New Line

My son gave me a voucher for Angling Active for my birthday. I had a few ideas what to get with it, then I remembered that nearly everytime I have been out on any stockie bashing outings, I have been increasingly annoyed with the slow intermediate line I have, one of those clear “SLIME” lines. I had one when I started back at the fly fishing originally and it was very good, so when it became a bit tatty and wore out I simply got a straight replacement. However the replacement has an annoying habit of clinging stubbornly to the surface, especially in very still conditions. A ripple or wave on the surface soon puts it under but if you want to fish an unweighted fly sub surface at a steady depth in still conditions it can be very hard to get the sink underway. Weighted flies are slightly less of an issue but then you can fish weighted flies off a floater in the same manner, to maintain that slow steady search of depths subsurface you need the intermediates level sink, with minimal weight on the fly to influence things and mines wasn’t cutting it. I therefore, decided to use the wee voucher to go towards a new line and I plumped for an Airflo fast intermediate “Lake” profile Six sense line. The Six Sense lines are low stretch so should aid hook up especially at range.

casting in the winter sun

A gorgeous winters day to be out, what I love at this time of year

Going to the tackle shop filled the time I had waiting on my son arriving at Stirling Station ( a wee task I was allocated by the boss- the Mrs, and which meant any trips further afield on Friday were going to be out the question).  The idea of maybe heading down the Clyde somewhere like Carstairs had gone through my mind and river levels had definitely improved looking at the river app, but when I saw the colour of the Forth, coming down past Angling Active I decided river fishing might still be a bit chancy and I should go try out the new line. So Burnhouse was the plan once my lad was dropped off at home.

It had been a very cold start to the day, something I had not really anticipated overnight, so getting out around lunchtime in bright still conditions seemed a better idea and the temperature gauge lifted from a chilly -3 around 9am to +4 by lunchtime. As I neared Allandale, and crossed the Union Canal I could see it was still frozen over, and I was starting to think maybe Burnhouse might be an ice rink. But a peek over the dam end soon allayed my fears, there was a large expanse of fishable water, and not a soul here except fellow SCAC member Tucker, who was manning the lodge as regular fishery keeper Gary was away prepping a shoot for Saturday. After a blether I was away tackling up eager to try the new line. It was a good match for my New Era rod thankfully and I cast out great, and yes it sinks steadily with no surface cling.

A rainbow fro Burnhouse

The first Rainbow of the day, fit and strong

With a small Cats Whiskers on the point nothing seemed interested on all sorts of retrieves, though just as I was about to move I did feel one tentative pluck at my fly but it wasn’t enough to induce me to stay here, move on. On the next platform still nothing and after another 20 mins I moved on. This time I changed flies, off with white onto black and I tied on the black nomad from my outing at Swanswater on Wednesday as it was still on my fly patch. First cast, a slow retrieve, finger over finger and I had an easy hookup with a nice two pound but very powerful Rainbow that stayed deep the entire fight. I thought I was into something much bigger such was it’s strength so was quite surprised when I got its head up.

No more takes were forthcoming here so another move. Another angler had turned up by now and fishing under a bung. Should I be under a bung? It’s a method I will try but I do my best to avoid until absolutely necessary though there is no doubt to its effectiveness. I had though decided to change to a floater and was finishing the change to this and a three fly cast, a wee beaded nymph on point, a buzzer on top dropper and in the middle that great wee Burnhouse special, the Gary McLurg Wet fly. I greased up the tip of the line to make sure it wasn’t dragged under by the beaded fly and I cast out. Almost right away a good solid take and after a wee scrap, a three pound Rainbow was in the net, having taken the wet fly. Gary had turned up and was helping the other angler ( it turned out to be Stan Moore, one of my river fishing chums on fB and former Total Flyfishing contributor) get a 7lb rainbow in the net. As he looked up my way I shouted on Gary asking if he could guess what fly had worked for me….. his wee special wet.

THe line shoots out

Casting a line- the line shoots past the camera at Burnhouse.

Once the fish was returned I cast out again same place same method, and yes another fish on the same fly!

After a few more plucks, it quietened right off and I continued to fish round the loch changing flies and methods, eventually returning to the intermediate again as the sun set and the temperature dropped right off. The new line has I think become my second favourite line but I couldn’t buy a take. I think Stan had trouble getting a hook up too, like me getting a few pulls and plucks but nothing solid. So another day it was nice to be out and a few fish and a good way to round off a few days off work.