Fishing in the Drizzle

My Mrs was working Saturday and with her getting up unusually early ( for a weekend) I guess I must have roused and at 8 in the morning was kind of feeling at a loose end. I looked out the window and it was very grey but dry  and I thought why not have a couple of hours on the river. Nothing more, just a wee jaunt see if it was fishable and wet a line in a few runs.

Short river session

While it was dry here, by the time I reached my chosen spot it was raining. It never really got going, you would never call it heavy, but everything was soaked by the time I got back to the car after a couple of hours on the bank. 

I fished a few runs, lost a few flies- what is it about the Carron that dictates it seems to have seemingly random bits of rag or cloth scattered around the river? Nearly every time I am out I seem to locate one or more of these hazards and it almost always results in a break off of some sort. I think I am a magnet for them…. and small fish! Speaking of which..

My first run I tried from both sides of the river, trying to get right in to some hard to reach spots. I am sure I had one wee knock and did lose my point fly in some cloth caught up on streamside flotsam, but had no other indications there was anything here. Well, I say that, I went to lob my flies into the run and there was a bit of a bigger splash than I expected. I pulled them in for a look at attached to the point fly was perhaps the smallest fish I have ever caught on a fly, EVER. The only way is up!
I fished a short line here pretty much Czech Nymph style. But the next section I greased up the butt section of my leader and using the Indicator wax as my sighter, let the line out a bit longer and watched the coloured section for takes while keeping line managed as best I could.

I think I can safely say that at this point I am unlikely to catch a smaller fish!

The next section- this part of the river is very much like continental drift on steroids…. every year the topography of the river has changed in some way, I kind of treat as two, the lower pool is very still but fish can sometimes be found hugging a deep depression under some bushes and right enough I had a couple of nice wee Brown Trout fishing through here. Then moving up into the second section a deep faster channel, I hit a small pocket of fish, mostly small but did get one decent Brown, ( not the one pictured being released in the video here) it was a bit bigger.

Further up again I managed to hook maybe 4 other fish, but for some reason never got any of them right in, they all managed to flick off the hook as I brought them near. In every case, it was a small black jig nymph with a red butt that seemed to catch the fishes eye.

I didn’t fish hard, I just enjoyed having it all to myself and the pleasure of catching a few nice wee trout, taking a few short videos ( which came out pretty good in the final edit) with my phone and just having fun.

Difficult Stockies

My son and I usually fish together once or twice a year, usually around fathers day. Number one son’s life though is pretty busy balancing two part time jobs,  searching for a Trainee Solicitor position now he has the academic qualifications boxed off, and maintaining a relationship with his girlfriend who lives a fair distance away.

As a result the first time our planets aligned was Sunday and I looked at a few places to fish but in the end James was quite keen to go to Swanswater and so Swannies it was. I knew it would be dead, as it was a Rangers Celtic match day and you can get most fisheries to yourself on one of the days for reasons that totally baffle me ( as a non football fan).

Short Stillwater Session

My inclination with my lad there was to fish the wee ponds as it removes the variable of finding fish but though there were only 3 cars there, most of the anglers seemed to be on the wee ponds and so we opted for the bigger main loch. 

I can’t use the excuse that finding fish was a challenge…we found them right away, loads of them in fact just cruising about 12″ down, on the first two platforms on the right side of the island casting into the main basin.

Catching them however, was a whole different ball game. Alastair had warned that the fishing had been challenging though there were plenty of fish, and he was spot on. I think I saw an angler in the boat catch two while we were there, and one other bank angler vouched for having had three early on then nothing. For our part, I had three good pulls on small lures, and rose a further two on dry flies as well as seen fish come up then refuse at the last second, but never had a fish on in the two hours. You are always up against it on a 2 hour stint I find, you either get lucky and strike gold from the off or its a lot of time spent changing flies and tactics trying to get success in 120 minutes. On this ocassion we failed to find success.

The biggest Perch I have seen at Swanswater….I guess I have become a bit of a Perch magnet this year too!

A surprise

But on the way back to the car, I pointed my son towards the wee footbridge over the burn. Sometimes the odd fish lurks below and I had him jig a small Cats Whiskers about 4 feet down. Right enough I could see a number of shadowy shapes emerge from the gloom to inspect the Cat. I thought they were maybe Perch or wild Browns, but they didn’t take. So I told my lad to try his Squirmy Wormy pattern as they can be Perch magnets and as I showed him how to do it, I hooked what is a fairly sizeable Perch for Swanswater, then he had a second slightly smaller on his own, which he was quite happy to catch at the end of a difficult two hours. It’s still fishing, and if it’s fun does it matter it’s not a trout?