I had a weird dream last night. I dreamt I turned up at a favourite spot on a river and there was a tackle shop on the edge of the stream, not a dingy one but one that was full of important looking people in Orvis and Sage shirts – people that looked like they knew what they were doing. There were rows and rows of expensive looking rods and a stags head on the wall (strangely there was an inflatable comedy sized guitar in the corner of the room but it was a dream so made perfect sense at the time).
They were charging around £100 for a days fishing with a guide – and there was lots of people who professed to be experts on this particular river. I only wanted to fish I told them – however I was told there would be no way I would catch a trout as I did not have the specific fly that all the guides were using that week.
I looked at the river where I once found solitude and watched rows upon rows of anglers all casting with the same fly.
I went home.
…another winter nearly over, another half dozen balloon caddis tied, another weekend earning brownie points by not going fishing, another 28 days until the brown trout season starts, another blank fly fishing for Pike last weekend (reckon its too cold), another dozen comparaduns tied, another trip into town to gaze at the new camera I desperately want, another UCAPA permit bought, another sportfish catalogue drops through my door, another fly line needed, another…
Dark miserable January. The days are short and the nights are long. This morning going into work felt like the longest away I will ever be from a nice warm summer day casting a dry fly to a rising trout. Even the Pike are not playing ball at the moment. After doing a lot of research on the net into possible Pike venues I came up with somewhere that looked promising – somewhere that seemed neglected, and Pike thrive on neglect. Anyway, with all the rain the venue essentially turned into what looked like a muddy ditch. We still had a few casts but considering the water looked the colour of milky tea we decided to try elsewhere. By elsewhere I mean we decided to visit the fishing equivelant of a brothel.
Yup – we went to a trout fishery. A stocked hole in the ground with as much character as a politician talking about strategy. If you must know it was Carbeth Trout Fishery – the first thing that annoyed me was that even though they had signs up saying you could fish for four hours on a £7 catch and release ticket they bloke behind the counter informed us that we could not get them as too many people were handling the fish roughly causing finger marks. On reflection I think we should have made a bit of a fuss about that but we coughed up the cash and got fishing. I say got fishing as needless to say we all caught nothing – well Alex caught an out of season brown trout which looked wild – not sure how it got in there as it the pond is just a dug hole. It was an absolute fluke actually – his lure got caught on a discarded piece of nylon which just happened to be attached to the fish. There was a lead weight attached to it as well – so much for the “fly only” pool. Just goes to show you that Alex can pretty much go anywhere and still catch a fish.
Oh yea, so today I get into my office at 8am – its all open plan and something catches my attention, something fluttering on the ceiling, cant quite make out what it is, it comes closer – a Butterfly ?? In January? The only thing I can think of is the heat in the office somehow managed to hatch its egg. I watched it flutter around the office with a smile on my face – other people noticed it but did not seem to have the same wonder about it – sure they found it odd but not something to really ponder about. Is it something about fisherfolk that think more of these things as it reminds us of the time when casting flies to eager trout is possible ?
I have just finished reading “Salmon Fishing in the Yeman” – it was one of those books that have been floating around in my consciousness for a while now so I decided to add it to my wishlist for Christmas. It is a pure work of fiction about a fishery scientist who is asked and then forced into coming up with a way to transport and ensure that Salmon run up a river in the middle of a desert.
Highly enjoyable, it is written in diary, letter and interview format –lots of “in” jokes regarding the angling press although if someone is not a fisherman then they will still get the idea about the joke. All in all – a mighty find read.
For the love of God……..WHY?????
The Fish Pen
Driving a few hundred miles up the road to Scotland to England I managed to see first hand the countryside changing to one covered with snow. The borders were probably the worst and the news went on about people being trapped in cars and only to travel if absolutely necessary. However that was a few days ago now and most of the snow has now disappeared and that is the problem – it will all have gone straight into the rivers meaning a distinct lack of grayling action. Armed with this info when I was asked by the gruesome twosome Alex and Alan if I wanted to accompany them for some grayling action I decided to stay in my bed. There is always a danger in doing this as days where you think everything might go wrong can possibly turn out to be fantastic however I decided to go with my instincts and got out of bed at a leisurely 1030.
Turns out I was spot on – I gave them a bell in the afternoon “oh sure” said Alan “I have just had two, combined weight around 2lb” Yegads, I thought, my highly tuned anglers sense has let me down (not for the first time have I cursed that flabby muscle) should I immediately start planning a drive up to a local grayling haunt. However, it turns out they were merely pulling my leg, after arriving at the river to find a flood of biblical proportions they turned around (a round trip of almost 200 miles) and ended up at Harelaw. They are obviously of sturdier stuff than me; I would have probably suggested a light pub lunch and a discussion of tactics for this coming year.
Sitting here on hogmany browsing around thinking about the new year – we have only around 70 odd days to go before the new trout season opens. I would like to think I would get some pike fishing done over the next month however it now looks like the weather will be against us all. The UK is to be hit by a big freeze making temperatures plummet to around -17 in the Midlands, it is all thanks to winds from Siberia seemingly.
Ah well – have a good 2008 you guys ! I hope to be meeting you on the river bank at some point.
Well, here is a bit of juicy info that seemed to pass me by. It seems the entire Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association Committee has resigned due to accusations of mismanagement of finances and mistrust by the members around the way they are running things. One resignation letter points directly at a forum set up by a member of the club – Robbie – stating that a whispering campaign has been going on for some time against the committee. I am an occasional visitor to the forum and yes, I have noticed a distinct bias towards thinking the committee is rubbish however I do think that most people think the way their own organisation is run is usually that it is a pile of old tosh.
Take The Kelvin for example – I took the hump with them as they don’t seem to act on anything – poaching, river management, the refusal to put up one sign saying you need a permit to fish the river, however they don’t let that stop them doing nothing !
Anyway, what I will say about the Leven is the reports in the popular UK magazine Trout & Salmon are usually totally inaccurate. I regularly speak to guys down on the river who tell me they have had a pretty poor season however to read the reports you would think every Tom, Dick and Harry was hauling the Salmon in.
Just goes to show you I suppose!
edit: I am liking the new design of the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association website. I also particulary like the two blogs which are part of it:
Tales from the Loch