Camping Trip – Part 4/Conclusion

The Tummel

I have been putting off this post for a while now – partly because Emmanuelle caught a lovely big trout that he wanted to see the picture of (and I wanted to tease him while withholding the pictures) and partly because I was not sure whether to tell you a rather amusing story. The story involves a bizarre conversation with the landlady and landlord of a guesthouse that we stayed in after ditching the tents. It was by far the funniest thing that happened the whole trip and pretty much dominated the conversation on the Sunday – Anyway, I have decided not to tell you as it is all a bit risky – unless possibly you harass me through the comments section. There is also the possibility that someone else may step in and tell the story!

Anyway, we stayed overnight in a bed and breakfast in Pitlochry after ditching the tents because it was so cold. We were all amazed at the bizarre d̩cor of the sitting room Рwe think the taxidermist who stuffed this fox managed to catch its heart of pure evil before stuffing a pheasant in its mouth.

Anyway, that’s enough about the bed and breakfast where the very funny story that I am not about to tell you happened.

Mike was feeling down in the morning and was getting a little wild eyed about the lack of massive trout so was resorting to trying to get into the zone with a little guitar playing before we left the car park.

Almost as soon as we got to the river we seen fish rising – Holy Cow (or words to that effect) that’s the most trout action we have seen all weekend. We duly leapt out of the cars like the “A” Team and attacked the river….

We then proceeded to fish our butts off, all of us catching plenty trout and some rather nice grayling as well. Hatches were short and sporadic, possibly every hour or so when the trout would eagerly take a dry fly. In one little run I took around half a dozen smallish trout that all fought like tigers…

We were all very impressed with Emmanuelle’s rather nice trout he caught on the dry fly. It was his main aim to catch a trout on a dry fly as his fishing time has been radically reduced due to a year old bundle of joy. He was standing stalk like (with leaking waders) in a large pool for around 45 minutes until he seen a trout rise, unlike Alex who practically pisses in the river with his nymphs – who by the way was away dragging every trout in the vicinity to shore – not that we were not impressed with his giant catch rate – more to do with the fact we can never seem to catch using the New Zealand method of tying a nymph.

Oh, go on then a close up for good measure…

Mike was away working out that Grayling he had been casting to for an hour were actually taking nymphs around an inch under the surface “took me an hour and a half to work that out” he mused later as he cut directly across the middle of the pool on the way back to shore.

All in all, a very good weekend – next time we will be going in May when it will be a little warmer- possibly even June. I think the close season blinds you somewhat to the prospect of poor and inconsistant trout fishing in the spring.

As I am writing this I am aware the trout season is fully under way – the trees are now with leaves, flowers are starting to bloom, we have bees buzzing around and my wife is taking her allergy medication, I am planning on regular evening sessions on the Kelvin and the tributories, full day sessions to my favourite other river and what looks like some interesting action on the White Cart. I tied myself up 25 very small cdc F flies last night…..with tricky trout i always have Emanuele in my head saying “go smaller, go smaller, go microscopic”


  1. Alex · May 4, 2007

    It’s big, it’s black, it gave us all a heart attack….
    and I’m not talking about Mike’s wooly buggers!

    Just as well we all managed to compose ourselves enough to catch some fish. Emmanuelle’s trout is a cracker, well done that man!

    An absolutely unforgettable weekend. Looking forward to next SUMMER’s trip already!

  2. Nick · May 4, 2007

    Enough with the trout, already! (Mind you, that’s pretty impressive…)

    What happened at the B & B?

  3. scott · May 4, 2007

    Very nice fish. Sounds like youse had a good day. What time’s were the fish rising?

  4. Shupac · May 4, 2007

    Those are some torpedo-bodied browns? Is there something about the habitat or food sources that gives them that shape?

  5. Shupac · May 4, 2007

    Those are some torpedo-bodied browns! Is there something about the habitat or food sources that gives them that shape?

  6. Alistair · May 4, 2007

    Nick – It is a very rude story…..hmmm I will think about making a dedicated post around it ….some may take offence though 😉

    Scott – they started rising as soon as we got to the river, around 10am..we then had hatches every hour or so with the trout responding – I would imagine the sport would be more consisitant now though.

    Shupac – I think the trout were still a little lean, the trout I have been catching elsewhere have been nice and fat which is strange !


