Trout fishing must have some peculiar fascination, some pleasure that is not transient, something that brings us back even after another, and another, disappointment. Butterstone on the 23rd was for me, another disappointment.
Again, I had studied the weather forecast and took from it that the Loch would be blessed with cloud cover – and what did we get – a strong cold North West wind – a water temperature of 17C and at the start of the day an air temperature of 12C. The sun was burning in a bright blue sky. The Loch sparkled like a bunch of polished mirrors – No chance of catching a fish thought I; unless I put on a DI7 and started to strip lures through the water. This tactic I perused for about eight minutes, but it is not something that suits me so I gave it up. I then reverted to every other line I had – DI3, Fast Glass, Kelly green, SSI, Midge Tip – and then in desperation, and only after seeing a few Shield Bugs on the water – I put on a floater with two Shield Bugs. As I did this I knew that my time was being wasted – but didn’t care. I even tried the minor tactic of watching an osprey – that normally gets a fish to rise, but not this time. Moreover, this is why I think fishing must have some strange attraction, even when catching nothing again – I was looking forward to our next outing on Linlithgow Loch and a return trip to Butterstone on the 16th August to fish with a few friends.
Not all of the members were as unsuccessful as I. My boat partner, Ken Hastings, demonstrated both persistence and great restraint. He worked away all day with a floating line and various flies – eventually netting a strong fish of over two pounds. In addition, at the end of the day, he played and then lost another good fish. It was a pleasure to fish with a man who could smile at the loss of a fish on such a hard day.
Now for the good news – Stewart Barnes, using an intermediate line, a Damsel, Black Cat and a Black Cruncher winkled out seven fish. He was fishing with John Miller who got two, using a floater and Diawl Bachs.
Trevor Gibson had four using various lines, yellow dancer and crunchers. His boat partner, David Bertram, also had four – he, at various times, used all his lines and all his flies with a slow retrieve.
I am delighted to inform that Alasdair McKechnie had two using an intermediate line and one of those flies that should not be mentioned in polite society, the kind of fly that you retrieve very slowly or not at all. His boat partner John Levy had two using a fast glass and a yellow dancer.
Dougie Goddard had one (and this after a bit of a panic at the boat dock when he dropped his matches into the water. However, it ended well, he got a lighter from the Bistro! Dougie got his fish using a DI2 and a black tadpole. His boat partner Bob Temple, had the same luck as me.
The 10 members had 23 fish – five of which were returned.
18 were killed – they weighed 40 pounds 11 ounces.
So what have I learned from this outing? Well, a few things – First – go back, try and try again. Second, the breakfasts served in the newly opened Bistro look just fine – it was unfortunate that I already had breakfast. Third – It was nice to find out that the Loch was not as overstocked as it was on 19th March.