What a great start to the season – 12 rods, 72 fish, no boat with fewer than 6 fish, and NO blanks. With the demise of Lindores we started to look for an alternative first outing in March. As we used to have an early season outing to Butterstone it was agreed that we would give it a try and for this year at least it turned out to be a winner. The forecast was reasonable for the day and indeed, for March, it was a decent day. Early on it was sunny with little wind and the temperature in high single figures, although later in the afternoon the North West wind was to have a real edge to it.
There was no sign of fish moving as we motored out for a 9 o’clock start. Many of the boats turned right out of the harbour and anchored up facing the East shore. It wasn’t long before fish were being caught. Others went for the East end of the road shore and again rods were soon bending. One or two ventured to the West end but that was absolutely lifeless early on and they then worked there way East along the road shore trying to find a spot to anchor which hadn’t been taken. Dougie Goddard and Stewart Barnes were one pair who did this and could only find a spot half way along that shore, enviously watching the nets getting plenty of action ahead of them. However by about 11.00pm they started to hit fish where they were and in the next four hours or so managed to total 13 fish with a good number missed or lost, thus ending up third boat. Lure type flies on intermediate lines did the damage for them with patterns such as cat’s whisker, green damsel, orange dancer and orange fritz, although a couple succumbed to nymphs as well.
Second boat was the one of the two Johns – Levy and Miller – with 14 fish mainly from the South East shallows and the North West corner. They used midge tip lines with black and green tadpoles, damsel and diawl bachs. Trevor Gibson and Tommy Steven were out on their own with 24 fish, 13 for Trevor not seeming an unlucky number at all. They had most of their fish at various points on the East shore, using mainly black and green tadpoles and vivas on intermediate and Di5 lines respectively.
Not surprisingly at this time of year, most of the fish were taken near the middle of the day. While accepting that we were pretty lucky with the weather, it would seem that this particular outing would be worth repeating.