A very good day out on Saturday watching Scotland clinch their third Murrayfield victory of the 6 Nations. So the omens were good ahead of the Club’s traditional first outing of the season at Linlithgow Loch. You can never be entirely sure what March can throw at you, but this winter has been unnaturally mild: did not even manage to get snowed-in once in Gifford – a damn shame! Hopefully, the resident fish will have prospered and the population complemented with the usual stocking of good quality fish, as is normal at Linlithgow. Reports were, the fishing had been good earlier in the week (aren’t they always) but the water clarity had deteriorated due to the combination of wind and heavy rain.
The weather was typical, with ominous metal grey skies and a brisk wind. It was a relatively quiet opening outing for the club, with only 4 boats braving the elements. Most of the debate in the car park was whether to go fast glass or Di-3, but there was a variety of typical early season lures on display – white/black cats, tadpoles, cormorants, pink wiggly things and blobs. Needless to say, Derek Kilgour unleashed his Ace of Spades – a favourite on his cast for early season work.
A few hardy boats headed down the east end of the Loch to target the resident trout. However, the majority of the boats anchored somewhere in the main basin, with most trying to find some shelter at the West end, around Sam’s Dyke and Loch Burn.
I set out with Dave Tyrie, and we followed the herd, but we found a spot in Gasworks bay and the game was afoot. Trevor and Gary were close-by, while Derek and Stewart were drifting across the shallower water. Bob set out his stall on the North Bank, where a few bank anglers were positioned.
I picked up the first fish relatively quickly, on a blob on the top dropper, and then managed to miss another three. Dave started on the fast glass, but quickly switched to Di-3, which soon started to attract attention. We saw Gary land a couple of fish close-by, and Derek started strongly, fishing with the Ace of Spades. Thereafter, the fishing slowed, as the temperature dipped and the wind picked-up. As is typical with Linlithgow, there were odd boats who were consistently picking-up fish, but for the rest it was a bit of a struggle. There were moments of activity, interspersed with long quiet periods. Plenty of time to chop and change tactics to keep warm. Whatever made me pick out a chartreuse dabbler designed for Sheelin for the middle-dropper, I have no idea – I went looking for a buzzer – but that’s your luck! However ridiculous, it proved a moment of inspiration as three fish seemed to like the something about it. Better tie a few more! Dave switched to black/green pea and had similar results.
All-in-all it was good to get back out for a day’s fishing.
The club’s 7 rods landed 38 fish.