Sunday, 20 October 2013

Always the bridesmaid


Today I had my first ever Black Loch Blank! Its got a certain ring to it eh? and a phrase I hope I don't have to use again.
Tam and I arrived about 8.30 this morning full of promise and advice on tactics etc from various regulars and were surprised to see so many cars and anglers in the car park. A fly fishing club called the Rainbow Warriors were having an outing there today. Apparently they are well known on the competition scene. Something I'm not very keen on.
They were all decked out with their best fishing suits, boat chairs and a ton of gear.
What I roll my eyes at is that most of them treat their fishing as a secret mission. They are never willing to pass on advice and even hide their fly patterns from view of  other anglers. They really are a competitive lot but amongst all the one-upmanship they do appear to enjoy themselves and are fairly successful too. So who am I to criticise.
Anyway I digress I'm just a crap angler who who enjoys going fishing. Today I tried various tactics and patterns all to no avail. Tam caught one nice fish a 25 punner. Anyone who fishes the Black Loch will know what I mean lol. Tam also had a few rises to his flies too. Tam's successful pattern was a wee cormorant.
I only found out last week that the Black Loch was open all year weather permitting. I just assumed that it closed on the 6th of October like most venues. If the weather doesn't turn too cold I will have another visit in November.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Four Traditional Wets

This week my spare room got revamped and I managed to get a new tying bench so I now have my tying gear etc permanently set up in the alcove of the room.
My tying materials are now all reorganised and neat and I now know where everything is placed and is easy to access.
So last night I tied a few patterns. As I haven't tied much recently and I do enjoy tying traditional wets, I tied these relatively easy patterns to get me started again. I suppose that the fly tying season is well under way now.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Last trout of the season

As yesterday was the last day of the trout season at my local loch I decided that I might as well have one last visit to Hillend yesterday afternoon.
So after watching some football I got prepared and went up to the loch to see if I could get a favourable result.
When I arrived at the loch I got chatting to a couple of anglers who were up north last week too and they were telling me all about their success.
I heard that a few fish were getting caught on the north shore but I opted to walk along the south shore to the Eastercroft bay and work my way back to the club house from there.
Before I started I boiled up an nice mug of curry soup then I started fishing from the jetty at the easterfcroft and worked my way round the cliffs past the next jetty just before the wee moss. It was then that I hooked and captured my last trout of the season. It was a rainbow, round about the 4lb mark and it was fooled by one of my cormorant patterns which I had on the point, I also had the obligatory Kate on my dropper.
I then worked my way along the south shore fishing from various points but without any further success.
I was probably the last fisherman on the the south shore as I reeled in my line, snipped off my flies and packed away my rod and reel.
As I looked along the shore, the loch did have that end of season feel to it and the old place looked in need of a rest as the water is very low at the moment and the banks are all muddy and messy looking.
It was not a bad way to end what was a mediocre season for me at Hillend.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Among the Hills

Unfortunately the Right Honourable Marquis of Linlithgow was unable to grant me and my friend Alex permission to fish one of my favourite lochs today as the trout season on this Noble loch finished on the 30th of September.
I was very disappointed when I found out about this on Friday afternoon as I was looking forward to end in the season in style at the Right Honourable gentleman’s loch.
It’s such a lovely loch and I have always did quite well when I have fished it in the past.
However all was not lost as when I last visited the loch in the summer Scott and I spoke to a fisherman when we were leaving and he told us of another smaller loch nearby which was rather good and had plentiful trout.
Alex and arrived among the hills this morning and headed up the hill to the wee loch. It didn’t take too long to arrive at it but when got to the brow of the hill our hearts sank as the loch was two thirds covered in weed.
However as we looked across the loch we saw a decent sized fish leap from the water and break the silence with an almighty splash then we saw a few more rises this time less dramatic but rises all the same.
We strung our rods and stealthily walked the banks and cast out lines as close to the weed beds as we dared.
We fished for a few hours but to no avail. I tried various flies as did Alex but still we never even raised a fish.
I decided to go for a walk up to the summit of one of the hills and have a seat and take in the lovely views. After a while I came back to the loch to join Alex and had another go at fooling the fish but we were the ones being fooled as although the fish were rising from time to time they remained elusive.
Reluctantly we decided give up and tramp back down to the car.
Although we never made contact with any fish it was great to be out and about tramping the hills and fishing.
I suppose I’m going to have to visit Hillend tomorrow afternoon to see if I can end the season with a fish.


