Sunday, 27 March 2011

Hillend Blank!

Well I suppose it was inevitable that I would sooner or later have my first Hillend Blank. I suppose I shouldn't be too down hearted as I normally have my first blank at Hillend on the opening day. With the prospect of fishing to about eight o'clock now that the clocks have been put forward I decided to get up the loch this afternoon after watching on TV the pointless exercise of Scotland being defeated by Brazil at football, in of all places London.That was a shock eh? The SFA should hang their heads in shame for organizing such a jolly for players and officials when the Leagues have such a backlog of games to catch up on. Anyway that's enough of the fitba this is an angling blog after all.
I went over to the North shore this afternoon and fished either side of the promontory that heads out to the Spiers Island. I set up with my Sunburst kates and my little brown Hillend scruff. Needless to say I never touched a fish all day. There was plenty action all day over on the Island though as I sat and watched various fights and listened to wild screaching noises all day as Canadian Geese and various species of birds flew in and around the Island all day. I gave up at 7. 30 and made my way dejectedly to the car but took solace in the fact that after speaking to another couple of anglers that they had as many fish today as I had. Worse was to happen on the way home though. as I was just approaching my street and put my foot on the break it went straight to the floor. It now looks like it will be the end of the week before I get the car repaired and get up the loch again unless of course I get the bike out the shed and cycle up to Hillend.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sunburst Kate McLaren

Last Friday when I called into my local angling shop, my mate Scott was in helping out as usual. Once I got my coffee from him he went on to tell me that he would like me to tie up some Sunburst Kates as someone had been in the shop earlier that afternoon and was telling him that he had great success with this pattern last year at Hillend and even on some Wild Highland Lochs too. I have used this pattern before at Hillend and to be honest I never found it to be better than any other pattern. Even though the fishing season has begun it doesn't mean that I stop tying but on the contary as I am always open to suggestions of flies to tie and try so therefore taking on board what Scott had informed me of this fly I tied a few of these over the the last week....Some for him and some for me and of course not forgetting Tam I have a few for him too. Time and weather permitting I'm hoping to get out on the Loch over the weekend to try these variations which would have William Robertson, the creator of the original Kate McLaren turning in his grave as in essence this variation is really just a wooly bugger.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

One Each at Hillend

I made a couple of phone calls last night to Tam and Scott to arrange for the three of us to have an afternoon fishing at Hillend this Sunday afternoon. Tam was just as keen as me to get out today but Scott decided that his first outing to the Loch would be put on hold as his attentions were drawn to a big sporting event that was being held South of the River Clyde in Glasgow. Hampden to be precise.
So Tam and I went up the Loch together and decided that we would try our luck from the North Shore. We got there by way of the new road which was constructed at the tail end of last season. We parked up, placed my Hillend parking permit on the windscreen and made our way round the back of the Spiers Island. A cold south westerly wind was blowing right into us, we carried on regardless. Tam as usual was first into a fish and soon had it in the net. Tams first of the season was around the 2lb mark. Then about an hour or so later I eventually made contact with a trout with my Hillend Green then played and landed a fish of about 1 1/2lb.
We both agreed that we had an enjoyable and satisfying afternoon even if it was a bit cold and drizzly at times and I am led to believe that Scott had a rather enjoyable afternoon too.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

My First Trout of the Season

Yesterday, unforeseen circumstances at work prevented me from taking a holiday and getting out on the Loch on the opening day of the season which, in retrospect turned out to be a blessing as the weather here at Dabbler's HQ was horrendous. Once again we were hit with an icy blast of wind, ice and snow. My Hillend correspondent tells me that it was a winter wonderland up there yesterday.
Therefore I arranged for a half-day holiday today and decided to get up to the Loch at midday. When I arrived the Loch was bathed in sunshine. As I wondered round the shore I heard various reports from credible and not so credible sources of good numbers of trout being caught from various locations all over the Loch. Ted's Tree looked as good a place as any to make my first cast of the season. I set up with a Hillend Brute on the point and a Hillend Green on the dropper. I persevered for about fifteen minutes or so before heading over to the Island in front of the Whitehill woods. It wasn't long before I made contact with one of the new Hillend residents but he managed to get off in the fight which ensued. I had to wait for another twenty minutes or so before getting the chance to land my first trout of the season. This time I safely had the trout in the net after a few heart stopping leaps and runs. This trout was despatched as I promised a friend that my first trout of the season would be for him. Satisfied that I had broke my duck for the season I stopped fishing for a wee while and just sat back on the shore and enjoyed the scenery but it soon turned cold when the cloud rolled in so I made my way back via the the BHB and back to Teds Tree for a few final casts of the day . I then decided it was time to head home but before doing so I went into the Hillend Lodge for a blether and a welcome hot cup of soup.

