Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A Little Trout Action

Tuesday the 26th Sept I headed up North to the Spey Dam for the second time this season, on which will probably be my last outing of the season.
On this occasion my mate Scott came along with me.
Once we had uplifted our permits and oars etc from the hotel  we made the short drive up to the loch. On arrival at the banks side boat moorings there was a brisk easterly wind blowing down the loch and the surrounding hills were covered in low lying mist.
The loch was extremely high, in fact it's the highest we have ever seen it. 
As we were getting ready a big jeep pulled over, We thought it might be the gamekeeper or the warden but it turned out he was the Dam manager and he explained that a survey was being conducted on the loch and that the height of the loch had been deliberately raised over the last couple of days 
to enable them to do their work and told us that various objects had been placed in the west of the loch and if we encountered any , to give them a wide berth as they were instruments for recording the current.
Suitably informed we loaded the boat with our gear, strung our rods and off we went out on the boat , making various drifts in and around the Island the along to the west end of the loch.
The fishing was tough and as the wind prevailed we began to get cold.
It was a while before we encountered any " Troutaction" Scott was first to fool a fish, a nice wee half pounder which took a soldier Palmer.
Eventually I got in on the action too a wee while later with another half pounder which was fooled by a size 12 Clan Chief, unfortunately the trout jumped out my hand as I reached for my phone/Camera.
We noticed that another couple of anglers ventured out on the other boat but they weren't out for long as we saw them haul the boat ashore about an hour later.
We struggled on with just a couple of more takes for all our efforts.
As the wind got higher we decided to take a break for lunch.
Suitably refreshed we ventured out again.
As the afternoon went on the mist lifted a little and the wind was changeable. 
The both of us managed another trout each, again nothing much more than half a pound. My second trout was fooled by a fly I recently tied for my sadly, ill fated trip to the Outer Hebs, an orange and black muddler. Scott's second trout took one of our favourite flies for this loch, a loch Ordie.
At about half past three we called it a day and headed back ashore.
It was a real tough day's fishing with just the four fish for the boat and a few takes for all our efforts.
As we packed up back at the car we were approached by another jeep, this time the person introduced himself as the Loch Warden. He was a nice decent English chap but as the conversation went on it became clear that he was more than a warden as he gave us a business card and explained he ran a angling guiding business.
It was obvious he was out angling for clients/mugs.
Scott and I had to laugh when the guy said to us, and I quote " I should be charging you money for this" as he explained to us the areas to have a drift etc. 
Turns out he has only been in the area for a year, and we reckon we should have charged him money for all the info we unwittingly gave him from our experience of the loch over the last few years. Ach never mind he was harmless and I suppose everyone has to earn a living somehow!
The fishing was hard but that's just part and parcel of what fishing is all about. Life can be tough and believe you me its been difficult these past few weeks. Being out flyfishing on a highland loch puts everything into perspective.
On the few hours drive home I reflected on a very satisfying day up the highlands with a little "Troutaction" thrown in for good measure.  

An hour at the edge!

Last weekend my son and I went away for a weekend camping trip in Glencoe.
As the trout season is fast approaching I asked my son if he didn't mind us stopping off at Lochan an H Achalaise for an hour or so on route to our destination.
He's not a fisher you understand but he didn't mind and sat patiently in the car for just over an hour as I  had few casts at this scenic Lochan situated at the edge of Rannoch Moor.
As expected I caught a few small trout, infact they were embarrassingly small to photograph, I'll be honest , they were tiddlers.
However size isn't everything, it's all about the take which is always a thrill.
The scenic location of mountainous and moorland views, more than made up for the lack of  quality trout!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Old Man of Cruix

Situated south of the village of Caldercruix lies the famous "Old Man of Cruix" figure which was carved many years ago into the windswept sandstone rocks which are prominent along the North Shore of the Lily Loch. 
Legend has it that a young apprentice from the nearby quarry produced the sculpture with great skill and perseverance and was eventually completed in 1314.
The magnificence of the work has been somewhat eroded over the years by the weather, however the distorted, weather beaten face of the Old Man of Cruix or as he is more commonly known The Cruixman, can still be seen to this day, if you know where to look!
The Cruixman is said to depict the face of and Old fisherman from the village as he looks out over the loch, laughing and mocking the anglers on the loch as they pack up and trudge away off home, Piscatorially challenged.
Many anglers have reported that the mocking laughter of the Cruixman can often be heard, carried in the wind as they head up over the hill, back to Hillend........ Im sure I heard him today!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Busy at the Vice!

My keenly anticipated trip to the Outer Hebrides is but a week and a half away, however my plans have been thrown into doubt due to the ill health of a close family member.
Im just gonna have to wait until the last minute to decide whether to make the trip or not as I might need to be nearer home when the time comes.
In the meantime Ive been taking my mind off things by being busy at the vice tying a load of flies which I hope will be put to good use.
If the inevitable happens in the coming week and I don't manage the trip there will always be other opportunities to do so in the future.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Muddling about!

Thoughts are now turning to an upcoming flyfishing holiday to the Outer Hebrides.
Fly boxes have been getting tidied up , maps studied and various books read, as well as some first hand knowledge from the Island's locals taken on board! Oh and I've been tying flies again.
Here's a few muddlers. They are a bit scruffy. When I tie them it's a bit hit or miss if they turn out all right. I think these will do just fine. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Mostly Muddlers

Sunday16th July my mate Tom and I headed north. Our loch of choice was the Spey Dam , but before going to the Laggan Hotel to pick up our pre-booked permit and oars we stopped of at the location of Teenage Fanclub's "Songs from Northern Britain" album etc, to see how the wee Laggan petrol station was looking these days. Seems there has been a complete overhaul.
 On arrival at the loch there was quite a stiff breeze blowing down the loch but we set off out on the boat anyway. We tried a few drift drifts mostly around the island rising numerous fish and getting half hearted takes without landing any trout. 
 We then decided to take a break as the wind was getting troublesome and a bit scary at times for although the boat was in great condition it wasn't the most stable in these blustery conditions. Once refreshed we headed out afloat again as the wind subsided a bit but every now and again would pick up so we had to be careful where we drifted and avoided the middle of the loch where the wind was at its most fiercest.
As the day progressed we started to pick up trout, losing and missing as many as we caught. At the end of the day we had 14 trout all about the 1/2 lb Mark for the boat, 7 fish each for Tom and I.
The trout were fooled by Ordies, Watten Warriors, soldier Palmer and muddlers but mostly muddlers.  We called it a day when the low cloud rolled in bringing  a drizzle of rain.
 I think thats my 4th visit to Spey Dam and I have always enjoyed my days there with great sport.
We headed off back down the A9 satisfied and hungry so stopped off at Pitlochry for fish and chips from the Chinese chippy before making the remainder of the journey back to North Lanarkshire!