Week 37 it must be Carrbridge!!!!!!………BRILLIANT. Once again we headed north to our timeshare outside Carrbridge near Aviemore, we have had it for 16 years thanks to money Tricias Mum left us and we always toast her with the first drink of the holiday. It is something Tricia and I look forward to each year, lots of walks in the Cairngorms and in Rothiemurcus estate http://www.rothiemurchus.net. We originally got the timeshare to coincide with the week before the begining of term, for Tricia at the University and me at the Art College. Times have changed Tricia with her own busuiness and me now in the main photo dept at the College or should I say the University as we have now merged with Edinburgh University, that aside we managed to squeeze in our visit here for the 16th year. Ross, my ex fishing chum joined us again, for walking and good cooking but no fishing unfortunately.
Our wooden chalet sits beside a small thin long Lochan called Lochanhully. It always reminds me a bit like a carp water from my coarse days.
just outside Carrbridge and is completely surrounded by trees. While it is really scenic and with beautiful surroundings the Lochan is really dificult to fish. I purchased a day permit for £20.00 in the understanding that I would fish a couple of hours a day for the week, 8 hours in total. I wouldn’t want a full weeks permit (£50) as the fishing is so limited and difficult. Still it does present a challenge.
I walked the 10 paces from our chalet to the Lochside and started casting, its that close. The wind often howls up the lochan and the first session out was no different, with very few casting places it is difficult in that wind. As there had been no fish showing at all I put on a gold head GRHE and surprise, I got a fish on my 3rd cast and turned one the next cast. The Lochan is really dark and peaty and the fish reflected this, a rainbow with a really dark back and stomach, about 1.5 lbs. Good start I thought.
I met up with a few other anglers and they had only 1 fish between them, so I felt pleased. Unfortunately that was the first and last fish out of Lochanhully that week, apart from one other and here is the story.
The other 4 anglers staying at Lochanhully, had had a terrible week by the Friday, they had one fish between them and they had paid the full money, ouch. I didn’t know that on the Friday morning they had decided to try some bubble float fishing with worms, which strangely enough is allowed. After their 3rd or 4th cast the nylon snapped above the float leaving the float adrift in the centre of the Loch not attached to a fish. I had had a cracking week more of that later but on the last night of the holidays I went out to the Lochan for a last couple of hours before going to the Carrbridge Hotel for steak and chips mmmmmmm.
I had had a couple of casts when I noticed the bubble float which I was sure wasn’t there when I started. Sure enough the float disappeared again, there was a fish attached. I tried casting to it but it was too far out. I remebered seeing a float rod kitted out near reception. I ran down and got it and started trying to hook up the bubble float which kept appearing and disapearing. I had gathered quite a crowd by now when I finally managed to hook the line under the float. It seemed a biggish fish and after a bit I got it into the reeds and lifted it out of the watern it was lovely not as dark as the one I had caught on the first day. Bad news though there was a muckle size 8 barbed hook well down the fishes throat, shocking. I had to knock the fish on the head such a shame. I wasn’t best pleased with the other anglers as they said great,… fish for tea. I left them to it, all my enthusiasm had gone, I cannot believe some anglers, no respect for their quarry, terrible.
Now for Avielochan.
The main event………. the reason for taking my fishing gear up on holiday was to fish my favourite Loch of all…Avielochan. Avielochan is managed by a really nice bloke Jim Cornfoot. He has it really because his first love is ornithology and with ospreys nesting at Loch Garten he stocks it with fingerling Brownies which grow incredibly fast and provide a great food source for the the ospreys, which visit daily in the summer, also good nesting for the likes of the Slavonian grebe and also Dabchicks etc beautiful water with the Carngorms in the distance. Good winter water for wild fowl too. There is also a lovely bird hide at one side of the Loch. Thank goodness he does let a few anglers fish it and I am pleased to be one of them. After fishing and photography my next love is nature and birds, so Jim and I hit it off quite well. The Lochan is reasonably shallow with one or two deep areas and really interesting reed beds and Lily beds.
It has been so wet this year that the Lochan hasn’t gone down in level since the spring. Being so high there was very little bank casting to be had so Jim got a boat ready for me. Great move I have never fished on a boat there and it gave me so much freedom as I was the only angler. Traditional flies are the order of the day for this Loch, spiders, Kate McLarens, black pennels, Blae and Black Bibio etc etc but there is one fly that stands out for me there and it is the Invicta, cracking fly and I prefer the silver or pearly Invicta.
I picked up a lovely Brownie around the 1.5lb mark, beautiful and perfect finned, a good start. My next fish was a similar size but my next fish was a belter. I hooked it and didn’t see it till I got it to the net, conservative weight 3lb fin perfect. Guess what, my camera was in the car and I didn’t want to leave this hot spot. Next fish………my best fish of the year and my best brownie for a long long time, minimum weight I reckon 4lbs but maybe more. It was an absolute cracking fish….no camera……it had the start of a kype brilliant fish again it stayed deep for the whole of the fight, I just couldn’t get it up near the surface and it was in control till the end. I fished for 6 hours missing and losing a load of others again due to barbless hooks and much more acrobatic fish. I didn’t mind though, I was as happy as Larry, 6 fish at the end of the day, I have caught a lot more there in the past but as days go they don’t come much better. All fish returned alive even if Jim did allow you to keep a fish which he doesn’t, got to leave them for the Ospreys.
Thanks Jim, for letting me fish here again.
Later I popped back to the car and got my camera, back in the boat and a few snaps to remind me of my great day. We had a lot of lovely walks and here are some pics taken when I wasn’t fishing but not far from water.
Not many trips left, days are shortening and its getting cold. Time to get out the Salmon and Grayling gear. Tight lines