Weather Apps are Rubbish

Sunday – App: Wet All Day

I was not totally motivated to head out fishing today ( Sunday)  but after washing the car  while it remained dry and doing a bit tidying up round the garden with the Mrs I started to get the itch that I should be fishing. It was an itch I had to scratch. The wind had got up though and I wasn’t confident it would be fishable up the hill at Bridge of Allan, I took a few flies, a rod and reel, and parked up on the Pendreich Road and walked up to the loch…. Well the car was clean and I wasn’t mankying it up again! I had not really intended to fish Sunday, after all the weather app on my phone suggested Sunday was to be a rotten day. However having got the chores I mentioned above done, it was clear it was not that bad.

Up at the loch there was a near perfect ripple flowing ahead of the South westerly breeze. The boat was free so opting to use that I grabbed the oars and pushed out into the loch. My starting set up was a team of three wets. A few fish were showing along the north side and out in the middle. But none showed any inclination to take any oif my starting wets or the three further flies I changed to after this.

Next, I put on a gold beaded hares ear, a red ribbed Diawl Bach and a wee home made midge pattern. About second cast out into where a few fish had been showing, I felt the gentlest of takes and I realised I had a fish on. However, not for long, I saw it roll and it came off. I really wasn’t sure what fly had been the attraction though, I am inclined to say the midge but you know how water compresses your perspective, a long leader can look quite short when laid out on the water’s surface ahead of you.

Swirl of a fish being played

The Brown puts up a good scrap

After 10 more minutes I got another offer. A really, really hard pull but it never took. After this it kind of went quiet though a few fish were still showing occasionally. Try a dry fly? I wasn’t sure it would be easy to target fish as they rarely showed twice in the same place but what the hell, give it a go. Whatever they were taking wasn’t obvious, my first try was on a CDC emerger but with no interest in that, I had seen a few daddy’s about and while it’s not my favourite fly I felt something big and leggy might being them up. Nope. Not a sniff. Time to move the boat. The area I moved to felt like there was nothing there. I did see one fish move on my left while I prospected here, but nothing else.

Brown on a Butcher

A Brown of about a pound, on a Butcher. Quite pleased to have got a result at all.

I had set the alarm on my phone to remind me when it was nearing 6pm as I needed to head home. A quick check revealed I had less than 15 minutes left. Time to try the trad wets again. I have been doing this on all my Brown Trout loch outings and it has brought me reasonably good fortune. Certainly, something has happened as a result, even if they have not taken the winged wet fly I chose. Today I opted for two. I had a Grouse and Claret on a dropper with a Butcher on the point. I moved back to the location I started in as I knew there were fish there though they hadn’t showed themselves for a while I was sure. Casting out towards the weed bed that skirts the area, on I think my second or third cast, I had the much-awaited take and a nice Brownie was the result, just literally as the alarm went off on my phone. After a great wee scrap, it was netted safely, unhooked from the Butcher and released after a quick photo. So another blank averted! No rain, in fact it looked quite promising as I left though it did get quite dark around 7 at home I never seen a drop of precipitation.

Monday- App: Rain all afternoon

Monday, the English Summer Bank Holiday was forecast ( said my app) to be a grim affair weather wise, it was to be dry, grey and windy in the morning and a dreich afternoon. I was awake early for some reason, why is it you can be up bright and early on a non-work day but during the week it’s a struggle? I hadn’t set any plans for fishing but then looking at the clock, the forecast and having nothing in particular to do- my wife wasn’t getting the Bank Holiday, I thought maybe a couple of hours on the river might be in order before this rain came on. It was windy but I thought the direction would not hamper things too much.

I headed down to Dunipace and got tackled up with the 3# nymphing rod. The river was quite coloured though nothing too bad, and was higher than I had seen it for a while. I had a small but heavy double beaded nymph on the point and a Scruffy on the dropper with a small Olive spider on top dropper. As I was getting geared up behind my car a chap I have seen down there before walking his dog, stopped to talk about fishing with me. The distraction meant that I locked the car and made my way down to the riverside, leaving both my phone and camera in the boot. So you will just have to take my word for it that after about 4 or 5 casts in the first run, I hooked into a very beautiful Brown Trout of around a pound or so, almost silvery looking though I think probably a tad too small to be a Sea Trout, likely a wild river fish. I don’t bother with these distinctions anyway, Brown Trout and Sea Trout both being one and the same Salmo trutta. It had taken the wee Scruffy just off the edge of the faster water.

Getting wet on the Carron

You will have to take my word for it I caught one really nice Brown. It was though tipping down as you can see here.

Nothing else came from here and though I tried a short run on a corner where I have picked up fish a few times before nothing else seemed interested, Making my way here I stopped back at the car and retrieved my pocket camera and phone. It was about then the rain started. A fine dense drizzle. I had another section in mind and I thought if the rain was going to be on for the day as my App had stated, I really ought to get there before it got too wet. It was full on chucking down by the time I reached the gravel bar that fringes the area I had targetted. However, my spirits sank a bit when I realised there was someone there before me. Initially I thought another angler, but actually, it was a dog walker, and he had his dogs in the run I wanted to fish. What can you do? He seemed friendly enough but I was informed I was to watch out for his dogs while I was fishing!

I made my way upstream to fish water which had the potential for a fish but was heavily over grown with trees so it was a bit of a snag fest getting caught in the branches. You also feel Autumn is nearly upon us as there were more than a few leaves and branches in the river. Not enough to become tiresome but you were pulling them out every now and again. I had no offers initially so I opted to change the point fly for a slightly heavier Rainbow Warrior. Almost right away I connected with a fish, another very subtle take directly opposite me but I just knew the hook-set wasn’t good and it flicked off. I had another offer, just a pull making my way upstream, then a hard take but this time the fish made a really hard run straight upstream of me, which I always find is hard to control and it never stayed on either. The rain was torrential by now, and while I was dry enough in my Simms G4 Goretex Pro jacket ( I have never got wet wearing this it’s very waterproof and I would recommend it) the water was quite obviously getting more coloured up and you could no longer see the bottom in more than  foot of water. I decided to fish this section out and exit on the other side and make my way home as the app said the rain was on for the day. I contacted one more fish, a smaller Brown Trout which though no more than an open hands width in length was very fat and surprisingly heavy, clearly packing on the weight now for winter. It took the Warrior on point.

I called it a day, got out of my soaking gear and headed home, it was a blustery windy and wet drive home. By the time I reached Stirling the rain had stopped and after a detour for a quick bite to eat the sun was shining and it was quite a pleasant day again by the time I got home. It remained dry for the rest of the afternoon. Lucky I had some catching up to do with Game of Thrones.

Don’t trust weather apps.