Dougie Skedd reports…
Rescheduled outing from earlier in the year. Only five of us could make the new date but we were game to give it a go. Conditions could have been better, but could have been a lot worse. The clouds were racing by overhead but down on the water it was quite fishable. Steve and Keith in one boat, Jimmy Anderson and I in another and Bob Whyte was Jimmy-no-mates, on his own. It was cold, wet and windy. The water was pretty dark too, after the recent rain. It looked like a day to search hard. My default line for that is a Di-2, matched up to 3 wet flies: a small, bright muddler on the top dropper, a dark claret bumble on the middle and a small black minkie on the point.
As we started, a couple of fish rose, making me a little doubtful of my choices, but I stuck with it. After a fishless first drift, I was doubting more, but at the start of the second drift a fish walloped the claret bumble. Towards the end of that drift another fish took the bumble. Boat partner Jimmy hooked a fish close to the dam that dropped off after a strong run. We repeated the drift. Halfway down, a fish took the bright muddler (sunburst) on the top dropper. Jimmy broke on another fish, again close to the dam. Things weren’t going too badly. Pity they didn’t stay like that. It was as if I had taken off my flies. Jimmy got a few half-hearted pulls, but that was it. The wind was a real pain. It was pushing us away from where I thought the fish would be.
We decided to try the top end to see if we could get a decent drift. A fish first cast on the minkie. Excellent! A couple of casts later a fish took the minkie on the drop. Things were looking up again. Unfortunately, the same thing happened. I felt I was fishing without flies. The time was wearing on, so we decided to try one more drift near the dam then call it a day. Halfway down the drift a very fat brownie hung onto the bright muddler. Next cast another took hold but fell off. That was it for the day. Two fish to each fly. Lucky guesses.
Keith Logan adds…
It was hardly an encouraging start to the day… the drive up Glen Devon showed that there had been a lot of rain overnight, with plenty surface water in evidence. By the time we arrived at Frandy, we were in the midst of a really heavy downpour. The forecast was clearly mixed, depending on which service provider you listened to. The good news was that consensus was for the rain to stop around 10:00 and that the wind would largely be south-westerly. (Our experience with the wind on Frandy is that the influence of the surrounding hills has a big impact.) Water levels remain low, thanks to the construction work by the water board at the dam end. Ken reported that fishing had been reasonable for the time of year, but most success had been on lures like yellow dancer and Ally McCoist, on deeper lines.
Stevie set-up with an intermediate and a couple of lures: a yellow dancer and a Covid blob, a pattern that I had not seen before, but let me tell you, once seen, never forgotten – bright pink fritz and gold head bead. I was as usual going to focus higher in the water and opted for a 12ft tip. The wind was its usual moody presence, so we set-up in open water and let it take us wherever it fancied. Our engine was also unreliable with the pull start an absolute nightmare.
Stevie was getting most of the action to his lures and landed the first fish to the Covid. There was also a bit of interest, but mostly from tail nippers, to the dancer. I picked up a small but perfectly formed brown trout to an electric banana blob. Dougie Skedd and Jimmy Anderson were working drifts from the South Shore towards the dam and were repeating those drifts as indeed was Bob and we could see rods bending. Stevie and myself were getting a bit interest in the open water but did not convert many chances. We both ended with 2 rainbows and one brown trout.