I haven't had much to write in the blog recently regarding catching trout at Hillend as over the last week I have experienced another unsuccessful day out on the boat and another blank from the bank.It's all been a tad disappointing as we are now into the time which I regard to be usually the best two months of the season at Hillend, May and June.
Enough of my sob story. I was cleaning out a cupboard the other day which is full of books and old fishing magazines when I came a cross a fifteen year old copy of the Trout Fisherman Magazine which carried a feature about Hillend Loch. I had forgotten all about this feature and as I read the article it was interesting to look back in time to 1996 and note the changes that have taken place over the last fifteen years at Hillend as well as the Angling Club. There have been a lot of positive improvements since then most notably, that back then the Club used to operate out of one those heavy Duty Iron storage container which was located at the Eastercroft Bay. Now, due to the forward thinking members of the Angling Club we are now located in an excellent Fishing Lodge which has facilities to suit every anglers needs. Of course the new railway line has changed the environment on the South shore. The one change that I have a tinge of sadness about is the stocking policy of the Club as Hillend Loch used to be a Brown Trout Only Water and as mentioned in the TF article had a great reputation for being one of the best Brown Trout Venues in the country and was famous for it's free rising trout which came to the artificial traditional wet flies fished with a floating line. I would love to see the Loch go back to being a Brown Trout Loch again as there is a plethora of rainbow waters all over the country. Reading the article was a nostalgic look back at Hillend Loch which will never be the same again.
Hillend is still a fantastic Loch to fish, it may look different from fifteen years ago and the anglers may have adopted different styles of fly fishing since then but it's still a place that is virtually on my doorstep and that I enjoy very much regardless of whether I catch fish or not.