Scottish Fishing Days and Nights 1996
by John Gray
I have made up a 12 ft fly rod using old McHardy fibre glass
blanks combined with the handle from a Woolworths coarse rod, which fits
perfectly. The rod should take a #8 line, I think, and should be ideal
for the Allan and the Earn in low water. I also used a similar blank (9
1/2 ft fly rated 7-9?) to make a 9ft 8ins spinning rod using the handle
from a Milbro Gillie rod.
I now have a selection of home made rods ...
10 ft B & W Light Line (4-6) for use with DT5F line
Sea Trout / Salmon
10 1/2 ft B&W Multitrout (6-7) with DT7 or DT8
11 1/4 ft B&W Century (7?) with DT7 or DT8
12 ft Fibre Glass (7-9?) with DT8
I have renewed my permits on the Earn and Allan.
We have had very cold weather reaching as low as -20°C for a
couple of days, with burst pipes all over the country. I had a flood in
the shop from burst pipes in the empty flat on the top floor above. We
have had some snow but we haven't had a lot of rain. I've been out for
the grayling on the Clyde twice, the first time the river was too high,
the second time too low and frozen!
Wednesday February 4th
River Earn 1pm - 4pm
The river was running high and clear at the playing fields, with
the top of the curved stone just showing. This is just about the maximum
height I reckon for fly fishing. Wading is just possible but the water
is very cold.
I tried the fly using the 12 ft fibreglass rod with a DT9 Wetcel
1. A nice rod, just a bit less powerful than the 13 ft Daiwa - good for
Spey casting. The rod should also be nice for the Allan. For high water
on the Earn, a fifteen footer would be best with a 10 or 11 line. I put
the spinning reel on the 12 ft rod with a red and silver Flying C and,
in the tail of the pool, hooked and landed a kelt of about 10 lbs, which
went back safely. (It was landed on 4lb nylon, as I had a trout spool on
the Mitchell 300!)
I have joined Larbert & Stenhousemuir Angling Club at a cost of
Â£40 (plus Â£20 joining fee). This entitles me to fish Loch Coulter from
boat and bank and the River Carron for salmon and sea trout. The Carron
was stocked this year with 2000 sea trout parr. So I now have a good
variety of fishing:
|River Earn (Crieff AC)
|River Allan (AWAIA)
|River Carron / Loch Coulter
|Total yearly cost
The weather deteriorated just before the start of the trout
season, reverting to cold weather with snow and rain. This led to a
quiet start to the season in the shop. On the plus side, the rivers were
in need of some rain as February had been dry.
Wednesday 20th March
I had a walk along the banks of the River Carron at the Horsemill
Inn below Denny. There are two or three nice pools for sea trout, fairly
deep perhaps up to six feet, especially the bridge pool.
A deep snow drift blocked the gate into Loch Coulter. There are
six good boats and the bank fishing should be good. Very cold weather.
The temperature is set to rise to a high of 9°C on Sunday before
dropping again next week.
Sunday 24th March
Loch Coulter 1pm - 3pm
A cold east wind relieved slightly by occasional warming sunshine.
I fished round the north bank beyond the boathouse and caught a 10 oz
trout on a small size 12 black fly with orange tail. The fish had been
feeding on caddis and snails. This is the first season the club has been
allowed to fish from the bank, so my trout may be the first trout caught
"legally" from the bank of Loch Coulter, in recent years anyway. I then
had a walk right round the loch, which took about an hour ( the loch is
189 acres in area ). I had the company of skylarks, curlews and a colony
of seagulls congregating on the south side of the loch for the mating
season. There was still some ice around the shoreline. I look forward to
what promises to be excellent bank fishing on summer evenings.
A very cold westerly wind made fishing on Loch Coulter very
difficult and uncomfortable. My fish from last Sunday seems to be the
only fish caught so far, according to the catch record book in the
It has been very cold for the past fortnight. Persistent rain over
the past 24 hours has put the Allan in high spate and unfishable. The
rain was badly needed after a dry spring and will hopefully bring some
early sea trout into the Allan and Earn.
