Monday 17 June 2024

Reeled in Frustration: A Fishing Trip to Caithness

My much-anticipated fly fishing stravaig to Caithness was a massive letdown, marred by circumstances beyond my control that left me frustrated and angry. I had been so looking forward to this trip for some time, eagerly anticipating casting the fly patterns that I had tied and prepared at my vice for months.

Our adventure began with hope and excitement as my friends and I arrived in our Watten village digs around lunchtime. By early afternoon, we were out on Loch Watten, two boats strong, ready to make the most of our time on the water. Although the conditions were blustery, they were manageable—until the rain arrived. It was relentless, but the wind grew stronger. Despite our best efforts, we quit sooner than expected, having risen a few but with nothing in the net. We returned to our digs soaked and weather-beaten, just in time to watch Germany humiliate and embarrass Scotland in the opening game of the 2024 Euros.

Despite the disheartening start, just like Scotland we held onto hope. We had two more chances for success: Toftingall on Saturday and Watten again on Sunday. After a good breakfast made by Scott on Saturday morning, we headed off to Toftingall. Conditions were perfect, with fish rising to the vast number of mayfly that seemed to be everywhere. The loch was alive, and so were we, catching forty-two trout between the four of us, with just as many missed and lost. It was a glorious day on the water, and Tam "The Abacus" kept count with glee.

However, Sunday brought another twist of fate. I woke up early, tied up a few casts before breakfast, and was eager for a promising day on Watten. 

The wind and rain had returned, but the weather apps assured us conditions would improve by lunchtime. Despite the forecast, a ridiculous, ludicrous, poor misguided decision was made by the group—against my wishes—to take the engines back to Hugo Ross which we didnt use but paid for then stay in our rundown digs for the day, go for dinner between 5 and 6pm and then go chucking metal in Loch Calder for troot. Needless to say I expressed by feelings about that which would result in me staying at the digs all day and night on a perfect day and night for flyfishing.

Whilst Scott and Tam went to Wick with the engines cabin fever set in and by early afternoon, I couldn't stand it anymore. I walked down to Loch Watten and found the conditions perfectly playable. Sitting on a bench, looking out over the loch beyond the boat moorings, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of frustration. The trip I had looked forward to for months was essentially ruined.The disappointment was palpable. My much-anticipated fly fishing stravaig to Caithness ended not with contentment and satisfaction but with the frustration of missed opportunities.

It was a trip that should have been memorable for all the right reasons but instead left me furious, disheartened, and exasperated!!!!! 


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Reeled in Frustration: A Fishing Trip to Caithness

My much-anticipated fly fishing stravaig to Caithness was a massive letdown, marred by circumstances beyond my control that left me frustrat...