What with our secretary enjoying an extended holiday in Turkey, courtesy of the volcanic ash fiasco, and other associated complications, we were a couple of rods short on the day. Every weather forecast there was promised us a mild southerly wind instead of the usual cold easterly we always get for our Carron outing. Needless to say, we got the usual cold easterly. It is usually accompanied by bright sun and, after an early spell of unexpected cover, we were duly treated to the inevitable frazzling.
At least the breeze was light and, with the early cloud cover, evidence of hatching buzzers, and the odd rising trout to be seen, Jamie Tocher and I tackled up with dries. We worked our way along the south shore, testing the bays for a reaction to the dries. Jamie was rewarded early with a couple of brownies to a green Klinkhammer, but our feeling was that there should be more to be had and so we moved on.
With little doing in Burnhouse bay, we made the jump to Carron bay. The easterly was both turning into the bay to give a nice drift, and creating a bit of shelter along the east shoreline. It looked nice. We stopped in behind Ed Green and Hugh Thomson. It wasn’t long before we were seeing rising fish, and not much longer before we started catching. The rises were mostly oncers, but a cover put in the right spot was getting a reasonable response rate from them. The drift was not a long one, and we were out of the fish before we reached the top of the bay, so all we could do was repeat it.
We were thinking that with 2 boats going over and over a short distinct track they would not take much more of our attention. Both boats tried resting it by moving over to the west side of the bay, but it seemed devoid of life. A return to the east shore saw us back catching fish again, so we thought we may as well stay with them as long as they would have us! We had a couple of nice resident rainbows among the wild brownies, to 12 black Klinkhammer and 14 Adams hopper. They gave a superb account of themselves. Other fish came to a 14 black Shipman’s and a 12 half-hog.
By the middle of the day, the sun was taking control of the situation and the surface activity died back considerably. We picked up the other rods and had a go pulling with sinking lines, and that was good for 4 or 5 fish to a wee skinny black tadpole and longshank spiders. A lump of a rainbow came aboard at 4 lb 8 oz. We chapped that one. A spooning revealed it had been taking buzzers – some were still alive and the one in the top right of the photo hatched out on the spoon – you can see it starting to emerge.
We were still on the same drift, and as we ploughed away with the sinkers, a wee scrotty cloud came across the sun. As soon as the light dimmed there was a rise… and there another. Quick… get reeled in and pick up the other rod! Dries out on the water and sure enough, a fish hooked and landed in the 2 minutes of cloud cover. Back to the billion candle power stuff and the fish disappeared. Back on the pulling rods. Another wee cloud – and another couple of rises… back on the dries… this went on for the next hour or so.
Just in the last hour, the sun dropped a little, some hazy cloud built up, and we were finally able to settle on dries for the rest of the session. Ed and Hugh were still doing the drift with us right to the end. I don’t think I have ever seen a drift stay productive for 2 boats for such a long period.
Our other 3 boats stayed at the eastern end of the water. Ian and Gavin Macdonald were also on dries, and boated an impressive 23 fish between them to black and hare’s ear comparaduns, fishing the south shore bays.
The club’s 10 rods weighed in 10 fish for 22 lb and returned a further 72 fish of takeable size.
Also noteworthy was the capture of no less than 7 powan. None in our boat, though John Miller and John Levy landed 5 in theirs (all safely returned).
John Levy had his camera with him and he got a shot of the elusive beastie…