Loch Coulter 4pm - 7pm
Cold and windy again but I caught one trout and lost another on a
size 12 sparkle caddis. The wading along the west bank is surprisingly
good and should give excellent fishing in a south wind on a summer
evening. Derek was up on the Earlsburn loch this afternoon and had seven
trout on small black flies.
Sunday 21st April
Earlsburn Loch 12 - 3pm
Very low cloud with variable visibility as the cloud lifted
occasionally, with a nice steady breeze from the north east blowing
towards the boathouse. It was cold at midday but warmed as the afternoon
wore on. I had a trout first cast on a glitterbody caddis, followed by
two more in the next half hour from the house bank. Nothing at all from
the roadside but three more, plus about a dozen missed, from the area
behind the island. All fish were returned with the biggest about half a
pound. Derek had ten fish from around the north west burn and the west
Wednesday 24th April
The river is running at a perfect height, weather
showery with blustery wind. I fished size 10 flies hoping for an early
sea trout - a few have been reported from the glen - but no sign of them
today. No sign either of stocked brown trout, although I caught a few
small wild trout and parr.
Monday 29th April
Earlsburn Loch 6pm - 8pm
Quite cold with a light north wind. I fished the
house bank and the point. I had two small trout and missed a couple on
Black Pennell with orange/pink tail.
Wednesday 8th May
Earlsburn Loch 2.30 - 3.30pm
A strong cool north east wind was blowing in to the
boathouse corner. Fishing along the west bank, I had six trout in an
hour, a better class of fish with a few around the half pound mark. I
kept two half pounders. Excellent fishing with not another soul to be
Saturday 11th May
River Teith, Blairdrummond
1 sea trout
Larbert Angling Club annual day on the Blairdrummond beat below Doune.
Heavy rain in Kilsyth in the morning was followed by a dry afternoon. It
seems that there had been only one other club member on the beat until
Alec and I arrived in the early evening. He had caught one sea trout of
1 1/4lb, a brown trout of 1 3/4lb and lost another.
The rules here are fly only below 2 ft on the gauge. Near the top end
of the beat is the Chapel Pool. It is a good looking pool for the fly.
Below the Chapel is the Horse Hole, a deep pool which should hold fish
but is only fishable with the fly in the tail, below the fishing hut.
Below that is the Weir Pool, a shorter pool which may be worth a few
casts. Downstream we have the Beeches, which would fish best from the
left bank. This is a shallow streamy pool which runs into the Island
Pool, a long, deep slow holding pool but with a good looking run in at
the head, again best fished from the left bank. Finally, below the lade
and the Island there is a deep pool with a good flow which would be best
fished from the left bank but the wading looks impossible - too deep.
Alec and I decided to concentrate on the Chapel Stream. The evening
was drier and milder than of late but still a bit cool for night
fishing. We had nothing, apart from one small brownie, until 11pm when,
in the space of five minutes, we both caught a sea trout, mine 1 3/4lb
and Alec's 2 lb, both lovely fresh hard fighting fish. This was, I
think, my earliest and freshest sea trout to date, truly a bar of
silver. It took a size 8 Silver Gillie (silver body, ginger hackle,
Sunday 19th May
Earlsburn Loch 3pm - 5pm
A cold blustery north east wind made it quite rough on the west bank,
just a wee bit cold and rough for good fishing. I caught two average
sized trout of about 6 oz and missed a further four. Temperatures are
set to rise slightly over the next week. A visit to the Earn may be in
Monday 20th May
River Earn 9pm - 10.30pm
At the playing fields the air temperature was 10°C, water temperature
7°C. The river was running at a nice night height with the bottom of the
curved stone covered. However, the water was full of suspended
vegetation, in particular green weed which coated the flies on every
cast. There must have been a recent heavy downpour upstream causing a
small spate. More rain is forecast for the latter part of the week.
Hopefully this will cause a good spate to clean out the rivers.
Friday 24th May
I fished just upstream of the motorway bridge above Larbert, fishing
the streamy stretches down as far as the bridge. The river was lower
than I expected, at summer low, but, as both the Carron and Earls Burn
are controlled by the Water Board, a natural flow cannot be guaranteed.
