I had a damned busy time at work on Friday, dashing from one meeting to another with barely enough time to even have a think about a fish. However, half way through the day it happened, I found myself with a sudden spare 5 mins as I was driving past my wee gem of a stream and with some sudden maneuvering I found myself in a car park and then gazing at some crystal clear water.
It was sunny today and temps rose sharply from the rather chilly 4 degrees to hovering around the 10 degrees point. That my friends is just 2 degrees away from my magical “I think there may be trout rising and feeding” internal alarm.
Anyway, like I say the sun was out and I peered into the water with my Polaroids being extra careful not to spook any trout. I searched all the nooks and crannies of the bottom of the stream and could not spot anything. I rose to my feet quickly and deliberately let my shadow cross across the stream to provoke some action from any trout that were too well camouflaged for me to spot.
I thought for a moment about the last time I had been down here and he guy who had killed a lot of trout for “the pike” however surely he had not killed all the trout. I suspected they were still moving down from their spawning areas and had not reached this area yet as it is close to as low on the stream you can get without falling down a 15 foot wall.
I guess Spring has not really sprung yet after all as the bare trees and crystal clear water look largely barren of any activity however a couple of weeks can make all the difference and I am reminded that last season the trout were rising from pretty much day one.
My thoughts drifted off and I thought about the young guy that drowned on the Kelvin a few days ago. I had to write the statement on the Kelvin site and have been in regular contact with Paul Reid who helped to deal with the situation on the day, I also spoke to Jim Burns before the committee meeting the other night who assisted the police on the day as well. What can I say apart from we are all totally gutted about it and each new piece of info we hear about are reminded about a situation we are kinda powerless to do anything about and guilty because of it.
So the angler Daniel Marchbank who was 33 and drowned at the Vet School will now enter the Kelvin’s history alongside another angler and a young boy who have been retrieved from that same sandy pool. The last angler who was found their seemingly drifted past several anglers from upstream before ending up in it. Every second angler I meet tells me they were their however back then it was private grounds and only a few guys fished their so I guess someone is fibbing. The young boy a couple of years ago was playing with his friends when the river was on its bare bones tragically drowned in that pool. And now Daniel!
I have a story I tell every now and then about wading across the Tummel one hot day when I got too deep and was carried down the river about a hundred yards moonwalking all the way with the fast powerful current at the top of my waders. When I got to the far bank I was exhausted and counted myself lucky as I had been so stupid – that is how people drown. When I heard about Daniel and that sandy pool that is so popular with dog walkers who let their dogs swim in it I was just flummoxed. How does a wee sandy pool (albeit) a deep one have a reputation so fierce to warrant a danger sign? I have heard stories of deep undercurrents that drag people down and mine shafts however to my knowledge there are no mine shafts in that area however I will do a little reading and get back to you on that one.
This season I shall think about a guy I never met while out on the river and will give a nod in the direction he was found on the way home.