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Still up North


Here are a few more pics from my end of season Stravaig last weekend.
The fishing was very difficult at times with the bright clear blue skies and when it was overcast there wasn't as much as a breeze for most of the day.
I had two fantastic day of catching trout and two days of not much trout action at all but it was fantastic to be tramping over the hills taking photographs surrounded by wonderful scenery.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Wild North West

John and I along with our Fishing gear, wine, beer, whisky and a couple of shopping bags of not so healthy food substances arrived at the  hostel around midday
There were only a handful of stravaigers in residence when we arrived. After settling in and unloading the gear John and decided to have a few hours up on the shoulder loch with the island.
We made good progress up the hill and across the heather and bog and were soon fishing and despite the bright sunshine and clear skies we caught a plethora of trout. It was great fun and a great start to the srravaig to be out on the hill with breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains and lochs stretched out before us.
After we exhausted ourselves we reluctantly had to leave the loch and head back down the hill and make the short journey back to the hostel. By this time more sravaigers had arrived.
A lovely meal was prepared for everyone by Vaughn which was washed down by numerous drinks by most. Much talk was talked and thereafter plans were made for the following day. It was fairly late when I hit the sack.
Next morning after a quick shower and a hearty breakfast I soon forgot how ever so slightly dehydrated I had found myself to be when I first woke up
An hour or so later I was afloat on a boat on Loch Veyatie with Paul and John while Alan and George were on another boat.
Paul took us to various drifts on the loch which he knew well and we all caught numerous trout.
We lunched on the most idyllic beach set in a glorious cauldron of hills. Then after lunch we moved up to the top of the loch where Veyatie is connected to Fionn by a short river I only raised a couple of trout here but caught another few trout from the loch, fishing from the bank. John and Paul tried a nearby lochan while George and Alan decided to move back down the loch.
I fished on my own for a wee while I waited my boat partners return. When they got back it was getting late so we made the long journey back down the loch to the boat moorings where we reflected on a most enjoyable day of wild trout fishing set in one of the most majestic surroundings that I have ever had the pleasure to fish.
It was late when we arrived back at the hostel. Alan was soon preparing his evening meal for us as well as organising the” Stravaig Quiz” After we all enjoyed his delicious soup Alan put on his imaginary quiz master jacket and compared the quiz which was won by Andy but everyone was a winner as there was a prize for all sravaigers.
After various drinks and nik naks it was off to bed, once again not so early.
When Saturday morning arrived I made a quick change of plan and went fishing with John and Paul. We picked up our permits from the Laide post office and headed for Mellon Charles. Paul showed off his off road driving skills as he took us deep into the hills until we could go no further. We were soon tramping over the heather and bog and arrived at the first of a series of four lochans. I had a poor few hours of fishing as I caught zilch while John had a similar experience but Paul caught a couple of trout.
In the afternoon we decided to move on to somewhere different. I fished a loch I visited last year while J and P went off up to a hill lochan. Once again I caught zilch but John and Paul fared better as fish of 1 1/2lb and 1 3/4lb were fooled.
Once back at the hostel were treated to a wonderful Chilli prepared and cooked by EK John Afterwards much blethering was done and I soothed the pain of a blank by sharing a bottle of malt with John. It’s amazing what a bottle of whisky can do as John let us all into a secret about the wonderful healing properties of Paraffin. I‘ll say no more!
It was very very late when my head hit the pillow.
Sunday arrived and I was a wee bit delicate but soon after breakfast and a few coffees I was fine and off out fishing in the warmest and sunniest day of the weekend. The fishing proved very difficult in the clear skies with the lochs looking like mirrors.
There were times during the day when I couldn’t be bothered fishing as it was just nice to sit around and lap up the weather along with the most amazing sea views from up on the hills.
I was lying on a rock when I heard the sound of a trumpet or a trombone waft across the moors. I recognised a couple of the hymns that were getting played so I assume it was accompanying the congregation in the nearby church.
We gave up on the these lochans as they appeared to be completely devoid of trout and walked over to the coast and made a most delightful walk with the sea at our side as we made our way back to our starting point.
We decided to have a go on the loch of the beastie and fished all the way round this easy accessible loch but it turned out to be nothing other than a Whimper Loch as I didn’t make contact with any of its inhabitants which I am assured it has plenty of.
So my weekend of fishing ended on a Whimper! Trout wise, but what a delightful and enjoyable experience it was in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Back at the hostel we enjoyed a rather delicious curry served up by Fred with just a few drinks afterwards as I was rather tired and weary. It was reasonably early when I went to bed.
Monday morning arrived and after breakfast we said our goodbyes and made the long journey home. As I was driving along it suddenly hit me that the fishing season was almost over but you would never have thought it as it was like a brilliant summer’s day. It’s gonna be a long wait until March.

I will post more pics in the next few days as there is a great amount of them and its difficult to just showcase a few. Check back regularly to view