A dreich Saturday morning greeted our arrival at Carron Valley. We were surprised by how quiet the car park was, given that the Scierra pairs competition was scheduled for the same day. Unfortunately for the fishery, the event was cancelled with only 48 hours’ notice. This meant that our three boats had Carron to ourselves, so there was no shortage of tempting water to explore. Despite the weather, we were all upbeat about the prospects, a bit of rain, so what, it felt like right good brown trout conditions.
There was a full array of tactics on show, but definitely a preference for a more traditional route, if there is such a thing nowadays. It felt a throwback to pre-rainbow fisheries, small wets, hoppers, daddies, buzzers, on floaters to Di-3. Our last outing there saw an incredible buzzer hatch, but the trout had not really turned on to the feast that day; Dougie was still upset with the conditions that day.
Our three boats disappeared to different corners of the reservoir, Dougie and Derek headed up towards Carron Bay. Allan and Stephen headed down the road shore beyond Gull Island. Peter and I headed across to the willows on the basis we would work the shoreline right down into the bays. The prevailing wind was cool but consistent. Peter, despite some very good advice, decided on a slow glass washing-line style approach with a small black booby on the point and a couple of size 12 buzzers. I went with the floater, fishing small hoppers, damp, and chopped and changed over the day with a few traditionals.
There was still plenty evidence of buzzer activity. The swallows and martins were working the open water, but there was little evidence of feeding fish at the start. Nevertheless, we were being regularly assaulted by numerous feisty small brown trout. There were plenty expletives (mostly from me) along the way, but all-in-all great fun fishing. Activity was defined by conditions; as the wind eased, buzzers emerged, and feeding fish were seen cruising in the open water, working the wind lanes. Anyone notice they are always just out of range?! Eventually, Peter saw sense, changed from his washing-line to traditionals, but still sticking to the slow glass. He reintroduced an old friend: none other than the blae & black, a great little buzzer imitation on its day. Soon after, he landed a good brown trout… then quickly the first rainbow of the day. Never say never…………………………note to self, they all still work, have faith!
We stopped along the way to fish onto random shorelines and, guess what, there were fish there as well. Many of these fish would not make the measure, but on a day like this who really cares, it was great craic.
Miraculously, we bumped into Allan and Stephen in Bins Bay. They had found some early rainbow success on the road shore, with daddies and Diawl Bachs working well. As we motored towards the top dam, we encountered pods of fish in the open water; lots of small fish but the odd bigger fella amongst them. I chucked out some dries for the last hour, a perfect way to the end the day.
We all caught plenty fish, a few rainbows (Dougie had 4 to a claret Klinkhamer) and lots of browns, the best by Allan at around 1 lb 8 oz. Derek managed a few Powan as well. A few degrees warmer and a gentle South Westerly would have been nice, but that would be greedy, wouldn’t it?
An aside on the subject of safety afloat, from the Editor…
A lot of waters these days supply life-jackets, some making wearing of life-jackets mandatory. Very few of these, if any, have leg/crotch straps fitted. I was chatting to a friend who was at a fair of some sort where the RNLI or some life-jacket expert was giving free life-jacket services. He took his along. It didn’t have leg/crotch straps fitted. The first thing they said to him was that without crotch straps it is next to useless. I Googled the subject just now and found this – along a similar vein…
After him telling me, I ordered a pair of crotch straps for my Crewsaver – they can be retro-fitted to most models. Now sorted!