The Highlander Way

You know, I don’t think I have ever written about this little site although I have it in my links list on the main site. There are some lovely little gems of websites out there and this is one of them, I like little sites off the beaten track (a bit like my own) – something to do with the underdog maybe…
In the authors own words..

“No “look how big a fish I can catch” No name dropping, no blonde bimbos hanging on my arm & no I don’t do competitions, sell cigars or fine wines. What I do “sell” is a gentler time when fly fishers treated their quarry with respect. Where fly fishers could sit & pass the time of day without mentioning, bag limits boobies & blobs.
Traditional tactics & flies are my weapons of choice. If this is for you then scroll on”

If you like the sound of that, you will love it.

Check it out- The Highlander Way
And check out some of the authors flies here

Sweating like a wildebeest !

As it turned out I need not need a campsite after all. On Wednesday I had a sore throat and by Thursday I was sweating like a wildebeest about to take a swim across a nice river with some suspicious floating logs. So I took two days off work and watched nature programmes.
Anyway, once I pulled out of the camping trip the whole thing fell apart. I may well go to my other favourite river tomorrow so will keep you updated.

Harelaw- third time lucky

So to round off my week’s annual leave I decided to have another bash at Harelaw Trout fishery. The last two times I went with Alex my first rainbow remained elusive but to be fair the first time it was a howling gale with white horses and driving rain whilst the second time we tried to kid ourselves on it was a spring day when in fact it was a nice winters day (froze my rocks off).
So Alex and I decided to get full blood lust tickets and spend an afternoon and evening going after rainbows. Sometimes you need to shake off tradition and try and “bag up”…in our case it would be Sainsbury’s bags…plastic ones at that. Alex enthused about the trout we would catch “bring a bag, a big bag….a sack even” and “the boat will be full of blood, it will be like a Satanist wedding” and “Kill em all, let God sort em out”
the boss
On the loch we had plenty of time to talk about the differences in this type of fishing and fishing in rivers-I agreed it made a nice occasional change. There is something relaxing about just drifting along in a boat casting out, retrieving, not watching your fly constantly, thinking about drag. Just cast out, retrieve, cast out, and think about depth, retrieve- all very relaxing. It was a nice warmish day with only the occasional downpour of rain, the wind hardly got up to 5% of gale force (personally I felt kind of cheated at the least I expected to be struck by lightening).
aa
We had a brief bit of confusion in the afternoon when it turned out we only had an engine till 5pm however it was a nice evening with easy rowing weather and knowing that we were getting a lift down the road instead of hiking it made it all the better. I was first to get a trout, a nice wild fish of about ¾ lb
aa
…and then on the next drift a rainbow of about a pound and ¾. My first ever rainbow- I was surprised at how gently it took the fly “I think it might be a Perch” I said to Alex before it finally woke up and went for a brisk jaunt around the boat..
aa
Much apologies for the photo, it was not until later that I realised the trout was gutted and this was the only picture I had.

I have got to admit I cannot think of a nicer setting than Harelaw to get one, people are generally aware of what I think of fisheries and pellet pigs but Harlelaw is a wholly different, er, kettle of fish. We were using small traditional flies (keeping the Dog Nobblers in standby) which are what Brian the owner recommends.
red wine
There was a competition on at night- I think one of the guys thought I was some kind of butler or something as he insisted on whistling me over to push out, untie, pull in and tie up his boat whilst calling me son.
aa
Alex had the same result as me, a wild fish and a rainbow, however his rainbow had a strange mutant extra fin.

All in all a very nice day

The Phenomenon

I always get paranoid when I take someone new to the Kelvin. I could have had weeks of fantastic fishing, all my hot spots throwing fat trout at me and the Kelvin behaving like, well, the Kelvin. And then I take someone who has never fished it and not only do they blank, but I blank as well (whilst seeing no fish whatsoever). This, I think, is a common phenomenon, I am reminded of the time that we travelled up to The Don and ended up sitting around looking at a wholly fishless river for most of the day.
Anyway, so this must have been what Alan, a long time fisher of the Kelvin, must have been thinking when he took me to the River Avon his now local little stream.
pool
Not only did we not catch anything, but we got caught in a torrential rain storm to boot. The temperature then plummeted, halting all fly life.
Avon Water:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Avon Water in Chatelherault Country Park.
avon
Avon Water, also known locally as the River Avon, is a 24 mile long river in Scotland and a tributary of the River Clyde. Rising in east Ayrshire, the river flows in a north easterly direction through South Lanarkshire, passing towns such as: Strathaven, Glassford, Stonehouse, Larkhall and, finally, Hamilton, where it joins the River Clyde as it flows between Hamilton and Motherwell.
Points of interest along the river include: Cadzow Castle (ruins), the Cadzow Oaks, (some of which are over 600 years old), and Chatelherault Country Park.

