Another cracking day for our outing to Frandy. It was a bright start, but with an unusual gentle east-north-east wind, which persisted throughout the day. Generally, the drifts tend to be along the south shore towards the dam. Today would be dominated by drifts from east to west, along the south shore where most of the boats spent the day. There were a couple of outliers who preferred to fish the deeper water along the north shore, despite the advice from Kenny, the fishery manager and the recent impressive catch reports. The temperature was cool but comfortable, so it promised to be a good day. There was, as expected, little in the way of insects or bugs around, given the location and time of year, but there were a few tiny buzzers hatching around the pier.
We had 5 boats for the session and I was paired with Darrel Young. I have a preference for fishing higher in the water column, but still decided on a 15 ft ghost tip to target the shallow margins and just try to vary the retrieve, depending on the depth of area we were drifting. Darrel took the advice from Kenny on board and started with a DI-3 and lures, with a range of hot head damsels and black/green tadpole style flies.
Frandy is popular for bank anglers at the beginning of the season and normally the shore towards the dam end is particularly popular. We decided to set up our first drift from the dam end and to just weave our way along the shore. The bank anglers headed left from the fishery hut, which should have given us a bit of a clue. However, we persevered and enjoyed a splendid long drift – one that we could only normally dream of on Frandy. The only thing missing was the fish. By now, the armada was spread from the buoy out from the pier and right along to the little islet before the dog leg.
We had a long barren spell that ended with a couple of trout to the cormorant, but there was little encouragement. We could see rods bending regularly in an area that was also busy with the bank anglers. We continued our drift, but with little success. It was good to see that most of our rods had gotten off the mark and Peter and Mel were having some good early success to DI-3 and lure tactics, as indeed were Davie Syme and Dougie Skedd. We thought we could see a few other boats out fishing the bung and they were banging fish most of the session – size 10 Okay-dokays apparently!!
Darrel was then forced to change lines from his DI-3 to a DI-5 sweep and almost instantaneously started to hit fish. He was unlucky not to get a few more to the net. The better overwinter fish seemed to be patrolling a bit further out from the shore, in slightly deeper water and Darrel got hold of a few cracking fish. Our very slow morning improved in the afternoon. I relented and finally went deeper with a DI-3. Bob and Trevor suggested that the fish were deeper, and they were right.
Back to those north shore outliers… that was Allan Everington and boat partner, Jimmy Anderson. Well, it turned out not to be crazy after all. They drifted all the way to the top of the reservoir, where they found a good concentration of amenable fish and had a cracking day, ending up top boat for the day with 16 fish – well done indeed. Special mention also to Davie Syme, equal top rod with Allan, with an impressive 9 fish. The club ended with a total of 61 fish across our 10 rods, which is a very decent rod average.
Mel Mitchell adds…
From the car park I thought the conditions looked great, offering an opportunity for some good fishing. There was cloud cover and a good ripple on the surface from an easterly wind blowing down and across the loch onto the south shore from the dam wall. Myself and Peter Fionda had been paired up and allocated boat 9. Being Holy Week, I told Peter that I was feeling confident, as I had been praying to St. Peter that he might bless our boat with a bountiful catch. Peter and I quickly set up the rods and, amazingly without any difficulty starting the outboard motor, set off on an early sailing, behind Keith and Darrel, only to hear Trevor informing us that any fish caught before 9 a.m. would not count. Sailing no further than a few metres off the pier, we set up for a drift along the south shore, starting at the orange buoy immediately in-front of the boat pier. Truth be told, it was simply to allow Trevor a better chance of watching us land our first fish of the day.
A few bank fishers had already established themselves along the south shore. I chose to start with my 6 ft midge tip, using a damsel on the point with a cormorant and clan chief on the droppers. Peter set up with a brand new 12ft (DI-3) midge tip line and some damsel patterns. The car park craic was that Trevor had kindly ordered some damsel patterns on-line for Peter, but later in the day there was a rumour blowing about the reservoir that earlier Peter had raided Trevor’s fly box and ‘borrowed’ a few damsel patterns. Whether this had any bearing on the day might be seen from the catch returns. Early into our first drift along the south shore Peter landed his first rainbow of the day to a damsel. Shortly after that I too landed my first fish to a yellow hot head damsel. It looked like my prayers had been answered.
We continued on the same drift, down towards the small island on the south shore, where we both picked up another rainbow on damsel patterns. We could see that the bank fishers were also picking up fish as we drifted along the shore. We repeated this drift several times and we both had a few tugs, dropped some and picked up a further 2 fish each using damsels. My second was a brownie, caught on a silver-ribbed cormorant.
Early in the afternoon, after a spot of lunch and some Easter eggs, we decided to stick to the south shore but try our luck starting our drift closer up at the dam wall. By this time, I felt that the wind had picked up a little and the temperature had cooled. Peter picked up another rainbow early in the drift and dropped a couple, but I had little or no interest, apart from dropping one in parallel with Peter. I thought the fish were now deeper than they had been earlier in the day but, rather than change to a DI-3, I stuck with my 6ft midge tip. I think this was a poor decision on my part. Throughout the rest of the afternoon I had nothing to show for my efforts, whereas Peter continued to generate interest along the south shore, landing a further 2 rainbows. I am sure Peter will be happy with his new line and keen to try it out on future outings. In all a good day out on the water with a total of 11 trout to the boat.