Despite the pleasant start to the day there was still snow visible on the hills and obvious signs of recent flooding. Lots of run-off from the Pentland hills and the feeder burns were still in full spate, leaving the water still coloured along the margins. Being that bit higher-up, you’re never quite sure what the weather has in store, so made sure to pack the drogue, just in case.
Hardly surprising to hear that fishing had been quite tough. The club had 6 boats for the day and I was fishing with Stephen Kilpatrick. We headed up to the shallower end, where conditions were good (if anything a bit bright) and, unusually, not much wind. I had set-up with Di-5 sweep with a couple of lures and skinny cormorants, Stephen went with a sink-tip and more traditional patterns. A few boats followed into the same area, with Derek Kilgour and Matt Wolstenholme, as well as Stewart Barnes and Tommy Steven setting-up to drift close-by.
We saw Derek hook into and land a couple of fish in quick succession and then Tommy hook and land another. Derek was on a midge-tip with the squiggly-worms and black nomad that seem to be very productive on Glencorse. We were happy to continue drifting along the narrows by the roadside shore. Stephen then hooked and dropped a good fish that had a go at his pink blob on the top dropper. I then hooked and lost another fish. There was still a fair amount of splashing and rods bending behind us, but we carried on drifting… but with no success.
By this time a few small buzzers had started to emerge. We chopped and changed tactics while the weather gods were being considerate, but we were struggling to find a method. By this time, we caught sight of Trevor and Gary, who were picking up fish regularly, close to the burn inlet. Bob was also fishing by the wall and he was also picking up fish. It was becoming clear that our tactics were just not working. I mucked-about with the cast, shortening the length between droppers (which sometimes works in coloured water), and working through the fly box.
We then headed into the boat bay, drifted along the dam and then through the middle – but still nothing. We could see lots of fish being caught – with pods of fish being very localised – mostly far away from our boat! We eventually ended up with four fish to the boat, all falling to skinny cormorants. However, there is an old adage about fishing in Scotland in the spring, in with the lures and out with the nymphs. This was certainly true for Glencorse, and good bags were recorded: notably by Derek Kilgour, who had an impressive 16 fish, and Gary Heseletine, who landed 10 to a variety of lures. It was the big stuff that worked best on the day.
Overall, the club recorded an impressive 52 fish across 11 rods. One notable feature was the quality of fish. They were all in very good condition.