riffles

The stretch that we fished was full of rocky pools and some nice glides, very pretty- no shopping trolleys or burnt out cars at all. At dusk we spotted some rising trout in a large pool but either they were being very sporadic or we spooked them and put them down.
alan
All said and done, we caught no trout, got rained on, I slipped a couple of times and had a thoroughly good time.

Actually, now I come to think about what I shall call the phenomenon (blanking spectacularly when showing a friend a sweet spot) happened the last two times I went to Harelaw Trout Fishery.
Alex enthused about the trout we would catch “bring a bag, a big bag….a sack even” and “the boat will be full of blood, it will be like a Satanist wedding” and “Kill em all, let God sort em out”

See:

A Perfect Storm (to fish in)

Harelaw-the second coming!

However, Alex is now glad that I have broke our chain of bad luck and I shall write up that little story later on.

Note: Alex may not have said actual words but most certainly thought them.

Milton of Fonab Campsite- a poor result

Going up to fish the Tummel next week and looking for a campsite in Pitlochry, I found the Milton of Fonab Campsite which looked ideal so emailed them. I explained that we are a group of anglers, fishing from dawn till dusk but the answer was nope, they do not accept groups of single sex parties. It was a very polite email, but still, pretty rubbish that a group of law abiding anglers cannot get a pitch on a camp site just because we are male………its a pity the law is not on our side….oh hang on it is..
UK Law on Equality and Discrimination

I think the pertinant line is

Currently, there is direct legislation dealing with discrimination on the grounds of sex, race and disability that applies in a number of fields, including employment, education, housing and the provision of goods and services.

Anyway, I have mailed them the link so will wait and see what they say

UPDATE

Having looked at some reviews, most notably here I am glad I got somewhere else. It seems a little cramped and a bit of a money making excercise with a busy road running past it….ugh avoid !!

Points to keep in mind

Well, you learn something new every time you go fishing. I think I learned two things last night.

1. Don’t bother going fishing in this crazy heat until it is even approaching dark (ie afer 6pm)
2. If you have difficulty in tying on a size 22 CDC fly when it is light it will be next to impossible when it is dark.
aa
Oh and a third thing- when you get your fly stuck in a tree and you pull it out, you might think it is a good thing the fly is still attached but n actual fact it is not. I noticed that when I was tying on another fly. When pulling tight the knot would break, I think this was because the nylon had been stretched so much. I use that Frog Hair nylon and usually find it very good. AT first I thought it was a faulty batch but after a while I realised it was the whole tree/pull/knot thing. Point to remember that.
sanitary towlel pool

Oh you might have noticed a couple of days ago a discussion that took place of naming places that I fish, most notably was the other river. It just so happened that I was on the phone to the person who first took a pal of mine there and he commented that he was a bit nervous I was introducing so many people to it. I pointed out that it was only a few and they were all trusted characters who would not exploit the spot, he then mentioned about the blog and I had to assure him that no way would I name it. You see the thing is, if I go giving directions to every sweet spot on my blog then readers will stop asking me to go fishing with them to their own sweet spots. I would have certainly shot myself in the foot (more like a kick in the nuts)
aa

sHARP & To the Point

Had a mammoth session yesterday- however modesty forces me to keep this a short and sharp post. An afternoon session on the Kelvin with a couple of trout under my belt and then an evening session down on my other favourite river (or rather part of river)
HOG WEED

Needless to say, the Kelvin session was a rather nice warm up to a great evening session. Lots of trout caught on sedges- loving it!
AA
The silt in the Kelvin is now clear, I have been threatening to leave for a session since around 1pm but have now decided to wait until later as it is roasting hot.
I will update on my evening session later

If you have not entered the competition please do so now!

Ta Ta !

