Old, New, Damsel and Blue

So for the third outing of the season, but the second I have attended, I went to a new venue to me, Glencorse in the Pentland Hills, with Stirling Castle AC.

I initially thought I had been here as a teenager with my Dad but then realised it was Gladhouse we had fished all those years ago.

There were nine of us sharing five boats and as I tend to be the weak link in fishing for longer periods I opted to go solo.

It was surprisingly cold and windy as we got ready on the shore, having come from a fairly still and sunny Stirling. A few of my club mates commented they felt maybe they had come underdressed for the day.

Wild Brown Trout at Glencorse Reservoir

The wild Browns weren’t big but this one from later on in the day on KateMcLaren was a stunning colour.

Allan McLachlan playing a fish ahead of me

Bob Church Classic Champ 2017 Allan McLachlan playing a fish ahead of me

Out on the water I had already set up with a washing line set up of a dry on point and two droppers with a brown and a black buzzer on. Along the shoreline following the roadway lined with trees I had three wee wild Brown Trout in quick succession each took the brown buzzer which made me think it must look like something in the water which was a hopeful sign. But I wasn’t finding any Rainbows so decided to move. It was proving pretty hard to keep the boat drifting along a set path as the wind was very blustery and changeable. I put my boat in behind Bob Church Champion, Allan McLaughlan’s boat and drifted along the northwestern dam edge. I never had any sign of fish but seen Allan’s boat picked up a few towards the end of their drift. As they motored by I asked what was working for them… “Black and green” was the answer. I took the dry off the point and replaced it with a black spider wet, with a green tag tail.

About three casts in and the line tightened and I netted my first (smallish) Rainbow, a fish of no more than a pound and a half tops. For the next drift, I moved the spider to a dropper and put a Black and Chartreuse cat bug on the point. One the same drift down I hooked into what felt like a hefty fish though I never saw it as it stayed deep. Unfortunately, it came off but I had a few scales from its face for my efforts on the cat bug hook!

The wind seemed to change for a bit and at the bottom of the drift I was taken down the shore I fished initially. I had been forewarned that a killer fly/method here was to fish an Orange Wotsit ( or Mop fly) under a bung. It wasn’t something I had ever tried and frankly didn’t fancy it but in the lull, I thought, give it a go with a few I tied up specifically.  Well, you never know when desperation might set in!

Wotsit, or Mop flies

From cleaning mop to fishing “flies” beaded wotsits

The set up I have to say was horrible to cast, I had tied my Wostit with a large Brass bead as I had a few kicking round my beads box without a real purpose. About three casts in and I thought I saw the indicator slowly vanish, was it the bottom or a fish…. it was a fish, a 2lb Rainbow. I nearly had it to the net with its head up and the Wotsit clearly visible in its scissors when it made a lunge for freedom. I held it, after all, it was 8lb fluorocarbon tippet when the knot slipped and the fish was gone, with my hook still in its scissors- at least it was barbless it will throw it easy. That will teach me not to tuck my knots on these slightly larger eyed Blob Hooks.

Wotsit success

Bent in to a decent fish after the wotsit claimed another victim

A really stiff wind then got up and a big wave and I wasn’t for heading into it to start a new drift, so I opted to run for the shelter of a bay opposite. In here I tied on another of these infernal Orange things and tried again. I did not need to wait long before my rod was hooped over. A lengthy fight ensued and I eventually brought a long blue looking trout to the net. I am not sure if it was a  proper Blue or maybe some sort of Blue/Rainbow hybrid but it looked almost salmon like with a proper wrist at its tail. I don’t think it was as heavy as its length possibly inferred but certainly over three pounds and maybe touching four. However, it was deep hooked. Fortunately, while the hook was right down the fishes throat it was neatly hooked in the roof of the throat but not in the gills. I was able to get the barbless wide-gape hook out fairly easily, and there was no blood or damage to be seen. I rested the fish and it swam off strongly. This though finished my time with the Wotsit, yes it works but I can’t say I enjoyed fishing it and deep hooking isn’t something I want to be doing when fishing C&R. If you are any sort of purist it’s probably not “fly-fishing”.

Big blue/Rainbow trout

Almost Salmon looking, long Blue/Hybrid Rainbow- best fish of the day for me

I swapped to a Di3 and fished an Orange Blob and a Biscuit Booby and had a couple of good pulls but nothing to show for it, so decided it was time to head back up the loch as the wind had abated a bit again. One of the club anglers intimated that there seemed to be odd fish rising and a dry might be worth a go, so I was happy to try that out as I hate pulling flies deep. Nothing looked at my flies and I never saw anything rise until I got near the bottom of the drift again when just as I cast a fish rose maybe 25-30 yards away.  I was some distance short so was spooling off some more line to cover the riser when you know what happened next, a fish rose to my already presented dry, but I was way too slow on the lift and missed it by an eternity!

When I covered the riser it never came for it.

The Damsel was a popular flie with the Rainbows

All the rainbows love a Damsel

Now into the afternoon, I decided to explore the one area I was yet to see, right at the very top of the loch, so I motored way up there. This proved to be transformational and with a cast of Gold beaded damsel on the point, the green and black wet fly on middle and a Kate McLaren on top dropper I had another three browns and four rainbows over the rest of the afternoon fishing through wind, rain, sunshine and sometimes all three at once!

In a rain storm at Glencorse

Rain wind and sometimes bright sunshine, very blustery changeable conditions

A few flies were coming off towards the end of the session but I never saw anything significant rise for them, despite there being some proper Mayflies with three tails and everything, and sedges. The Browns were keen on the Kate so I assume they were looking for the sedges, but all the Rainbows took the Damsel, maybe unsurprisingly. Good fun though and a successful outing, six Rainbows and six Browns and to top it all I lasted the whole session!