A good place for an outing at this exact time, as many waters are suffering from the heatwave and fish have sought refuge in cooler deep water. Those that have hit 21 C have tended to be affected, but Frandy was still at 19 C, so fingers-crossed. Reports were that the fish were being caught between mid-way and the north shore on beetle patterns, so dry fly seemed as good a bet as anything. Conditions for the day looked decent – a good amount of cloud cover, with a SW breeze, which got up quite fresh at times, but thankfully was less prone to changing direction than it usually is at Frandy.
Jimmy Anderson and I started out in the middle, drifting on a SW breeze. I set up to drift towards the valve tower and got it so accurate we hit the tower! I had only had 3 or 4 casts when a fish took my black hopper. It turned out to be as big a wild brownie as I think I have had off Frandy – would have been nudging the pound mark. I had not long restarted when a rainbow took the black foam beetle on the tail. Next drift, and another fish took the beetle. I was a bit late in spotting it – what with focusing on the sighter on the bob -and I reacted by lifting quickly to try and hook it before it spat the fly out… only to discover it had bolted for the depths on realising it had made a mistake… My sharp lift met its bolt. Ping! Tackle-up again….
Jimmy had started on a washing line on a tip, but that only had a couple of knocks. With my good start to dries, Jimmy changed over. By the time we got back in action the area seemed to have gone dead. We tried starting further up, towards the first nook/burn on the north shore. That worked us back down to the dam end, without a sniff. So, we started to work our way up the water and round the dogleg, doing drifts as we went. We continued to do nothing as we went, so we eventually ended up at the top end. There was only a single angler boat up there, but John and Darrel had the same idea as us at the same time and so we had to squeeze 3 boats in to the narrow leg. Not long after, Dougie and Matt joined us. We took what was free, which was the south shore. The breeze was fairly straight down the leg for a change, though the stern-first crab on the boat still meant we were crossing the leg and having to zig-zag our way. You really miss having an electric motor on Frandy.
As we started the drift there was a good wee group of fish rose around us. We were seeing the odd small metallic green beetle, which had been mentioned in dispatches, and a nice big size 12-ish brown beetle. I tried a brown foam beetle but did better when I went back to the black one I started with. Although the risers died away, we were bringing fish up to our flies. We repeated the drift, taking care to motor back up slowly so as not to disturb the water – it’s such a narrow channel up there. We worked away at them. Success. The black beetle landed a couple more, as did a black half-hog and a ‘Dennis the Menace’ sedgehog. We both fresh-aired quite a few, and Jimmy had a break-off with one that surged away with his black gnat.
The Club catches were mixed, with several bagels on the sheet. Star turn was John McGonagle, who landed 9, mostly on a hot-head damsel and a fast sink line, right up the burn mouth from the upper reservoir..
The Club’s 12 rods landed 34 fish.