  7. scott · May 4, 2007

    Hmmmm think its time for me to give it another go then alistair. Been up twice this year but early in the saeon and never saw a thing both times. Where is the best places? down from moulinearn or on the straight after the dam?

  8. Alistair · May 4, 2007

    To be honest the whole of the river fishes well there is not one place that outfishes another. we just stayed at a couple of pools and waited for the action to happen.

  9. scott · May 4, 2007

    Ok thanks alistair. Think ill give it a go either the end of this week or the beginning of next

  10. Alistair · May 4, 2007

    Sent you an email Scott !

  11. Peter · May 4, 2007

    Sounds like there’s a cracking story about the B & B Alistair…

    Don’t worry if there’s anything risque involved – in every funny story there’s always likely to be someone offended but better to put it out in the public domain.

    I’ve just spent a weekend in a tent in Glencoe with the worst wind & rain I’ve seen there in years. Bought a ticket to fish the lochan and never got to use it because of the weather. Arrived back home and discovered a couple of extra passengers (ticks) which I’m still waiting for my wife to help me remove.

    Trust me I need a laugh…



  12. Alistair · May 4, 2007

    Sounds great Peter – sounds like you had as much fun as us in tents. Yesterday I was sitting in a cafe and it started to hailstone – Yikes !!


  13. Thorney · May 4, 2007

    Tea Stick has morphed (anglicized) into Highland Mills Rod Co. New website on the way.
    On with the rude story, please. Thank you very much…

  14. Alistair · May 4, 2007

    Thorney – you dont write, you dont call and now you jump in wanting to hear my rude story – where and how have you been getting on ?

    Is the business still yours ? I am still loving using you Tea Stick bamboo rod !!

  15. Scott M · May 4, 2007

    hi there, what sizes have you been tying up?

    Of my 4 hours fishing on the Kelvin, I haven’t had a fish yet 🙁

  16. Alistair · May 4, 2007

    Hey Scott,

    I would not be too worried about not catching a fish after 4 hours – The kelvin can be a hard mistress at times.
    Where abouts are you fishing ?

    My three key dry flies for the Kelvin are: F Fly, Olive Klinkhammer and a Grey Duster. Keep your flies small = the F fly is tiny – I think I use a size 16 Kamasan B100 but pretty much any tiny hook will do. With F flies make sure you tie up a good dozen or so as they are strictly a one fish fly – after a fish has taken it then it no longer floats.


  17. Scott M · May 4, 2007


    I’m fishing between the weir at the botanic gardens and Great western road, I haven’t been out since the middle of April, when I had the pleasure of meeting Allan. I’ve had to put it all aside until after my exams, after that I’m away to explore further upstream.

    Smallest I’ve experimented with was a size 22 gnat up at the loch I fish, but I’ve yet to give anything a cast smaller than an 18 in the Kelvin. I’m gonna go crazy after the exams and order some hooks down to a 30, just for a laugh. I haven’t used an F Fly before (nor many dry flies), so thanks for the tip. My fly box is looking pretty bare so I’m looking forward to experimenting and filling it up.

    Scott M

  18. alan atkins · May 4, 2007

    Scott, good to hear you are still trying hard for the Kelvin trout. Alistair’s advice will serve you well and you know the stretch you have been fishing is full of fish. Keep at it and you will be rewarded. As for flies, i would agree with Alistair’s choice, but would not forget a couple of nymphs , especially the Mayfly nymph. In my experience, the Kelvin trout tend to ignore the duns and feed heavily on the nymphs even when there is a hatch of yellow mays. Dick Walkers mayfly mymph is easy to tie and deadly on the Kelvin, good luck, oh and get yourself a 4/5 weight !!

  19. Alistair · May 4, 2007

    Not many people out at the beggining of April Scott, I doubt I would have had many trout at that time as well – now is the time for consistant action most of the day…….

  20. Jim Burns · May 4, 2007

    Come lads April was a good month for me 59 fish most of them trout and a number of salmon parr. 9 trout between 1lb -1 1/2lb they are there just have to search them out. Enjoyed reading about your epic fishing trip. Rude story sounds interesting.

  21. Alistair · May 4, 2007

    Ah well, the further away you travel to fish the worse it will be 😉

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