An interesting start to the day. I was out with Dougie Skedd. It was breezy when we were tackling up. Dougie reckoned it was a fairly certain puller and he set up the one rod. Not that I disagreed with Dougie, but with time to spare before we were out – and so often a chance with dries coming early and late – I set up the 2nd rod… just in case.
And it just so happened… the wind dropped as we went out at half past nine. We tucked in to the corner of reedy bay below Sam’s point. As we dropped in, there’s a rise. There’s another. There’s another. I got a cover on it. Sipped it down a treat. I got the fish in, got sorted out, there’s a rise, cover it. Sipped it down a treat. This one shot out the shallows, across Dougie’s line, proceeded to get all fankled up and got off. I got sorted out, there’s a rise, cover it, sipped it down a treat. Landed that, got sorted out, there’s a rise, covered it, sipped it down a treat. This one was in the net, birled on the frame, got back in the water, caught the tail fly in the net, went an extra run and broke the fly off!
Tied a new fly on (all picking out Tommy’s half hog), there’s a rise, covered it, sipped it down a treat…. And that was about the time that Dougie decided he had better put up a rod with dries… As he did so, the breeze got back up, the sun came out, the fish disappeared, and that was that. Half past ten. Never saw another rise, never got another offer. What a first hour though! I chapped the fish – a few buzzer pupes, odd shuck, odd adult sedge, couple of immature corixa in them.
After that, we did the grand tour, but with memories of our last outing in both our heads and how it had been a waste of time between 11 am and 5 pm, it’s probably fair to say that we didn’t go about it with the level of enthusiasm required.
So, cut to the middle of the day, and Dougie’s still not had an offer. He decided to put up a DI-7 and his cat minkie booby. After a slowish start, this method started to pick up pace, and first one, then another, and then immediately after that another fish came on board. That last one was a lump, which we weighed using the net as a weigh-sling: 5 lb 14 oz. That was enough for me, and I started to rig up a similar outfit. Even as I was doing so, Dougie landed a 4th fish to the ‘Santa’s beard’. Dougie commented, “You realise I won’t get any more now?” “Yes”, says I. And sure enough, from the moment I started fishing it, neither of us had an offer. The force is strong in this one!
We did have a wee bit sport to dries with an odd riser mid-afternoon in Gateside, but they were Nervous Neryses compared to those fish in reedy bay in the morning – probably shell-shocked from all the attention Gateside has been getting of late. We only had a couple of fresh-air shots for all our efforts.
We ended up going back in to Reedy Bay to see if we got the same wee late flourish that Ken McLean and I had a week back. Sure enough, we both picked up a fish on dries last cast. You get the impression you want to be fishing it from first light to 11.00 a.m. and from 5 till dusk just now…
It wasn’t a great catch for the club. Stewart Barnes and Trevor Gibson had 3-apiece fishing in Gateside. Both caught on floaters with a mixture of dries and Diawl Bachs. Maybe the Andrewbackers might have done better with their twiddling?
The Club’s 11 rods landed 20 fish.