Right here we go, a list of my fishing trips so far this year. Now that I have started this blog once I am up to date, I will go into a bit more detail about each new fishing trip.
April 10th…….The Whinney Loch. First trip out after a long close season, what with the hernia etc. Rain freezing cold very windy. 3 rainbows bigest 3lb. Caught on GRHE and small damsel. Hard work but worth it. Bank fishing 3 hours, all fish returned.
April 11th……. The Whinney Loch. Back for more. Still cold wet and windy. 2 rainbows. GRHE and a size 14 Cats Whisker ( the only lure in my box) Bank fishing 3 hours all fish returned.
April 13th…….Coldingham Loch. http://Coldinghamloch.co.uk Under new management Gareth and Carmel, reports say it should be good. And good it was. Freezing cold again 2 lovely rainbows and 1 cracking wee Brownie. Black Pennel and a Bibio not far under the surface. Bank fishing 3 hours all fish returned.
April 21st…….Coldingham Loch. Cracking night 3 Rainbows 2 @ 2.5lbs and a beauty at over 6lbs. The big fish was way too big for my small wooden net, I could get the head in just, tried the tail next no chance, had to beach it, always risky both for the welfare of the fish and a chance of losing it. Landed it though lovely fish full tail. All 3 fish taken on a blach CDC spent gnat size 14 silver wire rib. 3 hours all fish returned.
April 22nd……. The Whinney Loch. Back across the road to the Whinney. 2 Rainbows 2-3lbs CDC shipmans, fished drowned and just under the surface. 2 hours both fish returned.
April 28th…….Coldingham Loch. I am so lucky to have two cracking waters nearby . They both have totally different characteristics. 3 Rainbows all on a Black Pennell, all caught just sub surface. 3 hours all fish returned.
May 6th…….The Whinney Loch. It had to happen, my first blank session at the Whinney for years no fish moving at all, not even a nibble during my 2 hours. C’est la vie.
May 14th…….Coldingham Loch. Great night 4 Rainbows and 2 lovely Brownies all on a CDC spent Gnat. 4 hours all fish returned.
May 24th…….Coldingham Loch. Trying out my new4 piece Greys travel rod from http://shop.countrylife-edinburgh.com I had to buy it today for my forthcoming trip to Kerry in Ireland. Ryanair wanted £100.00 to put my 2 piece Hardy rod in the hold and the flight was only £49.00 unbelievable. Anyway the rod fished like a dream casts beautifully, I am really delighted with it. 2 rainbows black CDC Shipmans.
June 6th…….Loganlea Reservoir. http://Loganleafishery.co.uk For the last 25 years I have organised the Edinburgh College of Art annual fishing trip. This year it was Loganlea Reervoir in the Pentlands 10 miles south of Edinburgh on the Biggar road. Ross my ex fishing companion came along too. He now only fishes once a year, a great dry fly fisherman, now I fish mostly on my own. This year Dave, Alan, George, Paul, Iain etc 13 of us altogether. I got 3 rainbows the largest 3lb 2oz, George got 2, the biggest 3lbs 3oz, so he won the best fish sweep this year. Ross got a couple and gave up after that to ghillie Alan around. Unfortunately Dave and Alan blanked, next year! 6 hours kept 1 fish. Great night good to have company. ( pic the Motley crew)
June 7th…….The Whinney Loch. Great night at the Whinney. Using various CDC flies I got the limit of 8 fish, excellent session. The CDC that worked best was a Green Olive fished drowned again. Great quality fish all between 3lbs-5lbs. 3 hours all fish returned. Well done Ted Wise for such a great night .
June 14th…….The Whinney Loch. There was a charity do on that evening. They had fished Coldingham Loch during the day then came across to the Whinney around 5.00 for a Barbeque and then fish in the evening from 6.00. Great day for them. Ted let me fish from 4.30 till 6.00 as I was a regular. I was honoured as he hadn’t let any one else on. 90 mimutes of mayhem 6 fish various CDCs Shipmans Green Olives. Bibio Hopper all on the surface lost a few missed loads brilliant . Thanks again Ted.
