Happiness in fishing is a matter of expectation; catch six when you expect to catch two and you are thrilled; catch two when you expect six and you are disappointed. If your expectations are unrealistically high, you will often be disappointed. Mid-summer fishing in hot weather is a case in point. Both David Bertram, my boat partner on the day, and I had looked at the BBC weather forecast, which indicated it would be sunny in the morning and cloud over about 13:00 hours: a grand fishing day was forecast. So David and I arrived at the Lake full of enthusiasm and expectation. David even tackled up with dries as he waited for the cloud to arrive. I put on a Kelly green and two cormorants, and this is the gear we set out with, heading for Stable Point.
With my second cast I was into a fish that put up such a fight that I said to David “it must be foul hooked!” But no – when it came to the net it was hooked in the corner of its mouth – a really well conditioned fish. I thought, ‘As soon as the cloud arrives we are in for a red-letter day.’ David had seen some fish move in the open water between Stable Point and the Rookery, so I quickly put on dries, and we set off along that line. I pointed out an osprey to David and, as he looked, a fish rose to his dry. Needless to say, he missed it. We then watched our dries for an hour. It did not cloud over and we had bright blue sky and hot sunny weather all day – but Douglas was happy – he got his garden done while we were practicing our casting and searching for cool drinks!
When David and I arrived at the Malling Shore we did have offers, tweaks and pulls but only fresh air shots and no hook-ups – well most of us were doing that – Derek Kilgour had zoomed up to the Plantation, stuck on a midge tip and a black Howwood and proceeded to pull out five fish. I sat watching this performance and vowed not to send him a Christmas card. Gary Wright also did OK – he managed to get four fish using a sink tip and yellow dancer. The remaining members scratched along with ones and twos… and a few had less than that.
Our fifteen fishers had only twenty fish – not our best performance, but it will get better.
I did have one bit of real excitement. As I was polishing my glasses and looking down the Loch at a wonderful view, in my mind’s eye I distinctly saw steaming towards me a steam driven launch. I saw the black smoke billowing from the funnel and water surging at the bow – a grand sight thought I. Then I put my glasses on again – just to get a better look – and what did I see… was Dougie Goddard enjoying his pipe as he changed position on the Loch.
I did have a camera with me – to take pictures of all the fish we planned to land, but it was not to be. Perhaps next time.