I made the mistake of going out for a couple of hours last night up to Pendreich ( Cocksburn Reservoir). I say mistake as it was bound to simply heighten my desperation and frustration levels as I have yet to hook AND land a fish there this season. On my first season there I caught something like 70 fish and blanked no more than a handful of times. It strikes me how one man’s feat is another’s famine. Some are claiming its fishing great, others not. This year has been dire for me. Made all the more dire by the stories of caught fish and serious “bag ups” by a few of the guys I am more familiar with up there. It has been a hell of a frustrating season for me there so far. What possessed me to head up last night I doubt I will ever know. I thought it might be quiet what with the World Cup on the telly,  my experience in the past is that big football matches make for quiet venues. Maybe not good for the fishery owners but great for me. I did consider going along to Swanswater with my son, we are planning a possible evening session soon and he could probably do with a bit practice before he fishes from a boat again, but his turned up nose made it clear he wasn’t interested really and would rather fight the third world war or kill mutant zombie Nazi’s on the PC. Ho hum.

I was shocked to get up there and see 4 cars parked, the boat was out ( bugger, I sort of hoped I might get out in it for once) and quite a few anglers were about. After a brief chat with another member I went and tackled up and tied on a single small Klinkhammer. I had only seen the odd fish rise while looking over the dam wall but they couldn’t be far down in this weather surely?

As I prepared for my first cast an angler came by me and I asked him if he had been there long? Evidently he had, he had been out in the boat and had caught, I think he said 7, on dry-fly, a small, size 18 Klinkhammer. But he said they were all blind casts, he said few fish were showing and he had got them all out in the middle. He had been fishing the bank in the time I was there and never replicated the success from here. Maybe it was going to be tough.

I fished from the  middle of the dam wall along the north side and barely seen a fish move near the bank. I tried a number of fly changes but it didn’t change anything. Where I did see a fish move and was able to cover it, maybe twice, it never came a second time and I got no interest. It soon got very still and mirror flat calm. Then the Caenis appeared, I decided to watch them moult from Dun to Spinner on my jacket quite a transformation, before the Swans caught my eye as they “stepped out” with their new brood of cygnets. Hopefully this years batch will survive.

I fished down the bank in a somewhat half-hearted fashion as nothing was happening before returning to the dam wall for a few final casts. It was here I spotted the repeated rise of a fish very close into the South end of the dam wall. I decided to go for broke, changed my fly to a Sedge and wander down. I had not seen any sedges tonight but had tried  everything down to tiny so figured large had to be worth a go. With the LTD sedge tied on I cast to cover the fish I could see was rising no more than 2 feet from the wall. Casting with my right hand was always going to be awkward like this but I took my time and landed the fly about a foot out from the fly, with the line draped over the top of a weed that had sprouted from the bricks in the wall. The fish didn’t show any sign of interest, I then twitched the fl and there was a sudden change in direction from the fish, it turned for the fly, it wanted to chase it another twitch and there was a distinct bulge as water was displaced above the fish, I was rapidly running out of room to move the fly as it was so close in to the wall, I ended up with the fly snagged on the edge of a wall, brick and the fish turned away. The fish didn’t respond to further presentation of the sedge so I decided to cast well out and try for some of the fish rising in deeper water.

Out of the blue there was a swirl at my fly and I have to be frank and say I was a bit slow to respond, I wouldn’t like to say I missed it though as I never detected the fish actually touching the fly. Then I covered yet another and this time I seen it come, I lifted as the water swirled with the fish and nothing! Again no contact that I could discern.

Enough! I was going home!