Saturday, 25 May 2013

Dungavel Reservoir


Yesterday Scott and I  visited Dungavel reservoir. My last visit there turned out to be a red letter day but this time round it was a bit different. On arriving at the loch Jim a member of the UAAA committee asked us if we really wanted to fish as the east wind puts the fish down and he didn't hold out much hope for for us being successful. Undeterred we decide to fish as we had come all that way and we would have a go no matter what the weather. We were given the key for the hut and the boat but decided not to go afloat because of the strong wind but did make good use of the hut when having our coffee and sandwiches etc.
To cut a long story short I caught less than one but Scott caught a couple of small trout on the kate McLsren. Fishing was poor but I had a great day out trying to fool the trout in adverse conditions. Make no mistake Dungavel is a great venue, we just had the misfortune to visit when the weather wasn't ideal. That might sound like a poor excuse for my lack of success but for me that's part and parcel of fishing.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Old Boys and beginners.

Yesterday I  arrived at the loch about half past one just in time for the mist which had lingered all morning was starting to disappear. I strung my rod and made up my cast of a gold headed hare lug nymph on the point and a Kate on the dropper. I walked along the south shore until I came to the two jetties at the wee moss where I met Jim the Greengairs man. He was leaving and told me a fish was moving about in this area but he had failed to tempt it and advised me to have a few cast there. As I approached the shore I saw a rise and after four cast hooked into a nice brown trout which grabbed my kate and then proceeded to thrash around on the surface. Unfortunately the trout threw the hook and I was left with that empty feeling that many anglers know so well.
I rested the water for a while and tried again but there was no further sign of a trout in this area..
I then noticed Iain a work colleague over near the cliffs who is learning to fly fish. I had  few cast at the wee moss but had no luck then I noticed Iain playing a fish I use the term play loosely as Iain admitted later that he hadn't a clue what to do when he hooked the trout.Lucky for him a nearby angler helped him to net the trout which was Iain's first ever fish on the fly.
A flat calm descended on the loch and the surface was like a mirror so it was time to have a break and have a rest. Later the wind picked up and it changed from a north east to a west wind. I had a few casts then decided to just sit back and watch the yachts weave in and out and waltz around the loch while I waited on Old Boy Billy arriving.
While I waited I made a change of flies and tied on a couple of cormorant variants. Billy and I started fishing from the wee moss and round to the Big Stane. Billy lost two fish and I at last managed to hook and land a nice rainbow trout of 3 to 4lb which was fooled by the cormorant on the dropper. Big John, Craig and Fraser joined us along the moss area. John caught two Craig lost one and Fraser caught a jack pike. I decided to call it a night about half past nine.
Last night was the first good night I have had on the loch with a few fish showing on the surface. It makes all the difference to cast at rising trout. Hopefully this was just a taster of things to come in the next few weeks as the fishing at the loch hits it peak.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Spellbound in the Highlands

My first wild fishing trip of the year started in usual fashion, I slept in! well I was supposed to be up at 4.30am and I didn't  get to my bed until three hours before that.
A little later than planned my two mates and I begun the journey to Lochaber and the Loch of the Witches Lair.
Instead of taking our frying pan and cooking our own high cholesterol inducing goodies for breakfast by the lochside as we normally do we decided instead to have our breakfast cooked for us and sampled the delights of a full Scottish breakfast from a well known supermarket in Fort William.
Our ravenous appetite satisfied we drove the relatively short journey to the Witches Lair.
As we geared up and got ready to go afloat we noticed something that supported the theory that this area was indeed the site of witchcraft, we found a lamb's head lying on the shores of the loch. Perhaps it fell from a cauldron as a spell was being prepared.
Unperturbed we went afloat. Scott and I on one boat and Tam in the other.
The wind made the rowing hard work but we managed several good long drifts in the brisk wind and light rain.
We all started catching trout almost immediately and turning and losing as many fish as we caught.
The trout action was sporadic as we would cast away getting offers and catching fish frequently then as if a switch was flicked nothing would happen at all for a time then all of a sudden the action would start again. The most productive areas were the areas around the two islands.
In between drifts we came ashore for a break where we enjoyed a drink and the perfect fishing snack of cheese and oatcakes.
The trout were numerous, but of modest size, the best being about half a pound. We caught over thirty trout between us and got just as many offers too form these aggressive wee fighters. The fly patterns which were successful were a collection of traditional  wets. Bibio, Kate McLaren, Loch Ordie, Doobry, Wet daddie, Zulu, Clan Chief, Claret bumble, Connemara Black, Silver Invicta and muddlers.
As we neared the end of our day the weather improved but as the skies brightened and the wind ceased the trout stopped playing so we called it a day and rowed ashore.
This was my second visit to this loch but it was Tam and Scott's first visit and its fair to say that this loch has cast a spell on them lol! as they have vowed to return to this loch again in the summer.
I have to apologise for the lack of trout pics. Let me explain.I use my old camera for the close up shots as its much better than my new one. I had taken a few trout shots but for some unknown reason I got a flashing message on my screen saying format error!  Therefore I only have the pics I got with my new camera. Apart form the camera malfunction I had a terrific day out in the Highlands.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Better than watching paint dry!

Today was all about avoiding the house as my wife was painting the kitchen. I blame Sky tv for giving women too many ideas. No I didn't make her do it. Its a labour of love for her but a nightmare for me. So off I went to the loch to miss the excitement of watching paint dry.
I got my waders repaired so I opted once again for the north shore but this time I fished from the Shields Burn to the coal/sandy bay. I had to wade out a fair bit as the wind was coming into the shore from the South west. I worked my way all along until i reached the sandy bay. Nothing doing I sat about a bit and wandered up the Shields burn to get some pics. I started again and fished right down the shore but all to no avail. I stopped for a break and had my coffee and sandwiches and tried once more at the mouth of the burn but still nothing was doing. So I decided I might as well try for a pike as I know where they live . So off I went to the usual place. The fishing was more comfortable as the wind was at my back. Soon as expected I hooked and caught a pike of about 3lbs. I had the fish on the edge of the bank and went into my backpack to get my camera when it started thrashing about about and cut my line and plopped into the water and swam away with my fly still in its mouth.
I tried for another but failed.
I then decided to go to the point opposite Spiers Island and waded out to the left and was able to get out a good distance. I should have come to this area earlier as the wind was at my back and I could cover quite an expanse of  water.
Eventually I hooked a trout. It put up a great fight and I was actually a bit surprised when I landed the trout as I was thinking it was a lot bigger than it was.I fished on for a few hours more knowing that as time went by the kitchen would be finished getting decorated.
I fished on but no further trout were fooled, hooked or caught.
One pike, One trout it was now time for some hot soup from the club house.
Just in case I had got my time estimates wrong I had another soup and sat in the carpark reading my book for a while just to give Val time to put the finishing touches to the kitchen.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Fishing in a thunderstorm

For years I hunted down the famous " Lets Fish the Clyde" book by Robert C Sharp to no avail. Then unexpectantly a copy was offered on a flyfishing forum a couple of years ago. I wont say how much I payed for it but copies of this Clyde fishers bible can reach as much as £200. Its fair to say I didnt pay that much but the cost was quite considerable so I suppose I got a bargain.Anway I digress. I though it would be a good idea to upload a passage from this book. In the following passage Mr Sharp offers his experience of fishing in a thunderstorm.