It’s gone back dry again. After a miserable early half to August ( more like a typical July to be honest) the weather has turned back dry again. Not always super sunny or warm, but little to no rainfall worth speaking of. As a result while water temperatures have started to cool ( overnight temperatures are now getting into mid single figures round these parts), there still isn’t any rainfall to freshen things up. While for the most part I enjoy the good weather, let’s be honest, we see more than our fairshare of rain and wet conditions for half of the year usually anyway, the angler in me would like to see something (sensible) to lift rivers and lochs. When I say sensible, not the one months rainfall in an hour sort of stuff we have had at times.
There is Blue/Green algae up at Pendreich and Coulter is looking like the tide went out and forgot to come back in, but with slightly cooler temperatures, Swanswater, where I have not been in ages, has resumed Catch and Release fishing. It was stopped for a while as it’s not good to be trying to return a fish in the low oxygen conditions we have had of late.
Joy of joys though, Sunday was an Old Firm football match and predictably most venues would be very quiet so that is always a good reason to be out fishing and it was also quite overcast, at times it even threatened rain!
I took a run along to the fishery and it was as I hoped ( probably not as the fishery management hoped) very quiet, though on the main water all the angling was being done from boats as far as I could see. It was also quite weedy, not so much in the water as on it. ALastair told me they had been giving it a heavy weed cut just prior to the weekend and got a lot of growth away ( though it soon returns in these conditions) but the day after the small cuttings that aren’t scooped up by the cutting machine were forming a slick which moved around as the wind twisted and turned through the day.
I started fishing from up on the dam wall, it seemed logical that deeper water might hold the promise of fish in the conditions, and they might head under the slick for some shade as well. My first hours fishing was with dries and then I tried buzzers but not a touch could I illicit. One regular out in the boats was starting to get fish every now and then fishing towards the big tree in the main basin, and from what I picked up from overheard snippets of conversation was fishing pretty much static under a bung…I thought maybe a lure but I may have been wrong. “Apparently” it’s allowed as a method now though again, I could be wrong. I can’t be bothered with bung fishing but sometimes needs must. For now though I held off and tried other methods.
After about an hour and a half without a touch, and a lot of fly changes and changes to approach ( all on a floating line though), I decided to move. There were fish moving, I could see them from my vantage point, and the odd fish would rise…. just once but enough to make you get your hopes up.
I moved up the top end of the loch and tried there. Again there were plenty fish moving, in fits and starts at times but they were apparently spread out. Frank out in the boat by now was catching steadily, static in one spot over and over.
Jim Craig, another regular turned up to give his favourite method a go, fishing tiny dries on a light rod…. I said I reckoned he might struggle and by the time I left that did appear to be the case, hopefully his fortunes improved into the evening. None of the dries which have worked well for me this year when I have bene out, drew so much as a glance from the fish you could see cruising here and there.
After a solid hour or so up the top I started to make my way down the north side and tried in around the big tree. Again the odd fish made its presence known but they weren’t taking anything I was offering, I had by this time as well tried fishing under a bung with a couple of patterns and did on one ocassion see it dip unde rof its own volition but lifted into nothing, and never even felt a fish.
Where I was fishing was still quite weedy and while I decided I would try fishing deeper where I was, was going to be a tangle fest so I decided to move back up onto the dam wall again and put a Di5 on with a couple of FABs and a Diawl Bach in between. As I set off I bumped into Stan Moore who had just started beside me, though I hadn’t recognised him and we ended up blethering for ages. I eventually gave him peace and no sooner had I headed onwards, but the guy next to him, by the name of David, asked me if I was the guy thet run this blog…. He was very complimentary which was nice to hear, and we had a chat…he had managed in the preceding half hour to snag a couple of Rainbows on Cormorants, he told me, a combination of static and retrieving.
Up on the wall I got set up and started fishing. Finally I got one pull, the first real sign of any interest I had had all day if you don’t count the inicator disappearing mystery. Just as I did, so Stan had made a similar decision to me and moved onto what I think was an Intermediate line and a fast retreive and managed to get a take from what ended up being a bit of a lump of a Rainbow I would estimate at around 6lbs. He asked me if I would grab a quick photo which I obliged with. The fly that had done the trick was a very old pattern…a Dog Nobbler. One I have certainly heard of but not one I could identify, a bit like a Olive Damsel with a red sparkly tail and a set of bogchain eyes as far as I could see, in the case of Stans, but looking it up online it’s probably more of a UK version of the famous US pattern, the Wooly Bugger ( a name that doesnt really wash over here!).
I fished on but never managed to get any further interest and in fact was getting in a bit of a snag fest not with the line and flies in the water, but the Di5 kept snarling up round the bushes that grow out of the dam wall. It hadn’t been an issue on a floater earlier, but now it was doing my head in. As my ticket was soon due to expire, my patience wore thin and I decided to call it a day and headed for the car. Just one of those days. it also ended up quite hot and bright as you can see from the photo of Stan with his lump.
Was good to cacth up with a few old acquaintences though and a worthwhile way to spend the afternoon, but we really do need a little bit regular rain to restore the fishing to its normal for the time of year, else the season will be over before it ever does.