Dramatic Entrances and Dramatic Exits

bus stop
We had lots of thunder and lightening yesterday morning with lots of rain. I was not sure if the Kelvin was going to be out of action but met Alex down there anyway. Turned out the water did have a colour to it, certainly could not see the bottom, possibly just a little higher than usual. I did not realise we were about to have a great session.
yipeee
I tackled up and started fishing before Alex made his rather dramatic arrival of climbing over a fence, giving a cheery wave and then falling head over heels down the bank amongst the vegetation. Next time he arrives I will have my camera poised just in case, probably win 10 bucks in the local rag for a picture like that.
troot
We did ok during the day picking up that odd fish here and there, not too hot. I picked up a nice trout from some pocket water after missing a trout at sanitary towel pool (so called because….oh never mind).
smaller
The real action started as soon as it got a little darker, we were both considering going home, Alex had lost his mobile phone and was going to look for it before it got too dark and I was thinking that nothing was going to happen because the conditions were poor. As we were walking up to where we cross the river I noticed a trout on the other side, we decided I would go after that trout and Alex would walk up the river. What followed was the most enjoyable dry fly session in a good while on the Kelvin.

At the far bank trout were sipping down flies, I decided they were taking Yellow Mays emergers as they were splashing at them dancing on the surface before breaking free. In a deep very slow run of around 30 yards I must have picked up around 5-6 nice trout. Every now and then I looked up to See Alex at the head of the pool into another trout as well, good looking ones too. I was a little envious as he was at some faster water which would make it a little easier as the trout would not have as long to inspect his fly. Turned out he was getting all his trout on a nymph.
at last
As we packed up we spoke about how good a session it had been, by this point I was now wounded after banging by shin against a boulder so was doing it whilst limping around saying ow a lot.

Oh and Alex’s mobile turned up, it was in his net attached to his back. It must have fallen in there when he was taking a leak. I wonder what he would have done if he had caught a trout of a few pounds and then seen the mobile dangling just above the water, the trout about to be lost due to trying to get the phone out the net – probably let the insurance kick in I would imagine- its only a phone.

You just cannae win sometimes.

So the other night I went fishing with Alex for an evening session. I was sitting on the bus (the number 16) when I got a text “get here quick, trout everywhere” or something like that. Seeing as how I could not get the bus to go any quicker I browsed through my flies for a correct choice of fluff to the bemusement of commuters and grannies going to bingo. As soon as I got to the river all action stopped and it was to be the start of a night skewed in Alex’s favour. I mean, I caught trout, some nice trout actually, just not as many as Alex had on or in fact lost.
dd
We fished a pool where you are pretty much guaranteed a trout, Alex had around 6 and I caught nought, we were using the same flies AND Alex was handicapped by a gammy leg from football.
aa
Still nice, just one of those nights I suppose.
rr
I am now off on holiday for a week, Claire is unfortunately on nightshift all week so I have been filling up each day with places to fish and people to meet, rather considerately I felt but she says I have been selfish, you just cannae win sometimes!
I see Mike is having similar problems with his brother who outfished us all the other day, while we were busy in our walky talkies asking if anyone had seen any trout he was lazily saying “…just putting back my 5th half pounder” (it could have been more but I wouldnt want to swell his head even more)

bridge

Sizzling…….nah Brrrrrrrr.

So it had been a roasting hot day. My wife and I had a hectic day rushing about; it got to around 8pm so I decided to go fishing. Alas as soon as I went out the door I could tell there was something a little different in the air, it was a lot colder. Still, I was hoping that the trout might have been turned on to the sedges the same way they were turned on the night before but a proper hatch did not materialise.
I ended up spending a fair old time at this little spot trying to tempt some rising fish, I found that I was deceived as they were mostly those wee sea trout that have been stocked.
aa
Eventually I managed to hook what feels like my first brown trout in ages from this part of the Kelvin. I thought at first it was a lot bigger however before realising it was foul hooked in the back, it made for an interesting fight and thankfully the hook came out easier. Mike, a guy I fish with uses barbless hooks all the time; however I just seem to use them when I remember to flatten the barb. Would be interested to know just how many of you use them.
fg
Oh and don’t forget the caption competition, mind that anyone can enter, just choose a photo and write a caption, jiggery pockery with Photoshop is allowed but not mandatory. Read this post here for more details.

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