kate McLaren.
Scott took some considerable time to eventually get his one and only trout which he caught with a mallard and claret and was pretty much the same size as the trout which I caught.
Tam caught a second just before we packed up and headed back home.
It was a lovely piece of water to fish set in a lovely picturesque setting surrounded by fine rolling hills and farms.
Conditions were not the best and as a result we never saw much fish activity on the surface but we agreed that this reservoir has the potential to be superb when the weather is more favourable.
So with that in mind we agreed that we would like to return in the not so distant future.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Vinyl and Flies.


It was my intention over the weekend to have a trip up to Rannoch Moor to fish some of the fine Lochans up there, however that never materialized and I never even manged any time to wet a line at Hillend either as I attended the Record Store Day in Glasgow and got carried away with my other passion of music especially anything Paul Weller related.
So over the weekend I purchased some new vinyl and dug out the stereo and  boxes and boxes of records from the loft.
Whilst listening to my old vinyl I did a bit of flytying. More Stragglers!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Hillend Stragglers!


Today whilst on my lunch break from work I poured myself a coffee and sat at my tying desk and tied up these patters which are loosely based on a pattern which won me a prize in the Fly Fishing & Fltying magazine a few years ago.
The straggle fritz is a material I would normally use in the tying of lures, however it works well on a size ten hook and adds life and sparkle to a wet style pattern.
Straggle fritz is a wonderful material that I found to be used in a lot of my successful patterns especially at Hillend. I have a selection of colours of this material in my tying chest which I intend to make use of. Over the next few days I intend tying more.
I'm hatching a plan for a trip to the lochans on Rannoch Moor next week and I'm intrigued to see how these patterns in various colours will perform in the peaty waters of the Moor. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Old Rod!




After having a look at the weather app on my ipad around lunchtime today I decided I would take a run up to the Loch this afternoon.
Despite it being a rather wet and dreich morning the weather did improve after midday.
Today as I was rummaging around in my fishing cupboard,getting my gear organised for my afternoon at Hillend I noticed my old Diawa Lochmore Z sitting at the back of the cupboard and decided I would take his with me as it had been a number of years since I used this rod. I had replaced this rod with a Sonik rod after breaking my Lochmore at the River Clyde in an unfortunate clumsy accident.
I did however get auld Johnny to fix my rod but ever since I got it repaired I have never used it as I liked my Sonik fly rod so much.
So of I went with my old rod to the North Shore.
I had fished for over an hour down past the Shields burn before I eventually hooked and landed a nice trout of about 2lb plus which was fooled by my gold head olive dancer. After the obligatory photo I fished on and about an hour later I duped another about the 2lb mark once again with the same flee.
To be honest the old Daiwa Lochmore felt really heavy compared to the Sonik so I m not sure if I will hurry to use it again. I would never part with it though as it holds so many happy memories. The pick of the bunch being when I caught my first ever Salmon with that old rod on the River Naver.
All in all a I had a very satisfying and fruitful afternoon at the loch today made all the more pleasant as there wasn't too many anglers about today and got that part of the loch today to myself.


Friday, 10 April 2015

Hillend was on fire today!





I had a few hours at Hillend this afternoon and was fortunate enough to have some sport, first of all with a jack pike and then a little later a rainbow trout of about 1 1/2 lb. Both fish were fooled by my black uv lure.
However I had to wait a couple of hours before I got a pic of the trout as my phone battery was drained. Therefore I had to wait until I returned to the car to charge my phone and as you can see from the pic the trout doesnt look its best in fact it looks very deed indeed. Yuk. However my neighbour will most probably enjoy the trout for his tea tomorrow night.
Oh! and I thought I might mention that Hillend was on fire today! Apparently a group of school kids were setting fire to the very dry grass and it got pretty bad, so much so the fire brigade had to attend to the blaze!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The one that most certainly got away!

        
Tonight at Hillend I was fishing in and around the area known as the wee moss and I had the most thrilling experience With the largest fish I have ever had at Hillend, a pike somewhere in the region of between 15 & 20 lb,however there's a twist in the tale, so to speak. 
There I was casting away with my uv lure on the point and a small cormorant lure on the dropper and wading from the cliffs across to the wee moss when this time I cast across in front of the moss and let my black uv lure sink for a number of seconds then I felt a long slow draw on my line. I raised my rod and I was into the pike.
I kinda knew this was a pike as it bored down and then as expected the big predator showed itsself with a tail walk. After that it was a nervous battle for about twenty minutes with a brute of a fish. I had it in at the bank on a couple of occasions but I was totally helpless as I hadn't a net and such was the power of the fish.
Just as I thought I had some as-semblance of control the beast went off with one last surge and broke my line! However it was such a beautiful evening at Hillend tonight as I sulked off into the sunset! 


Friday, 3 April 2015

Good Friday!


It was indeed a good Friday for the Dabbler of Hillend today as I caught two very nice rainbow trout this afternoon. 
I was up at the Loch for a couple of hours today and met a couple of work colleagues who were fishing in and around the area known as the cliffs. They had been there from around 8 o'clock in the morning but had not been successful. After a chat with them I started fishing and quite soon after landed a trout of about 2lb and not long after that another which was about 1/2 lb lighter. 
My work mates packed up soon after and headed home but before they went I offered them my two fish which they were pleased to accept. I fished on for another half hour without success so headed back along the south shore back to the car where I boiled up some water and had a very warm and satisfying cup of coffee.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Its still feels like winter.


Despite the atrocious weather today @ Hillend I managed to stay out long enough in the biting wind and rain long enough to fool a couple of trout from in and around the Shields Burn area.
Since the start of the season Ive not had one comfortable session on the Loch as its been bitterly cold and my hands have never been so sore and cold with the wind. Perhaps its an age thing! 
My two trout this afternoon were fooled by my usual black UV lure with the gold head, Black UV straggle Fritz body and  black marabou tail. I was only on the Loch for a couple of hours and not long after my second trout I made a retreat back to the car where I got the stove and kettle out and made a very warm and welcoming coffee, more to warm my hands than crave a caffeine hit! The clocks might have went forward last night but it still feels like winter.



Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Not the best of starts!


Unfortunately I haven't had the best of starts to the 2015 trout fishing season at Hillend Loch.
Don't get me wrong I have caught my first trout of the season which was a modest rainbow trout fooled by my black lure which was about 1 1/2lb which I caught on the opening day as I made my way back to the clubhouse when I stopped of at the first jetty down from the Lodge for a few last casts.
I had started off at the Eastercroft bay and spent a few hours in the biting cold north east wind which numbed my hands . In fact I actually spent more time heating my hands than I did fishing on that opening day.
I went back up the loch the next afternoon this time on the north shore for about an hour or so but the wind was still coming from the North east and was extremely cold hence the short stay.
I had another go on Sunday but to no avail this time I tried a few spots on the south shore.
The bait fishers have being doing extremely well with loads of fish caught.
However It will be a couple of weeks yet before conditions improve for the fly fishers and I look forward to that with relish.