Wednesday, 8 October 2008


After the wonderful scenery, the wildness and the emptiness of Scotland, it was a little strange to be back in the heart of the commuter rat race, fishing for, what effectively, are farmed rainbow trout.

I have to say though, that the scenery here at this local trout fishery is magnificent. The lake is set in a bowl, the surrounding sides of which are covered in woodland, and it is this bowl shape that protects the fishery from the brunt of the wind. From the lodge the view is spectacular as the trees surrounding the lake are starting to turn their autumn colours and the skies are beginning to herald the onset of the darker months. The sun is lower and the light more angular, enhancing the striking colours of the turning leaves.

The fishing too can be wonderful at this time of year; the fish seem to realise that the harsh months are just around the corner. Today though, the weather was kind and placid, the morning and evening chill displaced by the warm daytime sun. The breeze too was benevolent in its warmth and gentleness, sometimes just putting enough of a corduroy ripple on the water to entice the fish to feed on, or near, the surface.

I intensely dislike using lures when trout fishing, I always have. I feel that, having spent the time with fur and feather poised over my fly-tying vice until my eyes water and my back creaks making imitation nymphs, bugs, beetles and flies to be a pretty near copy of the original and down to size 18s, it’s a shame to throw that all back in the fly box and tie onto the tippet, something, which in effect, is just a gaudy imitation of nothing! Don’t get me wrong, fry imitations do have their place, especially this time of year, but I always prefer the smaller copies of naturals to the large and garish.

Today was no different. I started with a damsel fly on the point and a black beetly fly (a diawl bach, actually) which would have been fishing just below the surface. In fact, it was the damsel which took the first fish after two or three casts. It was only a fish of about a pound and a half but it was a start.

I had a pleasant afternoon, although Harry lashed the water to a foam for only one fish, I caught six, including a chunky 6.02 and a four and a half pounder. Later on in the afternoon as evening approached, the fish moved up to just sub-surface and a twinkle midge immediately did the trick for the penultimate fish, but most were taken a foot or two down. It never fails to amaze me how small you can go down to in hook size to catch, fish were taken on size 10 long shanks (the damsel) right down to a 16 (twinkle midge). I also caught three rudd on the dropper fly, one of which was splashing around whilst I had a trout on the dropper.

I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, I always enjoy this time of year, but when the weather is kind the days can be very special.