With a week off last week, I had plans to get out a few times. In the end, I did but it wasn’t perhaps what I had planned entirely.
The forecast suggested I had picked a nice week weather-wise to be off but frankly it was somewhat changeable. I did have plans for the back end of the week to maybe hit the Tweed with some mates on Saturday and I was set to take my son along with his girlfriend out fishing. She had told my lad, she fancied giving it a try.
Monday was windy, very windy so I decided to do a few jobs on the bike following a run round the Scottish borders on Sunday. Tuesday dawned a bit nicer looking with a less gusty wind ( at least initially) so I headed off down the River Carron. I made another VLOG type video so if you want to see how I got on have a watch on YouTube. Give me a cheeky wee Subscribe if you do, and feel free to let me know what you think about this format of video in the YouTube Comments. Worth going on with or not?
I did some more chores on Wednesday taking advantage of the dry weather to get the raised bed timber, treated in readiness for the coming winter (Already!?) and on Thursday now the wind had gone, and with the conditions appearing to be perfect; warm but overcast, with a fairly gentle breeze, I couldn’t go wrong surely? I took a wee run up to Pendreich, and it was gloriously quiet, not a swimmer, wild camper or poacher to be found!
There were precious few fish to be found either it must be said. I did see some swirling out in the middle and I was able to rise two, one on the North bank that never apparently touched the fly at all, and one that I did see rise, I covered and rose on the south bank, only to strike then see the fish swirl around looking to see where the fly had gone.
I think it was that sometimes seen trout tactic of drowning the quarry first then take it, but it usually takes a few misses to latch on to the degree of reserve needed to get the fish and I wasn’t there at this point in time. Another angler appeared while I was fishing but by the time I had fished all the way around the loch and decided to head for home, he, like me was still fishless.
I was back up the loch on Friday, a bit of a glutton for punishment? Not really, a few members of the club had said they were going up and I thought it might be helpful if we looked at launching a boat with a few bodies around. Alas, some of the boat kit had been taken from the boathouse and we couldn’t get them in, and I ended up blethering so long that fishing never happened for me. There were seven anglers on the water…a new record?…. and none was catching, so I didn’t feel I had missed very much in the end anyway.
Saturday was a wet miserable day here and the Tweed never happened….certainly I never heard from those that had suggested going and the weather wasn’t enthusing me.
A New Day a New Angler?
So finally Sunday, myself, and my son and his lass headed out fairly sharp ( for a Sunday at least) and I took them to Cloybank as its as good a wee water with reasonable day ticket prices to take a beginner, a novice and myself and have a reasonable expectation of getting some sort of sport out of the visit. ( Apologies for the photo quality- these were sent to me via an IM application and it clearly crushes, ….never mind merely compressing them!)
Two of the three small lochans were heaving with fish, they rose fairly consistently all day, but it needs to be said were tricky to catch. Certainly without some degree of either reasonable casting ability to get the fly out to cover enough fish that statistically one might take, or being able to fish methods that might help…. in the end I found a three fly washing line was fairly effective, it was going to be tough going. My son who is a fairly able caster is still really not beyond fishing a single fly. Over the day he did manage to hook and lose a couple of fish on dries over the whole day. His girlfriend, improved at the casting as the day went on, but frankly, I don’t think I am the best casting instructor…not for an absolute beginner. We spent about an hour on the grass in front of the lochans before we dared tie a fly on and she did OK but it will take a wee bit of practice to be able to start extending the line a little. I think she got a couple of wee pulls over the day and later on when I sussed what was working reasonably consistently, I let her play and get the fish to the net….or not!
For my part I tried dozens of fly, I did rise a couple but they were far from enthusiastic to take, I then put a very small Parachute Adams on and had noticed that if you moved it to the point that it was just going subsurface the fish became interested. I had a follow and a few big swirls. The guy who owns the fishery was down and was talking to me about my rods. ( The New Era 5# that Erin was using and my 6# that my son was using mostly but which I was changing the fly on when he arrived). He was impressed with them and asked for a wee shot of my 6#, we were discussing what seemed to be working and he did the same- and you know what happened next- he hooked a fish, a nice Rainbow of maybe two and a half pounds. Typical!. However, it never took me long to repeat the feat myself. The method then quickly stopped working and it got very tough to keep anything on. After lunchtime, I did manage to hook and net a small Brown Trout of about half a pound perhaps but a single fly wasn’t cutting it. I deliberately stuck to one so I could help the youngsters out if I found what might work. I decided to try a washing line, with a Black Shuttlecock on point and a couple of Diawl Bachs on the droppers. This was getting the kind of attention I hoped it would and I soon had a fish on. I gave the rod to Erin and she did very well, getting it into the net. I managed to repeat the feat two more times but one, she let have a wee bit too much slack and the other she did the opposite and broke the leader. But she was able to get the experience of playing the fish and she seemed to enjoy it. We lasted until about 16:30 so we did quite well for a first time where the fishing was a wee bit tricky I thought.
They seem keen to come to try again and my lad tells me she was watching fly fishing videos on YouTube last night…..! Maybe we have a new Lady angler in the making?