Like Buses, When They Come They Come in Three’s


With such a seemingly pleasant day I could not resist my first evening session up the loch at Bridge of Allan, for the year. It is surprising to think that the longest day is only about 6 weeks away and the nights have fair drawn out now.

Before I left though it was clear a wee bit of a breeze had got up, but I was optimistic this would drop as sunset wore on, it usually does. Up at the loch, it was a little bit more than a breeze, with quite a stiff wind blowing from the colder East end of the loch, but I had my waders and was quite keen to give the east end a fish anyway as fish can often be found close in mooching around the margins. I set up with a three fly cast of Kate McLaren, Pennel and a Pheasant tail nymph on point and making my way along the north bank a fish splashed and I could not walk by, without giving it a cast. However, nothing indicated any interest despite dropping my flies right in the middle of the receding rings.

First Brown Trout

First fish was a beautifully marked Brown in cracking condition I would speculate an over wintered fish

Starting with a following wind

I decided to move on to where I planned to fish and tried this same team of flies but again had nothing indicating any interest so changed the top fly for one of the busy Wickham’s I had tied recently, and also changed the point to a Bobs Bits. The bank had loads of midges hovering about in the reeds and the odd fish seemed to be rising to something, I assumed these midges. On one retrieve a fish splashed at either the Wickhams or the Pennel, and I lifted fully expecting to hook into the fish but I was surprised to feel no resistance whatsoever. Evidently, the fish had not actually taken the fly.

The wind dropped a little and I thought things were set fair for a pleasant dusk, as the sun started to set above the Trossachs. But then the wind rose again and it got colder and colder. Despite throwing various dries and wets and a couple of buzzers at the odd fish showing here, I had no interest and I  noticed, with the cold wind, activity noticeably ebbed. By now I had also changed to a single fly cast on a long tapered leader to see if the fish were disturbed by my three fly set up.

Second Brown of the night

Number two going back

Change of location change of luck

I decided a move was in order and headed back finding a corner where the wind wasn’t too big an impediment. I also decided after a few casts that it was time to change things around- again! I had stupidly came out with my finest tippet being 6lb fluorocarbon. I usually fish 4lb sometimes less up the loch so made up a three fly leader of about 18 feet using the 6lb and put a beaded GRHE on the point, Diawl Bach on the middle dropper and a conventional Cruncher on the top dropper and cast out into the cold wind. I was varying the retrieve when I felt a solid thump and I was delighted to net a very nice Brown probably around a pound or so. A very attractively marked fish I suspect one of the over wintered residents looking at the fins on it.

Big tailed Brown

Third Brown, slightly scraggy pectoral fins makes me think stockie, but look at that tail- immense!

After release, I cast again and recalling how I retrieved tried the same thing and bang, into a second fish, this time on the DB. A slightly smaller fish, again it went back and I cast out again. I was almost disappointed not to get a fish on my third cast, but not to worry I cast again, trying my erratic retrieve when bang, number three again on the GRHE.

I nearly had a fourth to the Cruncher, when a fish came to it but did not quite fully connect. By now I have, to be honest, and say I was freezing but content with three fish when for a while I thought I was going to blank AGAIN. But no, a successful couple of hours and a stunning night to be out despite the cold.