It was a cracking morning up in the Pentlands for our outing, although the reservoir is still showing a lot more land than usual – but was still looking impressive. It’s really difficult to tell which way the wind blows here since the reservoir is L shaped and the hills play a big part in conditions. It’s always interesting to see features on any water with levels so low but it was still a big surprise to see so much of the wall that separates the bays.
The Coulam boats were spotless as usual. The reservoir is a good size and easy to navigate in a day’s outing and not so small you are short of space to drift. We had a healthy 7 boats booked for the day, our club secretary Bob Whyte does a fantastic job of arranging all our outings.
One thing we always find at Glencorse is the quality of the fish: they are invariably in first class condition. There were the usual reports of some slabs being recorded in catch returns recently and a few notable brown trout among them.
There was plenty diversity in our tactics for the day. The conditions looked almost perfect for dries, but there were some lures and dark lines in evidence in the car park. I was fishing with Mel Mitchell, a rare occurrence, and was looking forward to our day out. It was also great to see a very sprightly Colin Riach back after a lengthy hospital stay.
I was hoping to learn a bit from Mel, who has had a fair amount of success this year with some tiny dry flies: size 18!! Both Colin and Dougie Skedd have already both mastered the art of fishing tiny dries for big stillwater and river trout even in a decent wave or fast water.
A few of the club were keen to get out, and most headed towards the roadside shore running towards the burn mouth. This is certainly a favourite drift of Stevie Kilpatrick and Matt Wolstenholme. A few in the know stayed close-by in the boat bay but to be honest fish are normally quite spread out. Mel and I headed right towards the top of the L. Disappointingly, there was not much activity to see as we motored to the top, but we noticed a few fish moving in the shallows as we set-up our first drift.
Mel and I started with midge-tips and washing line. Mel covered a fish moving to his right which reacted but did not lock on. I then picked up a quality fish to a white cat and almost simultaneously Mel latched on to another but that fish stole his cast. We thought we had cracked it with the area but it quickly dried up. We continued our drift along the length of the shore but with no other success. We could see both Peter and Dougie netting fish quite close in. We headed back to the top and were joined by Colin and Darrel. Colin netted a good brown trout almost immediately to his dries, whilst Darrel picked up a rainbow to a black and green lure on a 3ft midge-tip.
By now Dougie was building a good bag of fish on a Hi-D and minkie booby. Although we could see the odd fish getting netted, Mel and I never really found the method or tactics that really worked. Mel did try his dries but never had any interest. Mel’s day was also punctuated with bad luck as he managed to drop a few more – but he did have the satisfaction of picking up a stunning little brown trout.
Top rod for the day was Dougie Skedd with 8 fish followed by Darrel Young with 6. Special call out to Matt Wolstenholme who’s had a tough couple of outings. He had a couple of splendid brown trout and a cracking rainbow. Our 13 rods totalled 37 fish, with 5 browns in our returns.
Dougie Skedd adds…
Glencorse reservoir is suffering from the same low water that everywhere else is. The low water means that a lot of the normal features are either absent or are no longer going to hold fish. The main feature at Glencorse is still relevant though. The retaining wall along the roadside will still hold the fish along its base. So it proved on the day of the outing.
Drifting the boat close along the roadside bank meant Peter Fionda and I could keep our flies in the taking zone. The weather was quite bright, which kept the fish off the surface. That meant fast sinking lines to get deep and boobies to prevent the flies snagging on the rocky bottom. A green and white minkie booby on the point and a sunburst and black one on a dropper for me and green and black and bright orange for Peter. A long cast followed by a Jerky figure of eight retrieve was acceptable to the fish. Between us nine good rainbows and a superb brownie fell to the attractions of the flies. A decent catch on what could have proved a difficult day.