Friday, 11 March 2011

First Hillend Stocking of the year!

As I was passing by Hillend Loch today I noticed what appeared to be a strange looking boat out on the Loch near the Spiers Island. I was puzzled at first but soon realized that it was the stocking convener out on the wheelie boat doing what stocking conveners do......stock the Loch with fish. I continued on up to the fishing Lodge and then saw the truck on the jetty with the tanks of fish on board so I headed down to wait on the boat coming in and see for myself, some of fish that I hope to connect with next week. I arrived at the jetty just in time to see the last load of fish being put into the tanks and then out onto the Loch. The exact location of where the fish were placed will remain a secret with! nah! only kidding they were stocked in various locations all over the Loch. I'm not sure how many fish were put into the Loch but I think it was four tankfuls which I can assure you is a lot of fish. The estimated average size of the fish I witnessed being stocked were around the 2lb mark but there was quite a few double that size at least too. Only four days to go now until I can get to fool them. I just hope that the forecast of snow over the next few days doesn't come to fruition.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Hillend by Bike!

I have recently been trying to cut down on my food etc and getting some exercise under my belt as I have been spending far too much time at my computer desk all winter . I really do need to lose some weight if I want to get out in the wilds of the Highlands this season. Last week I decided to get my bike out the shed and go for a ride. To be honest It was a complete shock to the system as I thought I had nothing better to do than saddle up and get my legs moving. The trip I went on was cut short as I was out of condition but vowed to persevere so this morning rather than attend the GAC open day I decided to go up to the Hillend Lodge on the bike to get this years membership ticket. It was the first time I had been on the the new cycle track since it reopened after the construction of the new Airdrie to Edinburgh railway line. It is a bit disappointing that the new track doesn't start until until you have cycled by the not so beautiful village of Plains. The track follows the North Calder Water and runs along side the the new railway then cuts through the not so pretty village of Caldercruix then begins once again below the Hillend Dam. A short section behind the dam and the back of the Sailing club is still to be resurfaced. The tarmac begins once again when you reach the Eastercroft Bay all the way to the East end of the Loch. I arrived at the Lodge sweaty and breathless picked up my membership and a bottle of water and cycled back down the Loch to the area known as the cliffs where I sat for a wee while admiring the view and observed the water for rising fish. The ripple on the surface looked absolutely perfect for fishing. I was a stiff as a board when I saddled up and made my way back down to Airdrie. During the week I intend to do a bit of swimming not at Hillend you understand, The John Smith Pool in town will be a whole lot warmer and safer I think.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air and here is the reason why.I can always tell, as my wife was in full spring cleaning mode the other day cleaning out cupboards and shifting furniture alll over the place so I decided I had better vacate the house and let her get on with it. I decided to go for a wee walk up at Hillend. You could tell that we are well on the road to nature's new dawn as The Lily Loch car park was full of anglers cars which means that the Clarkston Anglers fishing season is under way at the Lily. The Buds were budding, the birds were singing and the the fish were rising, honestly they were, in the Braco Burn area. Oh and another sure sign is that the season tickets and memberships for the Airdrie and District Angling Club are on sale at the Hillend Fishing Lodge. I'll pick up mine this weekend. Anyway after returning home I was horrified to see that my other half had decided to relocate my Flytying chest and desk to the other side of the room and moved all my books and magazines. I wasn't best pleased to say the least she said the room looked better and was cleaner now and ticked me off about feather fibres etc all over the room. I tried to explain that I liked everything as it was and that I had everything arranged to hand and was really comfortable and settled where I did my tying. She wouldn't listen.I just had to accept it and adjust to my relocated desk. It might seem trivial to you dear reader but the new chair and position of the light source and vice etc is going to get a bit of getting used to. The above fly is a pattern I think will fool the wild brown trout of Hillend and is the first I have tied from my new tying position and to be honest I have a more spacious work area and actually think its a better set up now but don't tell the wife.