20th June……. Lough Acoose. An Irishman an Englishman a Scotsman and another Englishman. Sounds like a joke, its actually me, Scottish and I live in Scotland. Thomas an Englishman who lives in Dublin. Fenton an Englishman who lives in England and Jez a Leeds man who lives in Scotland, no actual Irishman, sorry. We are four friends who get together once a year to fish for a long weekend and I get to fish with other anglers and friends. We fish in alternate countries and this year it was the turn of the south of Ireland, to fish some of the Kerry Loughs.
Flew to Dublin Thursday got to Toms around lunchtime to await the arrival of Fen from London. Unfortunately this year Jez couldn’t make it as his son oliver was having a serious spinal operation but he wanted us to go ahead without him, cheers Jez. After a meal with Sarah Toms wife, we drove down from Dublin to Kerry in the rain, arriving at midnight. A few beers and then up at 8.00 good breakfast and onto fish Lough Acoose.
The weather has been abysmal so far this summer and it was no different on the drive to the Lough to meet Mike O’Shea the fishery manager http://glencar-blackstones.com. He had arranged for us to have a 19 foot boat, so that all 3 of us could fish together, although Fen decided to fish the bank all day with great success. Lots of wee Brown Trout we were promised and lots of wee Brown trout we caught. I got 50 Brownies on various traditional flies Kate McLaren, Blae and Black, Dunkeld, Invicta, Bibio.
An absolutely cracking day and beat my previous best of 35 fish from the Whiteadder reservoir in the Lammermuir hills south east of Edinburgh. All lovely fish largest half poundish but absolutely great sport in amazing surroundings of the
McGillicuddy Reeks and the sun shone on us too, in fact I got a bit burnt, a first this year. Tom got 20 and Fen 18. Tom was using his new fly, MWF designed and made by him, he got the last 5 fish of the day on it, a great fishy looking fly. On the Lough for 8 hours although we had a break for a while, while Tom slept in the boat for 1 of them as he always does, its tradition. Reluctant to leave but we did and went to Glenbeigh and O’Sullivans for a few pints of Guiness ( wonderful).
Back to Drom for Sarah’s curry, which she had made for us before leaving Dublin, some wine and to kip about 2.30. Brilliant fun thanks Tom for organising it.
21st June…….Caragh Lake. (lough Caragh) I got up early and went for a walk in the rain to see the view and the Dingle peninisula which we had missed in the dark. Again the weather was terrible on the drive to the Lough. Mike O’Shea had organised two boats up at the top end of the Lough. Sadly we were then informed that the best fishing was down at the other end of the Lough, a small matter of 5.5 miles away. Good boats though with Tom and Fen in one and me in the other.
Took us almost 45 mins to get there and it was like being out at sea on a bucking bronco, I really am a landlubber. I get sick out on Loch Leven, Kinross, Scotland on a rough day.
It was terrible, ( there are no pictures of it as it was so rough) the first drift tossed us about all ways, although Fen picked up a couple of lovely Brownies on a Dunkeld. I tried this for about 6 drifts onto the bank below a brightly orange coloured hotel, I got a couple on an orane Hopper when I eventually had to give up and motor across to the other bank which was more sheltered . There was no way I was going back out onto the main Lough. I thought, this is just too dangerous. I picked up another beautiful butter yellow Brownie on a CDC Bibio Hopper in the relative shelter of the land. Eventually Tom and Fen joined me, we all felt that it was just too much, so we beached the boats in hope of it calming down later.
Had a quite exquisite lunch made by Toms fair hands, such a chef! to rival Fentons! By mid afternoon the storm had passed and we were presented with some really good drifts. Banks that we had been blown and battered onto, we now drifted along, parallel to and about 30 yards out, really great. We picked up some more fish before we were becalmed totally and a hatch of flies that I had never seen before, black with white wings a bit like a Blae and Black I suppose. Nevertheless the outcome was the fish were pre-occupied and wouldn’t touch anything we offered not even Toms MWF, although I picked up a nice Perch. We then had a more leisurely motor back up the Lough, which was very scenic and great fun, just avoiding running aground so entranced were we.
