|Bothwell and Blantyre Angling Club||
David and Tom checked out Linlithgow Loch earlier this week and were delighted with a fine day's angling. The Forth Area Federation of Anglers runs the fishing and thoughtfully provide trolleys to transport all the kit to the boats, which are reasonably well appointed. We took a club engine and a couple of batteries and managed to fish on the drift all day, unlike most of the anglers who remained anchored up. Very boring. The conditions were good, with some cloud coupled with a reasonably high air temp, particularly given conditions in the last few weeks. I fished a floater all day, on my 5 wt, coupled with 2 size 12 nymphs. Tom started off on his intermediate, with blob, cormorant and cruncher, as recommended on the FAFA website. David had a savage take 3rd cast which succeeded only in removing the red headed DB and dropper from his cast. At least we had a clue what they wanted! Tom then lost one after a short fight, but it was obvious already that these were quality fish. We got one to the net as we neared the north shore and it turned out to be a fish of at least 3 and a half pounds, which gave my 5 wt a good workout, and went all round the boat in the process. After another couple of fish and another breakage I scaled up to 10lb leader and had one more before another relaxed lunch. Tom tried a floater with no success but took a couple of fish on a blob and cat's whisker combination after lunch. By the time we came off the water at 4pm we had netted and released 8 fish, averaging, I estimate, around 3 lb. The fish were as good quality as I have seen all year. Linlithgow Loch didn't disappoint in any way. I understand that they may have water quality and weed issues if it gets really warm, particularly later in the season. For now, then, based on this week's experience, Linlithgow Loch is highly recommended.
Well, that was a wild and cold week. The Bothwell and Blantyre exploits at Frandy (28 May) and in the Scottish Clubs (4 June) are documented elsewhere, but I also took the opportunity to fish Monday evening (30th May) in the SANA Open and Sunday 5th June on Lintrathen, a new venue for me.
The weather on Monday evening was a welcome change from the rest of the week, with light winds and a nice, mild evening. The SANA Open is a pairs and individual event, and the Sharp Gentles Fly Tying Club entered 2 teams of 2. I was fishing with Billy Gillan and John Gould fished with Robert McBride. The competition was all C&R, so no weigh in and teams or individuals with the same number of fish being separated by the time the first fish was caught. This was not a good idea for me as halfway to the island I discovered I had left my rod leaning against the lodge! My BP (Ian Stuart) was very understanding and we tried quick drifts in Hotel Bay and off Inchmahone before going to Gateside Bay. That did the trick and we were into fish off the Rookery Point, initially on a mid glass and then on a floater. John Gould was accumulating fish steadily on a midge tip off rookery point on cormorants and DBs, and Billy was getting a few on the Di3 sweep! Take your pick. I ended up on dries and hooked and lost a fish late on on a black shuttlecock, but fortunately it did not matter. Both teams had 9 fish (JG & RM 7 and 2 - Robert had a cracker of over 4lb, BG & DO 4 and 5). John and Robert were 3rd on time to 1st fish, and Billy and David 4th. Top 5 went through. Roll on the final on 1 August.
Lintrathen - RAF Northern League.
Sunday at Lintrathen was different altogether. A cold NE wind greeted us and I had my winter jacket on all day. 17 anglers from RAF stations in Scotland and the north of England braved the summer weather and eventually caught a reasonable number of fish after a slow start. A few fish were taken early on near the Rhododendrons and a few more up on the far side of the island. Lots of perch and undersized brownies were boated, too. The best drift of the day was the shore opposite the boat dock, with my friend the fish magnet Warren Gain and his BP each catching eight fish, mostly during the afternoon. All the usual flies took fish, with the booby, blob, DB, buzzer and mini lure featuring. I had 4 rainbows, for over 9 lb, on lines from midge tip to Di7 and flied from blob to Hare's ear nymph. Make of it what you will.
Lintrathen is a nice fishery, albeit a bit of a trek from Cambuslang. I'll certainly go back if invited, but suggest that it is a journey too far for the Bothwell and Blantyre at the moment.
The first couple of months of the season are now over and it's been a mixed bag weather wise. We had some unseasonably good weather in April and the reverse in May. The strong winds have been a feature latterly, making life in general difficult, not just angling! Last year at this time I blogged that my season (to that date) had been a nightmare - the opposite this season. I am enjoying my angling immensely, looking at competitions in a more relaxed way (although you couldn't have told me that between 8pm and 10.30pm on Saturday night as I tried to catch my 5th fish in the Scottish Clubs!) and generally having a good time. Roll on the Council outing to Dunwhan on Thursday when my 4/5 wt will be getting an outing (if the wind permits!) and then back to Carron on Saturday. See you there.
David tries to be a good angler but is dogged by inconsistency and a loathing of blustery conditions.