A fantastic journey up to Frandy. The drive through Glendevon always whets the appetite for a good day’s top of the water fishing and the country was looking splendid. The weather was predicted to heat up during the day, but with intermittent cloud cover. What could possibly go wrong? We had another decent turnout for the session, with 6 boats. The fishery was busy with another club present and also a few bank anglers.
Frandy has been a good venue for our club outings and I’d always done reasonably well on the dries, so the decision for me was clear. I went for a 5wt set-up and team of dries: shuttlecock, bibio emerger and crippled midge. I was fishing with Trevor Gibson. As we were loading the boat he suggested that he might start with the bung. By now the wind had disappeared and we headed out into the middle in a flat calm. Most boats went up to the dam or right down to the shallow end.
The first thing to raise an eyebrow was the quality of the water. Throughout the season Frandy, because of its location high in the Ochill hills, is better-positioned than the lowland waters during the hot summer months. However, on this occasion we were surprised to see a fair bit of suspended matter and the water was fairly manky. Apparently, Scottish Water had topped up from the top reservoir and this had caused a fair bit of upheaval.
The other thing to note was the large shoals of pin fry and also some signs of a significant Caenis hatch from the previous night. There were very few fish showing but that was not going to put me off. Surely they will come blind. Trevor quite quickly switched to the washing line: tequila booby and flash-back nymphs. That sounded pretty sensible, given the amount of pin fry in evidence. We let the boat find its feet in the middle and let the wind dictate our drift. No drogue.
To suggest that things were slow was an exaggeration. After an eternity, I managed to miss one that came to the crippled midge. Trevor missed another. It was tough going. A couple more showed interest at the dries but Trevor landed our first fish, which came to the tequila fished static on a midge-tip. We had some promising drifts and covered both shore lines, and in the middle, but could not find a method. By now boats were moving around and the feedback was the same from everyone: struggling, regardless of approach.
Trevor finally managed to persuade me to head towards the dam end. The odd fish was being picked up by the drop-off. I’d changed over to fast glass and went through the usual options, but to no avail. Trevor then had a moment of inspiration and put on a buzzer that he reckons works well if fish are on the pin fry. He smashed it, ending with an impressive 4 fish (and 50 points, thank goodness!!). Three of the fish picked out the buzzer. He was probably unlucky not to net a few more. I had gone back to dries and was on double deckers towards the end.
As we looked around heads were down right across the water. Bob fell asleep on more than one occasion. Our 12 rods finished with 13 fish, so least said soonest mended. Dougie was another who did OK, picking up a couple on crunchers and dropped a few more. For the rest of us mere mortals it’s back to the drawing board.