Early on Friday morning my mate and I travelled north to the Highlands and arrived at the upper reaches of the River Spey even before the birds began their dawn chorus!We had booked a boat on Spey Dam which sits above the source of many a fine malt, for the first time in a couple of years due to the awful pandemic and it was fantastic to see Jacko and Sheena again after such a long time.
After a stretch of the legs and a rest we bailed out the boat, affixed the engine and battery, loaded our gear, strung our rods, then off we went out onto the Loch with Jacko, Sheena was out if commission and in need of maintenance.
It was a bit bright but there was plenty clouds around that would give us much needed intermittent cloud cover. As we headed off to the west end of the Loch. There was a gentle westerly breeze blowing down the Loch which was ideal for our first few drifts.
We had two successful drifts from the west end down the back of the Island where we had two trout each with many more missed and lost.
Then we had another two drifts in front of the island with the same results. A claret Dabbler and leggy claret bumble did the trick for me on those first four drifts. Scott was on the bibio and Ordies.
Around midday the sun was quite intense so we decided to go ashore for a break and have lunch.
Feeling refreshed we went back out on the Loch, however the wind had picked up considerably and we now had less clouds and more sunshine!
We made a few troutless drifts so I changed my flies and we changed the locations of our drifts which resulted in just one further trout for me which was fooled by a Loch Ordie while Scott got another two trout.
The wind was quite strong now which didnt suit our boat as it is quite narrow and was getting rocked back and forth by the frequent swells that were hitting us side on. I felt a bit uneasy to say the least so we decided to head back ashore
However our electric engine wasnt coping very well in the brisk wind and it seemed like an age getting back to the shore.
Relieved to be back on terra firma we decided to take a break and wait and see if the wind would calm down. However the wind just got stronger so we decided to tie up the boat and call it a day!
We then just sat around for a while chatting about days gone by and future days to come. We agreed that we had a fairly decent day with eleven fish for the boat, 6 for Scott and 5 for me with quite a few missed and lost too.
On the long drive back home we also came to the conclusion that perhaps it was now time that Sheena and Jacko retire and that the Badenoch Anging Association replace both with a couple of more sturdy vessels as this old couple certainly are not suited to strong winds.