The Grayling Slayer

Pushed out the Door

Sunday and I was practically pushed out the door to go fishing by the Mrs. To be honest it was either fishing or back to bed as I was frankly shattered for reasons too convoluted and irrelevant to the story to relate to you here. The sun was shining, it was a fine looking day and I opted for getting out.

  • Last minute

    I left the house, it was the back of lunchtime and pretty fresh feeling ( the weather, not me by the way!), telling my wife I thought I would head to Burnhouse. Honestly had time and other complications not been in play I would have been back to the Clyde for the Grayling, but it wasn’t an option in the circumstances (again too convoluted a tale to be bothered with here). I run into two sets of roadworks leaving Stirling and then my Sat Nav indicated delays on the M80. Could I really be bothered sitting in more slow traffic? It gets dark earlier now. At the last moment, I turned off to Swanswater. For a wee change, I took a boat and headed out on the loch. I was told that after apparently a red hot day in the high winds yesterday, things had cooled somewhat both literally and metaphorically. The water temp had dropped noticeably overnight and the fishing had slowed. Hmm.

    Getting Afloat

    As I headed out I asked one of the Swanswater regulars how it was fishing. Slow he said. He had had three in the morning but nothing for ages. Everyone seemed to be fishing either intermediate lines or under bungs.

    Boat on Swanswater

    Boat fishing at Swanswater

    Once out I started on a floater ( to be contrary, well, you have to try) with a heavy-ish hot head Cat on point. To cut to the chase I went through probably 2 dozen flies, floating and intermediate lines, and never had so much as a touch or offer until I finally relented and put on a bung. I had for a while tried a dry fly with buzzers beneath and even though fish would take tiny wee midges off the top, none looked at the dries or buzzers I offered. After nearly 3 hours I was getting desperate. It would be inaccurate to say no one was catching but it was only the odd fish here and there were being netted and nearly all under bungs that I could see.

    Eventually, with a competition legal bung on (i.e. one with a hook in) a fish showed interest…. In the bung but though it rose to it, it never took it!

    Time for a Move

    I then decided it was time to move the boat and the other angler in a boat ( I think his name is Frank- he is there in a boat every time I am up at Swanswater) seemed keen to maybe be where I was so I untied the boat to row up the loch. My line at this point was still in the water and I noticed the line seemed to go tight. I picked up the rod and would you believe it a fish was on.

    I played the fish but it felt odd and as all but the point fly cleared the water I knew it was on the point but then it pulled out! What I don’t know, but if I was a betting man I would say, it was a foul hooked fish as I had a chunk of scales on my point hook. This really wasn’t being my day though.

  • Fateful Decision Making: The Grayling Slayer

    I had gotten through a ludicrous number of flies by now. However, there in my patch were three flies from my Grayling outing on Friday. One of them was my tying of Bill Eadie’s Grayling Slayer.

    Golden Trout

    My sole fish for 4 hours of effort on a Grayling Slayer!Excuse the shaky image I was shivering a bit with the cold when  took it!

    It had not taken any fish on the Clyde when I gave it a swim on Friday but I decided to give it a try here. I have in the past caught Rainbows and Tigers on heavy nymphs tied for grayling and as long as it is on a sturdy enough hook I see no harm in trying them. I think we get too fixated on what is a Grayling pattern or a Brown Trout pattern of a fly for the Rainbows. Bottom line is, they are all fish, they are all opportunistic and will take practically anything just maybe not all on the same day! The second cast in near the margins and I had a thump and yes, finally a fish on. A 2lb Golden Trout…. on the Grayling Slayer. So now it’s a Goldie Slayer as well!

    I persevered for the last 20 minutes but it got very cold so frankly I was glad to call it a day and a blank (only just) averted!