There is little doubt that we have been spoiled by the milder than average spring weather for the last couple of outings. Rather than picnics in front of the palace at Linlithgow, or open water swimmers and paddle boarders on Menteith, conditions at Glencorse had a much more familiar early season feel about them. What had not changed was the bright sunshine, but it was decidedly cooler. If this was a south-westerly we were delighted that there was no north-easterly! It was definitely a day for many layers and the trail walkers were well wrapped up this week.
The set-up at Glencorse seems to improve each year. Boats were immaculately turned-out and it was nice to see no sign of algal bloom – the water was crystal clear. Reports were that the fishing had been consistent, with some good catches recorded despite the dip in temperatures during the week. A range of lines were mentioned, from various mini-tips down to a Di-5, with lures such as damsels going well. (Mind you, as we know damsels come in many shapes and sizes!) It was interesting to see a few smallish buzzers hatching in the quieter water around the boats, first thing.
I was paired with Jimmy Anderson and we set up with similar styles to start: slow intermediates. Jimmy enjoys a bit of lure fishing and he started with black booby, cormorant and tequila blob. We headed up the loch, but rather than going right to the far end, we set up our first drift along the road shore, drifting towards the water inlet. The odd good fish was showing, which provided a bit of encouragement, but we struggled to find any sport to start. We then pushed back right to the top of the water. En route, we saw Trevor net his second fish of the day and Bob was also off the mark. In the top bay we saw Stewart and Derek drifting along the shallower water by the road shore, Derek was also on the card and then we noticed Stewart land a good fish.
We drifted all the way down the narrows and we landed a couple of fish in the area to a cat booby. Jimmy was mixing it up, looking to find the depth and patterns that would work. I switched to one of my favourite searching lines, the Wet Cell II. This felt a bit better and got the flies working a bit quicker. The wind by this time was slowly picking up strength and swirling round, making the fishing tricky. We passed a few more boats and most people by now were picking up a fish or two, but it was clear a bit of perseverance was required.
My luck changed when I switched from the garish to the more sombre looking patterns: a black nymph went on the top dropper and a cruncher in the middle (this accounted for a superbly conditioned brown trout of 7lb+). We started to get a bit more interest at that stage. The quality of the fish was once again excellent and you had to hold on pretty tightly to get them to the net.
The wind picked up later in the afternoon and fairly whistled down the glen, white horses and all! We thought better of it as the fishing conditions deteriorated and batteries were quickly running out of power. Our 7 boats recorded 49 fish. Top rod for the day was Derek Kilgour with an impressive 9 fish. Special mention to Trevor and Bob, who had 10 fish to the boat. Good angling, everyone.