Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Just a wee note on Loch Bhac as Jim Kennedy is still on holiday and you will all be bored with the lack of salmon news.  I went up for a cast for trout yesterday afternoon, after shopping with Libis down in Perth in the morning.  Brownie points were gained and had to be spent. As I drove west by Loch Tummel, the sky was deadly black and ominous and I remembered the forecast was for thunder and localised downpours.  A day to spend at the tele, but the Olympics were over.  Could have turned back and done the sensible thing, but good judgement was never my strongest point.  Signs of approaching doom came as soon as I parked the car in the middle of Allean Forest, where it was very dark, like being out on a starless night.  The rain arrived and intensified before I could get out of the car, which was lucky.  I could have been halfway down to the loch.  Instead, I sat tight and waited for developments.  Then came the most concentrated spell of thunder and lightning and rain that I have seen for a long while.  Forked lightning and ear-splitting, bowel-loosening, claps of thunder that followed in quick succession while I pondered whether to turn tail and make a run for it.  Better to huddle down and hope that the tall pine trees would conduct anything that came down nearby.  I wondered what would happen to my fishing rods and golf clubs if my end was nigh.  Would they all be thrown out?!  Ebay I supposed.  Eventually, after half an hour, the storm wandered off bored and I walked down to the loch, in the midst of a bright and fresh afternoon, crossing the normally small inflow burn which was up and rising fast.  For some time, looking over towards the Garry above Blair Atholl, the sky remained as black as coal.   Tough luck everybody down there!  In the loch, as hoped for, the stocked rainbow trout and smaller native browns were rising here and there in sheltered areas and I sploshed around the shoreline and waterlogged banks, looking for a good spot to start fishing.  At first there was a fluky breeze but it died away later, with no sign of Heather Fly (Bibio) coming off the land, only a few craneflies (Daddy Longlegs).   At this time of late summer (Is that what it is?), most of the daytime surface feeding switches from aquatic flies to terrestrials, but conditions have been very variable recently and I wasn't sure what to expect.  It was hard to spot fish within casting range and I thought by their surges that some feeding further out were chasing  sticklebacks.  At other times, they seem to concentrate on snails. Anyway, I was committed to travelling light and fishing dry fly, which usually brings something up sooner or later.  Once again, a bit of patience and some canny wading brought me four strong rainbows and a few browns.  I kept the biggest two rainbows for 4lbs 11oz.  Another really good one was lost when the hook tore out when I put on a bit too much pressure to get it finally to the net after a long struggle.  You know how it happens. It was trailing someone else's leader and wondered what the fly had been that I had almost "won."  Super fishing and long enough for me these days, much like a round of golf.  Home by teatime to stories from Libis of tremendous thunder and lightning and a Monsoon-like deluge that had the drain pipe spewing out in the kitchen sink.  Couldn't have been as bad as the storm I survived!  No way!  Smoked the fish fillets in the garden this afternoon.  More brownie points - to be used up soon in case they get forgotten.  Not much beats the Perthshire hills at this, or any other, time of year  (AFW)