This loch was the reason we had pretty much bought tubes. We had fished it at the end of last season and had a really good session, we wished we could have got out into some of the fish further into the loch and some of the water was unfishable because of steep cliffs so we felt we were missing out.
We met up after work at the bottom of the track and got our stuff ready, inflated the tubes and made sure all the gear we would need was packed away tightly. I had found a couple of straps I could use as I do not think those charlatans at Snowbee gave me any as well as blanking me on facebook so had little other choice.
So we got the tubes on our backs and headed off into the hills. I had thought I had found a short cut which ended up being a bit more dodgy due to their being no path to the loch, it was also littered with deep holes. Once this was all passed we had a wee chilax session while we set up our rods n’ stuff. Alex decided on his 7 weight and I rather bravely decided to use my Sage SLT 5 weight – I believe a lot of people use 5 weights in tubes because they do not need to cast as far. I was brave because there was a howling gale coming right down the loch.
Having the wind at my back meant that I could drift down the entire shoreline of the loch controlling my speed the whole way. If I had been in a boat I would have drifted far too quickly however using my Hollis F-2 Techincal Diving Fins – Size X-Large I was able to control my drift and cast at all times. The fins put in a good performance as when you stopped kicking you would not only double your speed but would start turning as well.
A couple of times a wave would splash up on my back however at no point did I feel in any danger and the waves were fairly rocking. It was a highly efficient way to fish and casting with my 5 weight was easy even with the strong wind. After a while leg kicking became second nature just like when you are driving a car so you could concentrate on casting.
You can see that I am talking a lot about tubes, fins and tactics without talking about catching any fish right?
Well, that is because despite the highly efficient way of fishing and covering every inch of that godforsaken shoreline in a howling gale with a combination of flies I thought I was going to blank. However finally at the end of this mammoth drift I managed a wee trout. After some food within a few mins I was into another one which was a bit flukey as I was trying to get Alex’s fly out my tube while after I had just cast.
It transpired that Alex had the same experience as I did managing just a few trout. We decided that it was perhaps still too early for the loch and vowed to come back again. We packed up and then headed back down the track. It was a bloody awful walk however finally the cars were in front of us. My wife had been on the telephone complaining that I was late so just decided to stick the tube in the back of the car, this was when I realised a rod that Alex had let me borrow was missing. I had strapped it on to the side of the tube and at some point it must have slipped out on the walk back down. I made the decision to head back up to the loch, a potential hour walk with no guarantee of finding the rod. Just as I grabbed my phone a chap in a landrover stopped at the locked gate and I cadged a lift off him.
It was only when I was in the front seat did I realise that this was no ordinary forestry guy. He was a bit wild eyed with a couple of guns in the back and it turned out he was the estate manager checking on the deer which were going to be stalked in the morning. The whole journey I thanked him as quite frankly he was well within his rights to tell me to bugger off. Considering some of the hassle he has had off some folk I was not surprised. We chatted as I scanned the ground and he told me about his job and some of the chancers he met. I was firmly in the chancer category as I was not fishing with permission it turned out. I spotted the rod at the side of the road and we picked it up, he had saved well over an hour of walking. He said it was not a problem and was in fact quite pleasant as I was not one of “those cunts that try to stab him” [sic]
He took me for a tour while he did his rounds and he gave me a fascinating rundown of his job which is too lenghy to go into here but lets just say the outdoor life must be bleak at times. Also people that view themselves as enjoying the outdoors should pay a bit more attention especially to shutting gates. Wild campers need to be careful they do not look like a deer as they are in danger of being shot.
Got back home at half eleven to an angry wife and sister in law, dived into bed and was asleep quickly. Next day my back was killing me I think due to the amount of casting.
Looking forward to round 2!