Kerry is beautiful and if the two Loughs we had fished were anything to go by then its also great to fish. The top end where the river comes in is really lovely and the destination for the salmon and sea trout which come into the Lough, although we only had a Brown Trout permit, maybe next time. It was a really good day if not a wee bit scary at the begining, I couldn’t sit down for a few days, (note to self bring a blow up boat cushion next time). Tom had a few last casts at the boathouse before we adjourned to O’Sullivans for a well deserved pint or 3 of Guiness. Back to Drom, Sarahs shephards pie and more wine, a good sleep and back to Dublin and Edinburgh the next day. A great weekend thanks to Tom and Sarah, Fenton (don’t work so hard my friend) Henry, Sarahs Dad for putting up with 3 smelly fisherman in his wonderful house looking out onto the McGillicuddy reeks (apologies for any spelling mistakes) Mike O’Shea for great reliable boats and of course Salmo Trutta 99 of them in 2 days, with the obligatory Perch that no doubt Jez would have caught had he been there. Great stuff, thanks guys.
30th June…….The Whinney Loch. Back to Scotland and guess what it is still raining. 3 Hours at The Whinney after regailing Ted of my Irish weekend. Ted used to work on Lough Lean north of Dublin researching insect life, so he knows a thing or two about fishing in Ireland. 2 Fish in my first 2 casts and for once I had decided to keep a fish for our neighbours at the cottage. What a cracker it was, absolutely perfect finned rainbow of 2lb 12oz beautiful, and on a Bibio Hopper that I had used in Ireland, not the exact same fly as I had lost the Irish one. That is the problem with the barbless hooks which I use all the time now, you do tend to lose flies as they can blow out of the box or drop off the wool patch. I got another 6 Bibio and Shipmans great fun, harder fighters than the half pounders, difficult to say which was better, great in different ways. 3 hours 7 fish dryish, light wind.
4th July…….Loganlea Reservoir. http://Loganleafishery.co.uk Decided to pop up to Loganlea after work for a session. Not a bad day as I left the College, then it got darker and darker and absolutely chucked it down. I thought it must end soon and it would clear up later, it did for an hour. By then I had purchase my ticket and had had 2 casts when the Thunder storm hit. It rained and rained for about an hour. Thunder and lightening reverbarating round the hills. I had to run for the fishing hut, it was relentless, so dark and it was only 5 o’clock. The owner and I could only watch and get a brew going. Half way through I remebered in my rush I had left my fishing bag at the dam, damn, still it should be waterproof?
There was one boat out but they packed it in altogether pretty soonish. Once it was over I got back to my water logged bag and proceeded to get a lovely rainbow about 3lbs which I kept (and as I write this have just eaten with a light salad and a lovely lemon and lime sauce that Tricia concocted). I turned to dries, CDC shipmans and hooked and lost 4 at the net, again the trouble with barbless hooks, still I don’t mind. The fish stopped rising and I tried a small size 14 Damsel, great fun the fish went crazy for it. Really exciting watching the bow waves as they chased it even though it was a slow retrieve. I missed loads but heart stopping fun, is it going to take, is it, is it yes , no, brilliant. In the end I got 3 in the net at the end but lost count of hits and misses and losses. I had a great night.
The owner came to see me at 9.30 to say he was leaving as he had heard the road was flooded and he might be trapped there until it had subsided and with that he was gone saying he might see me in the morning if I got stuck. Ooops what could I do, so I put on a Bibio and got another fish and lost one then decided I had better get out of there. Being an hour later going down the road I had missed the worst of the flooding at Glen Corse reservoir, they had knocked a hole in the wall to let it drain into the Loch. So I got home safe wet and soggy but safe.
100 and more fish later that is me up to date with my trips so far this year. Since I started writing this I have 3 trips, its taken me so long to write it. All new trips will be on seperate posts and shorter. I am also going to figure out how to put images into this post as well and will post a gallery of pics soon.
Tight lines to anybody who has taken the trouble to read this well done and if no-one has, thats fine too, its really a record for me.