Going Equipped

Jet lag is killing me. I thought when we returned from over the pond that trying to get on the right day/night schedule from the off, by staying up until bed time on our first day home and getting a good nights sleep ( which I did) would soon sort me out. I felt not bad on Saturday when going out to Menteith, but I cannot tell a lie, halfway through this week I am struggling. I feel tired all the time except bedtime.

By rights I really should be out fishing tonight, it isn’t a bad night but I really just can’t be bothered, I am really ready for bed even now, at half seven in the evening!

This isn’t the first time I have struggled with the time differences like this but I really thought it would be easier this time.

Last night I did feel much the same but I thought I would go take the camera out and try to get a nice shot at a location I had checked out about 3-4 weeks before we went west. I saw a view that I thought would be nice around sunset assuming the sun was in the right place. So with camera bag packed I headed out. The location though is a watery one and while I was not confident there were many fish there these days, I went equipped for a cast and strapped my travel rod to my camera bag, stuck a small box of flies and nylon in my pocket and a reel in a pouch on the bag….just in case. The location while I won’t name it, is un-permitted and I have in the past received written permission to fish here- though I admit it was a while ago!

A nice sunset

Sunset though not the photo I planned. A small fish rose obligingly as I took this if you look closely.

The sunset was pretty spectacular. I didn’t get the shot I had anticipated though/ it has to be said as it appears the loch has shed some water since my last visit and the angle I wanted was dominated by gravel. However I got a few shots I was happy with, and all the time keeping a weather eye out for signs that any fish might be lurking. I was not expecting monsters, maybe the odd small wild Brownie nothing more. As I finished up with the sunset shot, a fish moved in a narrow channel nearby. I had seen a few fish move as I took photo’s but I could clearly see these were very small fish, maybe very small trout but just as likely minnows or sticklebacks, grabbing small hatching insects as the sunset.

The one that rose nearby was altogether a bit bigger. I set the travel rod up and tied on a wet Wickams on top dropper and an Olive Quill Cormorant on point to split my options- just two flies and cast. If the fish had hung around in the narrow channel it wasn’t interested. Maybe I spooked it.  I returned to my gear, got it all neatly packed away and as the light started to fade walked back along the bank looking for any signs of fish. Nothing. I had a few casts and just then a fish rose barely a rod length out but slightly awkwardly upwind of me.

 

Wild Brown trout from the hills.

Wild Brown trout caught on a cormorant before release

Rather than waste an opportunity and make a hash of casting badly in the breeze I moved around the small bay and tried to cast from the far side with the wind now in my favour. Nothing though I caught a snag on one of the jaggy rocks and realised the Wickhams was gone.

 

Nothing else showed and it was getting darker and colder now and I was in two minds. Tiredness too was playing its part, I needed my bed. Oh heck, I opened the box and replaced the Wickhams bare dropper with a Green-Tailed Kate. Casting right out a long way but in the direction of the last fish I saw I found some focus and retrieved slowly, varying the speed now and again and would you believe it? there was a thump and I had a great fight with a reasonably sized wild as the day is long Brown Trout. It took the Cormorant though I think the Bushy fly likely drew it in. I could go home now and sleep like a top.