You Don’t Need to be Mental….. but it Helps

Yesterday was proper cold. And it came on quick at least where I was. A wee bit background first,  I was at the hospital last week for the aches and pains and the Dr decided to give me a steroid shot. They don’t seem to work on me much nowadays so my expectations were low but no, on Saturday morning I felt the closest to a normal person as I have in a very long time.

As a result I spent the day, indeed the weekend, totally overdoing it.

I was gutted however to miss a stunning sunrise over the Trossachs on Saturday morning when the mountains were literally scarlet for about 15 minutes, I saw it from the back doorstep but by the time I got my camera gear together and out somewhere that I could see it all, the colour was gone. Not to worry this cold snap isn’t going anywhere soon so I thought maybe getting out around 8 on Sunday morning we might get a replay.

Sunrise at the Wallace Monument

Not the spectacular sunrise of Saturday but this was a nice view of the Wallace Monument.

So I was up a local forest track before sunrise on Sunday morning and well, while it was nice enough, it wasn’t the same as Saturday and was a bit of a damp frosty squib. However when I went out on Sunday morning it was frosty and cold, but it didn’t seem that extreme. I never paid a lot of attention to the temperature gauge on my car as I left though I recall seeing -4 on the drive. Wrapped up against the cold and with a hot flask with me, I was fine until just around sunrise when the temperature felt like it plummeted. All my camera gear suddenly donned a layer of frost, in a matter of moments and it went right through you. It was -8 when I returned to the car.

I hung around the house until lunchtime though it was a beautiful sunny day outside and then remembered I needed to nip round to Swanswater to put my name down for their annual “Day after Boxing Day” charity fishing “competition” so thought I would go round and do that and if it looked possible, have no more than 2 hours of fishing, if there wasn’t too much ice. Having got there and paid the deposit there were a couple of anglers about fishing through a few open areas of the Meadow Pond and there were a couple on the main loch fishing through a few areas kept clear by the aerators. I spoke to one of the lads fishing the Meadow Pond and he said it was slow going, he had had a couple of knocks under his bung and his mate across the other side had one fish. What the hell might as well give it a go I thought so I tackled up for a two -hour stint on the wee ponds. There was no one at the Mill Pond and to be honest it was mostly frozen over but the inflow and sunshine had cleared an area that was worth a fish over. I had a Slow Intermediate on and a hothead Cat on the point with a Green tagged black spider and a red flexi-floss buzzer on the droppers. After about three casts I had a fish follow the black spider almost clear of the water but it didn’t take. and down the side a wee bit, casting right over the ice I had another splash to my flies but still no fish. I then decided to head to the Meadow Pond where it was a bit quieter now and try there.

There was less ice and despite a few changes and the odd tentative pull a couple of times, fish-action was hard to come by. With about 20 mins to go and a few fish showing on top I thought it might be a laugh ( mad even) to put on a dry fly. I wasn’t totally bonkers though, I used a big Lifejacket Sedge as an indicator with a  couple of small buzzers beneath. Almost right away I had an offer to the dry, certainly, a fish looked at it, but did not take. And with final minutes to go and the light fading I watched a fish rise and just stop short of grabbing the dry again, how it never took I simply do not know, as I clearly saw its mouth open as it approached.

C’est la vie, a blank it was to be, and after two hours in very cold conditions -6 as Ieft,  it was enough for me and I called it a day.