There seems to be a fair stock of trout in the river. I caught two nice
fish about half a pound and lost a few others. The motorway pool holds a
lot of trout and may also be good for sea trout, though no sign of them
Monday 27th May (holiday)
The river was running high due to generation water, with only about
three inches of the curved stone showing. A good height for salmon fly
but a bit high for night sea trout fishing. Six inches lower would be
ideal for night fishing.
Wednesday 29th May
Loch Coulter 2pm - 10pm
I took a boat out with Alec. A nice day with a fairly mild south west
wind but a bit blustery. I had three trout, best 1 pound, Alec had two.
Disappointing! Other had better luck. One boat had about a dozen trout
fishing near the Dam, while a bank angler fishing from the same area
caught sixteen trout within a couple of hours. The loch had been
recently stocked and the stock fish had evidently not yet spread out
over the loch. Derek had been up the Earlsburn loch the same day and had
about twenty trout.
Sunday 2nd June
Earlsburn Loch 12 - 1.30pm
A bright sunny day with occasional cloud cover and a blustery south
wind. I fished the west bank catching three trout and missing about ten
more. The trout took a black Pennell with orange and pink fluorescent
tail, when the sun was behind the cloud.
Tuesday 4th June
River Earn 9pm - 1pm
We've had some heavy rain and a couple of good spates over the last
few days. The Earn is now running fairly high for night fishing (six
inches of curved stone showing). A lovely evening with a good hatch of
flies. Swifts active. Temperature to stay above 11°C and the water not
too cold. I had a good pull below the wires from a salmon or sea trout
but nothing more
River Allan 11.30pm - 1.30am
The river looked a good height for night fishing. Only one other
fisher above Cromlix bridge. He had taken a two pound sea trout earlier
further downstream but nothing since dark. I walked up and fished down
from the Red Braes to the bridge, with no sign of sea trout -
I fished both rivers again on Thursday 6th but without success.
Sunday 9th June
Earlsburn Loch 2.30pm - 4.30pm
A strong south wind blowing diagonally into the west bank. I caught
six trout, keeping three. The best fish took a Soldier Palmer Muddler,
the others size 10 dark flies (Pennell with red tail and Kate McLaren. I
missed another half dozen.
Monday 10th June
River Earn 10.30pm - 1.30am
I fished the Cement Dyke, above the Coup. The river is still running
a bit high, with rain continuing on and off. One or two sea trout moved
but I had no offers. The rune into the pool at the cement dyke looks
promising. I will try it again in lower water. The Earn really hasn't
settled at all with frequent rain combined with generation water. There
should be a fair number of sea trout in the river by now and I am
hopeful of some success when the river drops and settles.
Thursday 13th June
River Allan 11.15pm - 12.30am
1 sea trout
There is an anticyclone lying over the UK, with settled conditions
set to last through the weekend. Daytime temperatures of around 20°C but
dropping sharply at night, e.g. temperature of 7°C forecast for tonight.
I fished the Narrows. At 11.15pm it was still not really dark enough but
there was some fish activity, mainly trout but I hoped there were a few
sea trout among them. I began with a small black Pennell on the dropper
with a size 8 Ginger Pearl on the tail. I missed an offer on the first
cast and on the second hooked a beauty which was all over the pool
causing a great disturbance. I eventually netted it in the pool below, a
beautiful, perfectly proportioned hen sea trout of 2lbs 9 oz. What a
fight on the 10 ft Light Line rod and DT5F line with 5 lb leader. I
wasn't sure that the sea trout would settle after all this disturbance,
but I did have another take about twenty minutes later, a fish about the
same size as the first but it was only on briefly before throwing the
hook. The air temperature dropped sharply, as it was a clear and calm
night. Things went quiet and I gave up at 12.30am.
Sunday 16th June
River Earn 11.30pm - 2am
1 sea trout
Hamish was fishing the the run above the Cement Dyke when I arrived
so I went in above him. We both missed fish on that first run down. I
was left on my own for the second run down, when I hooked a lovely sea
trout of 2 1/2 lbs, which I netted after a lively fight, the fish coming
out of the water three or four times. It had a taken a size 8 Ginger
Pearl. This was at 1am. It was a lovely night, calm with some high cloud
and temperatures no lower than 10°C. The river had dropped over the last
few days and was now running at a perfect night height. I had one or two
more half-hearted offers and gave up at 2am.
to be continued ...